Short items

Nuclear life extended

British Energy says it will extend the life of two of its nuclear reactors to 2016: five years beyond their intended closure. The two advanced gas-cooled reactors generate about 5 per cent of the UK’s electricity needs.  

FDA criticised again

The US Food and Drug Administration, which has faced widespread calls for a radical overhaul (Chemistry World, September 2007, p16), has suffered more stinging criticism, this time from the Science & Technology subcommittee of its own Science Board. Their report concluded that understaffing, poor IT resources and a lack of funding means the FDA’s science base is floundering and ’American lives are at risk’.  

Googling for cheap energy  

Search engine giant Google will spend tens of millions of dollars next year to develop renewable energy sources that can produce electricity more cheaply than coal. The R&D project is dubbed RE

Go Figure 

19 per cent approximate rise in UK carbon consumption since 1990, according to a report from economists led by Dieter Helm at Oxford University. UN figures suggest Britain’s emissions have fallen 15 per cent since 1990. But these calculations omit pollution caused by the UK via its imports of carbon-intensive goods and its citizens’ love of aviation and tourism. The impression that the UK is reducing its dependence on greenhouse gas emissions is therefore false, said the report, titled Too good to be true? The UK’s climate change record.