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Today's News

  • Pool boils at Japan nuke plant as evacuees weary

    FUKUSHIMA, Japan (AP) — Weariness and anxiety percolated Tuesday among people who left their homes near Japan's radiation-shedding nuclear complex as workers tried urgently to cool an overheated storage pool and methodically to reconnect critical cooling systems.

    In another day of progress and setbacks, a pool holding spent nuclear fuel heated up to around the boiling point, a nuclear safety official said. With water bubbling away, there is a risk that more radioactive steam could spew out. "We cannot leave this alone and we must take care of it as quickly as possible," said the official, Hidehiko Nishiyama.

  • General Motors lays off workers at NY plant due to Japan crisis

    DETROIT (AP) — General Motors Co. on Monday is halting some production and temporarily laying off workers at a Buffalo, N.Y., engine plant, another sign that Japan's disaster is affecting automakers around the globe.

    GM is suspending production of engines built at its Tonawanda plant for the Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon compact pickups, which are assembled at a GM factory in Shreveport, La. GM shut down its Shreveport operation this week because of a shortage of parts from Japan.

    GM doesn't know when production will resume at either plant.

  • More transparency under new contract to manage LANL environmental data--see video

    SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. and LOS ALAMOS--Locus Technologies (Locus), a Web-based environmental software company, announced Monday that it has been awarded a contract from Los Alamos National Laboratory to manage LANL's environmental data in Locus' Cloud. The contract is worth up to $2 million from 2011 through an additional four option years.

    “High-quality environmental data is one of the key drivers that will help us meet our cleanup goals,” said Alison Dorries, division leader for the Lab's Waste and Environmental Services organization. “Organizing these massive volumes of data, and making them available to the public, will help demonstrate our commitment to openness and environmental compliance.”

  • No quick fix seen at Japan's nuclear plant

    FUKUSHIMA, Japan (AP) — Officials raced Monday to restore electricity to Japan's leaking nuclear plant, but getting the power flowing will hardly be the end of their battle: With its mangled machinery and partly melted reactor cores, bringing the complex under control is a monstrous job.

    Restoring the power to all six units at the tsunami-damaged complex is key, because it will, in theory, power up the maze of motors, valves and switches that help deliver cooling water to the overheated reactor cores and spent fuel pools that are leaking radiation.

  • AP Sources: Pawlenty to form White House committee

    ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Tim Pawlenty, the former Minnesota governor struggling for name recognition against better-known Republicans eying the presidency, told supporters on Monday that he will take the first formal step toward seeking the nomination, The Associated Press has learned.

  • Drive toward hydrogen-powered vehicles may be shorter

    With the price of a gallon of gas showing no signs of retreating, scientists may have hit upon a way to bring hydrogen-fueled vehicles one step closer to reality.

    Researchers have revealed a new single-stage method for recharging the hydrogen storage compound ammonia borane. The breakthrough makes hydrogen a more attractive fuel for vehicles and other transportation modes.

  • Boston hospital performs full face transplant

    BOSTON (AP) — A Texas construction worker badly disfigured in a power line accident two years ago has received the nation's first full face transplant at a Boston hospital.

    More than 30 doctors, nurses and other staff at Brigham and Women's Hospital led by plastic surgeon Dr. Bohdan Pomahac (POE'-ma-hawk) performed the 15-hour operation last week on 25-year-old Dallas Wiens (WEENS), of Fort Worth, Texas. He was listed in good condition at the hospital on Monday.

  • UN nuke chief: revamped emergency responses needed

    VIENNA (AP) — Japan's nuclear crisis has exposed huge weaknesses in how the world deals with such disasters, the U.N. nuclear chief said Monday, urging changes in emergency nuclear responses worldwide.

    Yukiya Amano, head of the International Atomic Energy Agency, also told a 35-nation IAEA board meeting that — while the situation at Japan's crippled Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear site remains serious — "we are starting to see some positive developments."

  • Cruise missile blasts Gadhafi's compound--see video


    TRIPOLI, Libya (AP) — A cruise missile blasted Moammar Gadhafi's residential compound in an attack that carried as much symbolism as military effect, and fighter jets destroyed a line of tanks moving on the rebel capital. The U.S. said the international assault would hit any government forces attacking the opposition.

  • Workers flee Japan nuke plant as smoke rises--watch video

    FUKUSHIMA, Japan (AP) — Gray smoke rose from two reactor units Monday, temporarily stalling critical work to reconnect power lines and restore cooling systems to stabilize Japan's radiation-leaking nuclear complex.

    Workers are racing to bring the nuclear plant under control, but the process is proceeding in fits and starts, stalled by incidents like the smoke and by the need to work methodically to make sure wiring, pumps and other machinery can be safely switched on.