U.S. Sen. Tom Udall U.S. SENATE News:WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Sen. Tom Udall (D-N.M.), senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, pressed U.S. Secretary of Energy Dan Brouillette Wednesday on the Trump administration’s attempt to slash funding for environmental cleanup at Los Alamos National Laboratory in the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Fiscal Year 2021 budget request and failure to request funding for road infrastructure critical to safe transport of material to the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) in southeastern New Mexico.Udall began his questioning by holding Brouillette to account for failing to recognize DOE’s responsibility to New Mexico communities. “I think your budget proposal for environmental cleanup at Los Alamos … is the worst number I have seen in over 20 years in Congress,” Udall said. “[Congress] provided last year $220 million and you are proposing a $100 million cut. We all know the job is far from finished. Clearly, these kinds of budgets will not stand through Congress, but it is a reflection of the Administration’s attitude toward the valuable role that New Mexico plays. “Right now the [Trump] administration is asking more and more of New Mexico, but prioritizing it less and less,” Udall continued. “People in our state—including our governor and local leaders in northern New Mexico—have noticed and they are not happy. I cannot overstate how disappointed I am with this. The Trump administration is asking Congress to increase nuclear weapons work while slashing cleanup funding for the legacy waste. It sends the wrong signal to the communities in places like New Mexico who have worked so hard on these projects, often at the expense of their health, as you know. … We’re talking about cleanup of radioactive waste.“I’m not going to ask you to justify that cut for Los Alamos because it cannot be justified. I just want you and the Chairman and Ranking Member to hear how we feel about it in New Mexico.”Udall turned his questioning to state road and infrastructure funding tied to WIPP. “As you are aware, the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant is located in a very busy part of the state – right in the middle of an oil boom – with tremendous impacts to our roads,” Udall said. “You can imagine that sending trucks full of radioactive waste to WIPP deserves a great deal more investment in the safety and security of our roads. While we thought there would be some promise to see assistance in the budget, we were disappointed to see nothing there.“Will DOE work to allocate economic assistance funds in lieu of a budget line item? And will DOE work with Congress to fund this program, perhaps in a way that helps other states like Tennessee, to avoid this misguided earmark problem?” Udall asked.“I would be happy to work with you, to work with the chairman, to work with the Ranking Member, and others to find an appropriate way forward,” Brouillette responded. “If this is something that the committee chooses to fund and something that you see as a priority, you have my assurance that I’ll work closely with you to appropriately fund the effort.”Udall then asked Brouillette to detail how DOE plans to reverse a misguided effort to undermine independent oversight of nuclear waste by restricting access of the Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board (DNFSB) to nuclear waste facilities.The DOE order to strip DNFSB access to nuclear facilities, issued in February 2019, would have severely limited the body’s oversight capabilities held for nearly two decades. In last year’s National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), Udall helped secure language directing the DOE to reverse the damaging policy and restore effective oversight to the DNFSB.“I know you are aware that Congress included legislation in last year’s defense authorization act that reversed DOE efforts to limit the Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board’s access to people, information and facilities … Do you have a meeting set to convene with the Safety Board and discuss next steps?” Udall asked.“Yes sir, I am very much aware of the NDAA language,” Brouillette responded. “…the NDAA language is very clear, we are in the process of revising the order, and I will be meeting with the DNFSB and we will have this resolved within the next two weeks.”The full exchange is available HERE, with Udall’s questioning beginning at 1 hour and 23 minutes.
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Total, operator for the Egina oil field offshore Nigeria, together with its construction and survey partners, has successfully installed a Fusion 6G subsea positioning network to support its development of the $15 billion project. Supplied by Sonardyne UK, the acoustic technology specified for Egina, which is still ongoing, included a field-wide array of Compatt 6 seabed transponders.Fusion 6G is Sonardyne’s Long BaseLine (LBL) acoustic positioning system, used for subsea construction and surveys.Planning for Fusion’s deployment at Egina had begun several months earlier and involved senior project managers and surveyors from Total and its sub-contractors, working closely with personnel from Sonardyne’s own Survey Support Group (SSG).The work undertaken by the SGG for Egina included analysing the proposed location for each of the Compatt transponders in the seabed network, and in doing so, verify that there was clear line of sight between each transponder in order that they can reliably range to each other. In addition, the SSG team mapped out seabed coverage and the expected positioning performance of the Compatts at all points of interest. This process involves specialist software and also helps to identify the optimum quantity of transponders that are needed to meet a project’s positioning specification.Frederic Auger, Chief Surveyor at Total E&P, said: “The array installation and subsequent UFR campaign performed at the Egina field, has proven to be an extremely successful demonstration of Fusion’s capabilities. Off the back of it, we will be using it to support ongoing field construction activities throughout the rest of this year and into the 2016 season.” “The system’s quick setup and deployment, meant that the savings in vessel time alone has more than justified our decision to trust in Sonardyne’s low-risk digital technology platform.”“The successful results we’ve seen at Egina, echo those from similar projects around the world. Fusion 6G saves time, lowers risk and delivers operational cost savings – something that is on every ones’ minds more than ever at the moment,” said Aude Kuchly, Sales Manager for Sonardyne in France. “Egina serves as another great example of how planning, rehearsal and training leads to operational success.”Engina FieldLocated 150 kilometres off the coast of Nigera, in water depths of up to 1,750 metres, the Egina field covers an area of around 500 square miles. Infrastructure will include an FPSO, an oil offloading terminal and subsea production systems that will include 52 kilometres of oil and water injection flowlines, 12 flexible jumpers, 20 kilometres of gas export pipelines, 80 kilometres of umbilicals, and subsea manifolds. Production at the field is expected to reach 200,000 barrels per day at its peak.
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Subscribe to Building today and you will benefit from:Unlimited access to all stories including expert analysis and comment from industry leadersOur league tables, cost models and economics dataOur online archive of over 10,000 articlesBuilding magazine digital editionsBuilding magazine print editionsPrinted/digital supplementsSubscribe now for unlimited access.View our subscription options and join our community Stay at the forefront of thought leadership with news and analysis from award-winning journalists. Enjoy company features, CEO interviews, architectural reviews, technical project know-how and the latest innovations.Limited access to building.co.ukBreaking industry news as it happensBreaking, daily and weekly e-newsletters Get your free guest access SIGN UP TODAY To continue enjoying Building.co.uk, sign up for free guest accessExisting subscriber? LOGIN Subscribe now for unlimited access
As technology pushes huge step-changes through traditional industries the well-established business mantra ‘Adapt or die’ has never been more prescient.Uber is a classic disruptive innovation but is there any chance this ‘Uberisation’ could happen in construction, one of the UK’s most conservative sectors?Theoretically, yes. In fact, you could argue that one of Uber’s basic tenets, that of dynamic pricing, is already alive and well in the construction sector. In Uberland the price for a journey can vary as supply and demand varies. Number of drivers = higher fares until those high fares in turn attract more drivers. Swap ‘driver’ for ‘stock brick’ and the rampant price increases witnessed when hiked demand from housebuilders caught brick makers napping a few years ago, reflects that same dynamic pricing model.Similar fluctuations can happen with most construction commodities. Steel, concrete, timber and of course bricks, have all seen demand outstrip supply recently leading to the solution to the bulk of dynamic pricing models – throw more cash at it.Where the construction industry is vulnerable to true Uberisation is with the supply of labour – skilled or unskilled; blue or white collar.That sort of exchange could and should be available to those looking for plumbers, carpenters, bricklayers, quantity surveyors or engineersUber is successful thanks to the commoditisation of an individual driver. The client has limited control over the quality of a car and the journey can be treated as a commercial purchase of a commodity – in this case 15 minutes or so of the driver’s time.That sort of exchange could and should be available to those looking for plumbers, carpenters, bricklayers, quantity surveyors or engineers. Indeed, there are some online platforms that offer – for a yearly fee – their services as a holding pot of available construction staff. It is a model that has worked in the fast staffing turnover world of call centres and could equally apply to the building site.Except that construction has nowhere near the staff churn of an average call centre. Construction workers will take into consideration other factors such as length of project and job security, convenience and career progression and balance that against the thorny issue of wages. The mechanics of hiring an electrician for a six-month project is very different to those of hiring a taxi driver for 15 minutes.But these are revolutionary times. Across the pond in New York City the construction labour market has changed drastically since the lowest ebb of the downturn in 2008. Here in a city that at one point could boast an almost 100% union backed workforce is starting to move away from this expensive closed shop model.With thousands of workers coming onto the open market contractors and developers have been emboldened to use non-union workers on their ‘open shop’ sites. With an estimated 10-15% cost savings it is easy to see why. Now estimates put the union controlled workforce at less than 50% – a remarkable figure given the former strength of the construction unions in the city.If a market like New York City can be shaken to its foundations, there are few reasons why the UK construction industry couldn’t be similarly revolutionised.Anthony Brown, Sales & Marketing Director from BW: Workplace Experts
The alliance welcomed the progress made at the IMO’s sub-committee on Pollution Prevention and Response (PPR 6) but has called on Russia and Canada to add their support for a ban on HFO in Arctic Shipping.Finland, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Iceland and the USA already support the ban. The Clean Arctic Alliance has called on these nations to remain focussed on ensuring the ban is adopted in 2021 and phased in by 2023.“There is still much work to be done before the Arctic ecosystem and indigenous local communities are afforded the same level of protection as Antarctic waters from the risks of HFO,” said Sian Prior, lead advisor to the Clean Arctic Alliance. “It is imperative that when the PPR sub-committee meets again in early 2020, it finalises the development of a new regulation to ban HFO use and carriage as fuel in the Arctic”.www.hfofreearctic.org
The Centre for Justice Innovation is conducting a global study to identify effective sentencing practices in domestic abuse cases.Director Phil Bowen said the current sentencing response was ‘simply not good enough and needs to be overhauled’.
Chris Jackson reports from Beijing,CHINA: More than 25 000 visitors are expected to stream through the exhibition halls at the China National Convention Centre in Beijing during the Modern Railways 2010 trade fair which was officially opened by Vice Minister of Railways Wang Zhiguo on December 6.The 10th Modern Railways exhibition to be held since 1992 has attracted more than 300 companies, including many of the large international suppliers, their local trading partners and Chinese firms specialising particularly in infrastructure components, track, signalling, electrification systems and rolling stock. International specialists taking part include specialists in workshop equipment, railway construction and measuring technology and rolling stock component manufacturers. Pride of place goes to the driving car of a CSR-Sifang built CRH380A high speed trainset, which stands prominently outside the exhibition centre. The Ministry of Railways’ stand describing the development of the Chinese high speed network occupies almost a quarter of the halls, with models of several huge bridges needed to carry the new lines across the Yangtze and Yellow rivers, as well as the advanced construction methods developed to build new lines very rapidly. There are also large-scale models of several CRH trainset types and a full-sized mock-up of a modern signalling control centre.With around 2 500 delegates, including 800 from outside China, attending the 7th UIC Highspeed congress in the adjacent conference suite, Wang said the the exhibition would provide ‘an important platform to demonstrate the technical innovations of China’s high speed rail and promote the exchange of high speed rail technology from different countries.’Visit DVV Media/Eurailpress/Railway Gazette on stand G259
AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to LinkedInLinkedInLinkedInPolice have issued a warning today June 6th 2017, after they have been informed that a male has allegedly attempted to buy items using counterfeit £20 notes at the Cuckoo bridge retail park in Dumfries this morning.He is described as 60’s, balding white hair, brown jacket, blue polo shirt and dark trousers. We know from previous incidents that the male will likely target a number of stores across the region so please be on the lookout for anyone passing counterfeit notes.If someone attempts to spend a counterfeit note in your store, you should keep hold of the note and contact Police on 101. A genuine customer should be happy to wait with you.