Welcome to 2012!
Paying for safety...
French Nuclear Upgrade to Cost 'Several Billion Euros' -- France's nuclear safety watchdog said Tuesday that Electricité de France SA will have to spend several billion euros to upgrade the country's nuclear reactors to ensure they can withstand a serious natural disaster. In its post-Fukushima review of French nuclear safety, the Autorité de Sûreté Nucléaire concluded that no plants needed to be immediately shut down, but steps should be taken as "soon as possible" to improve safety at the country's 58 reactors, said the 500-page report.
Honolulu gets strategic.
City May No Longer Look For Lowest Bidder On Construction Jobs -- Honolulu city officials are looking to change the way they award construction contracts, so instead of being automatically awarded to the lowest bidder, construction projects would be given to companies with records of on-time performance and good workmanship. Current state procurement law requires the counties to award construction projects to companies that bid the least amount of money, regardless of their track record.
Real-time snow clearing.
Snow Site Lets Chicago See if Plows Are Really in a Rut -- Mayor Rahm Emanuel's administration will announce on Tuesday, Chicagoans may test their theories about clout on their computers. Using GPS technology, a new city Web site, ChicagoShovels.org, will provide a map of Chicago's approximately 300 snowplows, making their way in real time through the neighborhoods. Anyone will have a clear view of who gets what first, and whether plows really sweep more rapidly beside the homes of the mayor, powerful aldermen -- or even just the neighbor everyone hates. "If that's happening, you'll see it," Mr. Emanuel's chief technology officer, John Tolva, said.
Bentley Plans Luxury SUV -- Volkswagen AG's Bentley brand is likely to introduce a high-end sport-utility vehicle that would cost more than $140,000, after strong demand for ultraluxury cars helped Bentley return to a profit last year. "If we bring this [SUV] to the market it will be positioned significantly above the vehicles that are currently available in this segment," Bentley brand chief Wolfgang Duerheimer said Tuesday. Bentley also is considering new versions of its Continental model, he said.