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Civil engineering in the news today - Thursday 8 January

A wind turbine stood wrecked yesterday with one of its giant 65ft blades torn off — after it was hit by a UFO...

...Locals were woken by the 4am smash after strange lights were spotted streaking towards the 290ft-tall generator on a wind farm - The Sun

The company that owns Britain’s rail network was investigating on Wednesday if there was a link between three overhead wire collapses this week on the country’s busiest line. The problems on the west coast main line come as the government prepares to announce new electrification schemes. The route has seen overhead wires brought down by trains’ current-collecting pantographs this week in unexplained incidents at Watford Junction on Sunday and at Bletchley and near Wembley on Tuesday - The Financial Times

Thousands of west coast passengers were held up yesterday after the revamped rail route had a fifth day of services to and from London Euston halted because of another power failure. Network Rail blamed a series of "unfortunate incidents" - The Guardian

Rolls-Royce, the aero-engine maker, has appointed Lawrie Haynes, former chief executive of British Nuclear Group, to help spearhead its push into Britain’s resurgent nuclear market. Haynes, who will become president of nuclear at Rolls-Royce, will report directly to Sir John Rose, chief executive. He will oversee both the company’s submarine and civil nuclear businesses Haynes left BNG in the autumn of 2006 and subsequently joined White Young Green, the engineering consultancy, as chief executive in the spring of 2007. The company announced on Tuesday he had left with immediate effect - The Financial Times

Hopes of big cuts in household energy bills faded yesterday as traders drove up UK prices by exporting gas to fill a growing shortage across Europe. Despite freezing temperatures and rising demand in Britain, traders switched from importing to exporting gas through an interconnector pipeline to continental Europe as a growing row between Russia and Ukraine left many countries short of supply - The

They are Britain's "lost rivers", which for centuries have been used as open drains, covered in concrete, hidden behind high walls and even built over. The list includes some of the most famous place names in Britain, though few people know they once referred to a waterway: the Fleet, the Strand and the Tyburn. Now one of the biggest rescue projects of its kind is being launched today to reclaim many urban rivers, streams and brooks - The Guardian

Almost 10 miles of London's rivers are to be restored to help wildlife under plans announced yesterday - The Daily Telegraph

A group of climate change protesters who brought Stansted airport to a standstill after occupying a taxiway in December were sentenced yesterday, as it emerged that they face the threat of being sued for more than £2M in damages. Most of the 22 campaigners, who are members of the group Plane Stupid, were ordered to do between 50 and 90 hours community service after admitting aggravated trespass - The Guardian

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