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Civil Engineering in the papers today - Tuesday 17 February 2009

One of the great white elephants of Britain's atomic industry looks set for closure, according to documents published by the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA)...

The NDA is examining the closure of Sellafield's troubled "mixed oxide" or Mox production plant, which has performed badly since it was opened 10 years ago - The Guardian

Bill Clinton has waded into the debate about the allocation of funds from the troubled asset relief programme, saying banks should be directed to lend money to businesses embarking on environmentally sustainable projects. At the opening of a Burbank, California, aircraft hangar designed to meet strict sustainable building standards, the former US president said such a move would create more jobs and speed the transition to a green economy - Financial Times

David Cameron, the Tory leader, will unveil proposals for a series of referendums across the country's largest urban hubs, to be held on a single day, when voters will be asked whether they wish to elect a mayor to run their town or city. Cities including Newcastle, Liverpool and Manchester, which are currently run by city councils, will be encouraged to seek a flamboyant personality who voters will be able to identify with to represent them on the world stage – Daily Telegraph

The 15th century North Bar stood firm when King Charles I made the town of Beverley his headquarters during an attempted siege by the Cavaliers on Hull in 1642. However, it is now being battered by heavy goods vehicle drivers which are being sent in the direction of the arch by their sat navs as the quickest way through the town – Daily Telegraph

The Bank of England's deputy governor has risked infuriating Britain's European partners by claiming that sterling's devaluation was necessary to ensure the UK's rebalancing and recovery. Charlie Bean put his weight behind the pound's 25% fall over the past year in an unusual comment on the pound. Mr Bean also confirmed that the Bank is poised to start buying government bonds in a drastic attempt to resuscitate the stricken economy. His comments came as the pound dropped by almost 2 cents against the dollar and the euro climbed back towards the 90p mark again. Mr Bean struck a cautiously optimistic note, predicting that the worst of the UK recession would be over by later in the year as the pound boosts British exports – Daily Telegraph

Plans to build more than 1,000 anaerobic digesters to turn unwanted food and farm waste into energy and fertiliser will be unveiled today. Anaerobic digesters break down organic waste naturally into a solid that can be used as fertiliser and a gas that can be burnt to generate heat and electricity. Jane Kennedy, the Environment Minister, will declare anaerobic digesters the solution to organic waste. She will also launch a task group with instructions to identify how many should be installed by other sectors, such as the water industry, to make anaerobic digestion "a major source of renewable energy" - The Times

An investment fund run by 3i, Britain’s largest quoted private equity group, has pulled out of bidding for Gatwick airport amid speculation that it could not raise sufficient financing. Sources close to 3i Infrastructure, the £700M fund that is 43% owned by the troubled 3i Group, which set it up two years ago, claimed yesterday that it had dropped the Gatwick bid because it did not want to meet the price being asked - The Times

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