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Civil Engineering in the papers today - Tuesday 7th October 2008

Amec showed its determination to pursue nuclear business at the expense of renewables yesterday when it signed a 'transition agreement' to take over management of the Sellafield atomic site in Cumbria while selling off its wind business for £126m. . . . .

The engineering group is part of the Nuclear Management Partners consortium, which is now on course for a formal transfer of shares in Sellafield from the state-owned British Nuclear Fuels Ltd on November 24 - The Guardian

In a ground-breaking deal, the British construction company Balfour Beatty agreed to yesterday to pay £2.25M to settle bribery allegations over a £100M overseas contract. The company helped to build the re-created Alexandria Library in Egypt in 2001, a prestigious Unesco project - The Guardian

A £590m plan to introduce diplomas to replace A-levels and GCSEs in England is at risk because the new qualification is not seen as credible by parents, employers and universities, MPs say today. The government does not know the future costs of the scheme, many schools and colleges are not ready and students are confused about what the diplomas are for, the Commons public accounts committee warns today - The Guardian

Leading multinationals will be able to strike US-style plea bargains to end long-running foreign corruption inquiries after prosecutors unveiled a landmark settlement on Monday over suspected bribery in the £75M reimagining of Alexandria’s lost ancient library in Egypt. Balfour Beatty, which was under investigation by the Serious Fraud Office, agreed to admit “payment irregularities” and accept a penalty of £2.25M, in exchange for no charges being brought – Financial Times

National Grid, which runs electricity and gas networks in Britain and the US, is an "extraordinarily low-risk business", Steve Holliday, chief executive, will tell investors on Tuesday, as he attempts to remind them of the company's defensive qualities. At National Grid's annual presentation to shareholders and analysts in London, he will also highlight its investment programme: suggesting capital expenditure in 2006-12 will be about £17.5bn, up from a previous forecast of £16bn, and setting out a prospect of heavy future spending – Financial Times

The financial market turmoil has forced the German government to consider postponing the privatisation of the rail operating unit of Deutsche Bahn, the German state railway, which it had hoped would raise €5bn-€6bn ($6.8bn-$8.1bn). "At some point, we have to consider whether now is the right time [to proceed with the sale]", said Peer Steinbrück, the German finance minister, on Monday – Financial Times

Universities and parents do not see new diploma qualifications as a "credible" alternative to A-levels and GCSEs, according to MPs. The Commons public accounts committee warned that diplomas were too complicated and left many pupils confused – Daily Telegraph

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