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Civil engineering news in the papers today - Friday 5 September

The EU Parliament’s chamber in Strasbourg is littered with debris after the roof collapsed, dropping 10 tonnes of rubble last month...

...Although the ceiling was repaired, more faults have been discovered in the building, which was finished only nine years ago. The announcement that meetings will be held in Brussels until the damage has been fixed was met with applause. Many MEPs oppose holding meetings in the French city because of the expense. It costs about €200M (£163M) each year to move meetings to the centre four times a month - The Times

The crumbling state of Britain’s electricity network was exposed yesterday when power station breakdowns caused the first energy shortage of the autumn. National Grid was forced to call for more power from electricity generators after a series of unexpected breakdowns left the company with an insufficient safety cushion - The Times

Furious rail commuters in Argentina have set fire to a train in anger over delays during the morning rush hour. Television images showed black smoke and flames engulfing the train at the station of Merlo, in the western suburbs of the capital, Buenos Aires - The Times

Harnessing the vast energy of the UK's coastal tides could become much simpler and cheaper with a new design for the next generation of underwater turbines. The device, unveiled by a team of engineers from Oxford University, re-thinks the way power is generated underwater and the inventors believe it will be more robust, more efficient and cheaper to build and maintain than anything in operation today - The Guardian

The gap between private and public sector workers' pensions is growing as household saving rates continue to decline, according to a report published yesterday. Financial adviser Hargreaves Lansdown said official figures show the credit squeeze has taken its toll on Britain's appetite for retirement, which means that many people will have much lower retirement incomes than they expect. More than a million workers stopped paying into their personal pension plans over the past year, according to a report yesterday - The Guardian

Electricité de France is moving closer to a deal to buy British Energy, the nuclear generator, after talks with some of the UK company's biggest investors have begun to bear fruit - Financial Times

Higher power bills are funding bigger payouts to the shareholders of energy companies, a report claims today. The "big six" have increased dividend payments by £257M over the past year, according to the Local Government Association, a cross-party group representing local councils - The Daily Telegraph

Plans by energy giants BP and Gazprom to exchange assets in Russia and create an international alliance for investments around the world have been shelved - The Daily Telegraph

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