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In the papers today - Thursday July 10

Nuclear authorities in France were scrambling to calm fears yesterday following a leak from a nuclear waste processing facility near the town of Bollène, in the Rhone valley...

...Initial reports from Socatri, the company that operates the plant, said that 30 cubic metres of fluid containing 12g per litre of low-grade uranium were split at the Tricastin facility near Marseilles. Socatri later said that six cubic metres, or 75kgs, had actually escaped from the site, which decontaminates waste from a uranium enrichment centre - The Independent

Outsourcing of public services to the private and voluntary sectors has almost doubled to close to £80bn in little more than a decade and makes up a far larger part of the economy than previously thought - Financial Times

Boris Johnson is to scrap London's target of making 50% of all new homes affordable and restrict new tall buildings in a reversal of some of predecessor Ken Livingstone's core policies - Financial Times

The cost of cleaning up old nuclear power stations could "significantly" exceed the last estimate of £73bn, MPs have warned. Estimates for decommissioning the reactors have already risen by 30% since 2003 - Financial Times

Redrow and Bovis Homes piled further misery on the housebuilding industry yesterday, cutting 850 jobs, reviewing their dividend policies and warning that the property market was in its worst state in living memory. Redrow said it had no choice but to cut 450 jobs, while Bovis is making 400 staff redundant. The lay-offs are about 40 per cent of each company's workforce - The Independent

Centrica isto buy a package of gas and oil assets from Marathon Oil of the US for $375M (£190M). The parent company of British Gas will have to pay another $41M in Norwegian asset taxes for the stakes in producing fields, discoveries and exploration prospects in the Heimdal area of the North Sea - The Independent

British Energy, the UK's largest nuclear power plant operator, said that its electricity output fell by 17% in the second quarter. A glitch at Sizewell B, the nuclear power station, triggered blackouts that hit up to 500,000 homes in May. Figures yesterday showed that the company's entire electricity output was only 11.4Terawatt hours (TWh), down from 13.8 TWh in the same quarter last year - The Times

Terminal 5 came in for renewed criticism yesterday after it emerged that passengers transferring between planes at Heathrow's troubled new£4.3bn building are losing more than 900 bags a day. Trade unions said T5's baggage handling system still needed improvement and travellers on connecting flights have a one in 12 chance of being separated from their luggage - The Guardian

Universities could close, or be forced to lower standards or significantly raise fees, unless urgent action is taken to address a fall in student numbers, vice-chancellors warn today. A drop in student numbers over the next 10 years of nearly 6% will intensify competition between universities - The Guardian

A parliamentary watchdog has accused the government of failing to provide sufficient safeguards to ensure that the cleanup costs of a planned new generation of atomic power stations do not end up in the lap of the taxpayer. A damning report from the House of Commons committee of public accounts (CPA) also criticises ministers for providing no certainity over the future cost of decommissioning Britain's existing nuclear sites - estimated at £73bn - The Guardian

One of the best-loved buildings on the New York skyline has been sold to the investment arm of the Abu Dhabi government for an estimated $800m (£400m). New Jersey-based Prudential insurance company yesterday confirmed it had sold its 75% stake in the art deco Chrysler building to the Abu Dhabi investment council - The Guardian

Plans for national road pricing should be abandoned, because higher fuel prices are already forcing drivers to cut congestion and emissions, according to the head of the AA, Britain's biggest motoring group. Figures published yesterday showed that pollution from new cars is dropping faster than at any time in the last decade, as motorists swap even family cars for smaller models - The Guardian

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