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Building research body BRE this week announced a trial road construction that uses a ferro-silicate slag as a bound aggregate. This material is a by-product of the imperial smelting furnace production of zinc.

Railtrack last week started work on a £33.4M signalling improvement at Edinburgh Waverley. These upgrades will be completed by April 2004.

The government was poised to make a decision on the future of financially stricken nuclear generator British Energy (BE) as NCE went to press. BE was rescued from bankruptcy two weeks ago with a £410M loan from the government. The loan was this week extended by two months, as negotiations over BE's future between City investors and government entered their final stages. Bondholders say they will back a bonds rights issue to save BE from receivership, secured on the firm's assets, if the government drops the climate change levy. The levy was introduced earlier this year to discourage firms from using electricity from non-renewable sources. If exempted from the levy, nuclear power can be made commercially viable, the bondholders say.

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