Five weeks into the Fukushima nuclear powerplant crisis, Tokyo Electric Power Co. on April 17 announced a road map leading to a cold shutdown that will minimize radioactive emissions and allow emergency evacuations around the plant to be lifted. The six- to nine-month plan calls for building new cooling systems as well as enclosures for four damaged reactors while limiting worker exposure to high radiation. “[The work is] very challenging because of the radiation levels,” says Jacopo Buongiorno, a nuclear engineer at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Mass., who is following the crisis. The nine-month schedule, he believes, “is
The market is generally healthy and steadily growing, and margins are up for large specialty contractors. Further, advances in design tools and owner demand for collaboration are giving subcontractors a seat at the table early on in projects.