In response to Japan’s Fukushima disaster, the European Commission on June 1 began stress tests on143 nuclear powerplants operated within the 23 member states of the European Union. The EC expects tests to be complete by year’s end. Later this month, the commission will invite neighboring countries, including Russia, Ukraine and Turkey, to follow suit. For the most part, stress testing is a desktop exercise to review safety factors and is already a part of the licensing procedure for nuclear plants, says Andrej Stitar, chairman of the European Nuclear Safety Regulators Group, which helped devise the methodology. “All the natural
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.