From: Homeland Security News Wire
To: Scott Jenkins,
Subject: California Earthquake lessons | NY red license plates | Resizing the grid
Date: Thu Apr 10 11:03:18 MDT 2014
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Thursday 10 April 2014 vol. 8 no. 84

In Today's Issue

California implements earthquakes’ lessons

In California, government engineers study structures that did not survive the earthquake, with plans to make improvements to building codes. The most important code changes tend to occur because earthquakes uncover weaknesses in contemporary construction standards."Every time the earth shakes there’s something a little different about it,” says one official.

Emergency management
New York will issue red license plates for government emergency response vehicles

Governor Andrew Cuomo last week announced that the Department of Motor Vehicles will begin issuing the first New York State emergency management red license plates for vehicles registered to state agencies and political subdivisions such as counties, cities, towns, and villages. Vehicles that serve a critical role will be given the new emergency license plates to assure they have immediate access to locations impacted during a state emergency as well as prioritized access for assets such as emergency fuel supplies.

Food safety
Britons worry that new EU food inspection rules would risk U.K. food safety

The European Food Safety Authority(EFSA) in June will introduce a new Europe-wide food inspection regime, arguing that there is a need to modernize the food inspection process. The EFSA plans to reduce seventy pieces of detailed regulation down to a framework of five overarching laws to “reduce the burden on business.”Among other things, the new rules will replace laws that list diseases banned from the meat supply with a more general requirement on safety, health, and welfare. The EFSA claims that many of the diseases and parasites inspectors currently find are harmless to humans and are not considered major animal diseases. U.K. consumer advocates, meat inspectors, and veterinarians say the new rules threaten the safety of the U.K. food supply.

Feds struggle to plug power grid security holes

Many of the current vulnerabilities in the power grid are attributable to newly adopted smart-grid technology, which allows operators to transmit energy from a diverse pool of resources. Smart-grid technology relies on devices in remote locations which constantly communicate with substations, those access points can be compromised by hackers.

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A grid of the right size could reduce blackout risk

Scientists argue that for every animal there is an optimal size -- one which allows it to make best use of its environment and the physical laws that govern its activities, whether hiding, hunting, hoofing, or hibernating. Now, researchers are asking whether there is a "right" size for another type of huge beast: the U.S. power grid. The researchers believe that smaller grids would reduce the likelihood of severe outages, such as the 2003 Northeast blackout that cut power to fifty million people in the United States and Canada for up to two days.

Nuclear security
Lt. Gen. Frank Klotz (Ret) confirmed as DoE undersecretary for nuclear security, NNSA administrator

Lieutenant General Frank G. Klotz, United States Air Force (Ret.), was confirmed by the Senate on Tuesday, 8 April 2014, as the Department of Energy’s undersecretary for nuclear security and administrator for the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA).

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U.S. tops list of global entrepreneurs, followed by Australia and Sweden

The United States is the most entrepreneurial economy in the world, according to the 2014 Global Entrepreneurship and Development Index (GEDI). The GEDI index combines data on entrepreneurial activities and aspirations with data describing how well the country supports entrepreneurial activity in the United States and 119 other countries across the world. The United States came top, followed by Australia and Sweden in second and third place, respectively.

Carbon capture utilization and storage: from theory to reality

In spite of calls for urgent action to reduce carbon dioxide emissions to mitigate the effects of climate change, little attention and funding have been given to a technological solution that can take this greenhouse gas from a concentrated source or directly from the atmosphere, and use or sequester it. In theory, carbon capture, utilization, and storage can be considered a viable option to reduce the amount of anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions. In reality, there are significant technological, political, economic and practical hurdles for the technology to work on an effective scale.

Also noted

U.S. Energy Department sets fresh goals for securing nuclear materials | U.S. will cut deployed nuke missile force by 50 | Russia accuses West of blocking steps to protect Syrian chemicals from rebels | U.S. Navy to test laser weapon aboard ship in Persian Gulf | Louisiana Senate approves bill banning drones from flying over critical infrastructure sites| Now is time to buy flood insurance, federal officials remind | Vogtle expansion could signal future of nuclear industry | Power price recovery may be too late to aid its nuclear plants: Exelon exec | U.S. nuclear-power output slides near 1-year low after shutdowns | Half of power plant capacity additions in 2013 came from natural gas

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Progress and Modernity in Arab Societies
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