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Japanese supercomputer becomes world’s fastest

TOKYO — A Japanese supercomputer has become the fastest in the world, making calculations more than three times faster than a Chinese rival, its developers said Monday. The c has achieved 8.162 quadrillion calculations per second, or 8.162 petaflops in computer jargon, according to developers Fujitsu Ltd. and the state-funded…

UN nuclear chief warns no ‘business as usual’

VIENNA (AFP) – The head of the UN’s nuclear watchdog warned on Monday that confidence in atomic energy had been “deeply shaken” by the Fukushima disaster as a conference began to debate lessons to be drawn of the crisis in Japan. “The eyes of the world will be upon us…

Toyota eyes Japan output at 90% of pre-quake level

TOKYO (AFP) – Japanese auto giant Toyota said Wednesday its domestic output would return to about 90 percent of pre-quake levels in June thanks to a faster-than-expected recovery of parts supplies. The forecast, more positive than a previous estimate of 70 percent production levels, will be a huge improvement on…

Japan to abandon nuclear power expansions, focus on green technology

Japan’s prime minister announced yesterday that further expansions of nuclear energy in the nation is now officially off the table, namely due to the ongoing disaster at the Fukushima nuclear power plant, which was crippled in March by a massive tsunami wave. The announcement means that an additional 14 nuclear…

Sprawling devastation as US storm toll tops 310

TUSCALOOSA, Alabama (AFP) – Shocked Americans on Friday sifted through the rubble from the worst US tornadoes in decades, which carved a trail of destruction across the south claiming at least 313 lives. Communities like Alabama Governor Robert Bentley’s home town of Tuscaloosa were virtually wiped off the map, and…

Over 250 killed as tornadoes ravage US south

BIRMINGHAM, Alabama — Tornadoes and storms carved a trail of “catastrophic” destruction across the southern United States, killing over 250 people in the worst US weather disaster in years, officials said Thursday. Shocked residents of cities and towns in more half a dozen states crippled by the ferocious spring storms…

At Chernobyl site, Medvedev calls for new nuclear rules

CHERNOBYL, Ukraine (Reuters) - Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, speaking at the site of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster in Ukraine, called on Tuesday for new world rules to be drawn up on safety at nuclear plants. Medvedev, standing alongside Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich at a ceremony marking the 25th anniversary of the world’s worst nuclear…

Coast Guard investigation of oil spill cites Transocean

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Serious safety lapses by oil rig owner and operator Transocean Ltd contributed to the massive blowout and spill at a BP Plc well in the Gulf of Mexico, the Coast Guard said in a report on the 2010 disaster. A Coast Guard investigation “revealed numerous systems deficiencies,…

Japan approves first $50 billion for reconstruction

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan’s cabinet approved on Friday almost $50 billion of spending for post-earthquake rebuilding, a downpayment on the country’s biggest public works effort in six decades. The emergency budget of 4 trillion yen ($48.5 billion), which is likely be followed by more reconstruction spending packages, is still dwarfed…

BP sues Gulf rig firm, shifting blame for oil spill

LONDON (AFP) – BP is taking legal action to shift the blame for the Gulf of Mexico oil disaster which devastated the environment and the group’s image a year ago, suing rig operator Transocean for damages of $40 billion (24 billion pounds). The disaster threatened to ruin BP as a…

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