Sunday, August 22, 2010

Nuclear liability bill

The “Civil Liability for Nuclear Damage Bill, 2010” is presently under consideration of the Indian Parliament. The changes sought in the draft forwarded by the Parliamentary Standing committee need to be carefully looked into.

Suppliers liability: The formulation of Clause 17 (b) proposed in the amendment is worse than the provision contained in the original bill. The new amendment proposed by the government would require proof that sub-standard equipment or material was "consequence of an act done with the intent to cause nuclear damage". Practically speaking it is impossible to prove such an ‘intent’. It would make it impossible to ascribe liability to suppliers of equipment for nuclear plants. It goes against the formulation suggested by the Standing Committee, which does not require any such proof on the intent of the supplier.

Operation of nuclear installation: The standing committee had categorically recommended that there will be no private operator of nuclear installation. After the experience of Bhopal gas tragedy and its aftermath, the government should not allow any private operator for the nuclear installation.

Limit on compensation for accidents: There should no limits put on the compensation. The compensation must be commensurate with the extent of damage.  


Nanoscale DNA sequencing could spur revolution in personal health care

ScienceDaily (2010-08-21) -- In experiments with potentially broad health care implications, researchers have devised a method that works at a very small scale to sequence DNA quickly and relatively inexpensively. That could open the door for more effective individualized medicine, for example providing blueprints of genetic predispositions for specific conditions and diseases such as cancer, diabetes or addiction.


Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Warmest year-to-date global temperature on record

ScienceDaily (2010-08-17) -- The combined global land and ocean surface temperature made this July the second warmest on record, behind 1998, and the warmest averaged January-July on record. The global average land surface temperature for July and January-July was warmest on record. The global ocean surface temperature for July was the fifth warmest, and for January-July 2010 was the second warmest on record, behind 1998.


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