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Read the N.T.S.B.’s Preliminary Report on the Baltimore Bridge Collapse

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Read the N.T.S.B.’s Preliminary Report on the Baltimore Bridge Collapse

Contact of Containership Dali with the Francis Scott Key Bridge
and Subsequent Bridge Collapse
Marine Investigation Preliminary Report
DCA24MM031
2
Dali
2.1 Background and Specifications
The Dali, a 947-foot-long, steel-hulled general cargo vessel (containership),
was built by HD Hyundai Heavy Industries Co., Ltd. in 2015. The vessel’s draft on
departure was 39.9 feet fore and aft, with a cargo of 4,680 containers (56,675 metric
tons of containerized cargo). The ship and cargo displaced 112,383 metric tons as
loaded at departure.
Singapore-based Grace Ocean Private Limited, the vessel’s owner, owns
55 ships-a mix of containerships (including Dali), bulk carriers, and tankers. As of
March 26, Singapore-based Synergy Marine Group, the vessel manager who
provided the crew and operated the vessel for the owner, managed 55 ships under
Panama, Marshall Islands, Hong Kong, Liberia, and Singapore flags, including the
Dali. The vessel was classed by ClassNK, one of several nongovernmental
classification societies that establish and maintain standards for the construction and
operation of ships. Through construction and later periodic surveys, classification
societies confirm a vessel meets the class’s technical rules.
2.2 US Port Calls in March 2024
Since arriving from Sri Lanka to the United States on March 19, the ship had
made two other US port calls (Newark, New Jersey, from March 19 until March 21,
and Norfolk, Virginia, from March 22 to March 23). On March 23, at 0236, the Dali
moored at the Seagirt Marine Terminal in Baltimore Harbor.
2.2.1
Electrical Power Loss on Previous Day
On March 25, about 10 hours before leaving Baltimore, the Dali experienced a
blackout (loss of electrical power to the HV and LV buses) during in-port
maintenance. While working on the diesel engine exhaust scrubber system for the
diesel engine driving the only online generator (generator no. 2), a crewmember
mistakenly closed an inline engine exhaust damper. Closure of this damper
effectively blocked the engine’s cylinder exhaust gases from traveling up its stack and
out of the vessel, causing the engine to stall. When the system detected a loss of
power, generator no. 3 automatically started and connected to the HV bus.
Vessel power was restored when crewmembers manually closed HR2 and LR2.
Generator no. 3 continued to run for a short period, but insufficient fuel pressure
7 The NTSB is not aware of any other vessel power outages occurring in Baltimore or while in
its prior ports, Newark or Norfolk.
13 of 24
This information is preliminary and subject to change.

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Technology for slashing nuclear power plant waste wins Swiss backing

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Technology for slashing nuclear power plant waste wins Swiss backing

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Switzerland has endorsed a long sought-after technology known as “nuclear transmutation” to dramatically reduce the amount of radioactive waste from atomic power plants. 

Nagra, the Swiss national body that manages nuclear waste, said it had spent several months exploring the method proposed by Geneva-based start-up Transmutex and had concluded that the technology could cut the volume of highly radioactive waste by 80 per cent.

Storing highly radioactive material for hundreds of thousands of years has always been a huge and expensive problem for the nuclear industry. 

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While more than 20 countries, including the US, France, the UK and South Korea, agreed at the UN COP28 climate negotiations last year to triple nuclear energy capacity by 2050, there is currently no long-term storage site in operation. 

Finland is building the world’s first such facility, which it says will safely guard waste for 100,000 years. 

“Transmutex is trying to solve the problem we have had for a long while in nuclear, which is not safety, actually, but waste,” said Albert Wenger, an investor at Union Square Ventures, which is financing the start-up.  

Nuclear transmutation is the conversion of one element into a different form, known as an isotope, or another element altogether. Transmutation has been a concept of fascination since the days when alchemists tried in vain to turn base metals into gold.

The idea of using the technique for managing nuclear waste has been a subject of interest for decades. Several countries have launched significant programmes to explore transmutation, according to the Nuclear Energy Agency of the intergovernmental OECD. 

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Transmutex proposes to use a particle accelerator coupled to a reactor to combine subatomic neutron particles with thorium, a slightly radioactive metal. This produces a uranium isotope that then fissions, releasing energy. Unlike uranium, thorium does not produce plutonium, or other highly radioactive waste.

“If it can be demonstrated to work, you basically get the best of both worlds,” said Jack Henderson, chair of the nuclear physics group at the UK’s Institute of Physics and a researcher at the University of Surrey. “You are able to reduce the level of radioactivity produced by burning up some of the longer-lived isotopes produced in your reactor — and you get energy out at the same time.”

Franklin Servan-Schreiber, chief executive of Transmutex, said transmutation was the “first technology that has been taken seriously by a nuclear waste agency to reduce the amount of nuclear waste”. 

He said it could be used on 99 per cent of the world’s nuclear waste and would reduce the time it remains radioactive to “less than 500 years”.

“This is very significant because you can guarantee waterproof storage for 1,000 years,” he said. He added that the process also reduced the volume of waste by 80 per cent. 

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Servan-Schreiber said the idea behind the process had been conceived by Carlo Rubbia, the former director-general of the Cern particle physics laboratory. 

A potential obstacle to the viability of transmutation is the cost of set-up. The price of building a reactor coupled with a particle accelerator is unclear, but the Large Hadron Collider at Cern cost about $4.75bn. 

The study undertaken by Nagra and Transmutex found that the technology could “dramatically reduce the volume of high-graded radioactive waste and reduce the lifetime for a very significant part of that waste category tremendously,” said Matthias Braun, head of Nagra. 

Switzerland voted in a 2017 referendum not to replace its existing four nuclear reactors but Servan-Schreiber said the results gave “credence to this technology for other countries”, adding that he was in talks with at least three countries over a possible deal.

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Primate remains on the loose in South Carolina | CNN

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Primate remains on the loose in South Carolina | CNN



CNN
 — 

South Carolina authorities are searching not for a fugitive prisoner or a stolen vehicle, but rather for a resident’s wayward primate.

The search for the errant animal stretched on for a second day Saturday. The Colleton County Sheriff’s Office in South Carolina advised residents in a Facebook post on Friday that a primate is loose somewhere in the Walterboro area, 48 miles west of Charleston.

Authorities didn’t specify what kind of primate, though in a post on X, the sheriff’s office labeled the missing animal as a “primate/ape.”

According to the sheriff’s office, the animal’s owner “is attempting to capture it and has called in assistance.”

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A video submitted by a viewer of CNN affiliate WCSC shows the unidentified primate on the roof of a shed in Walterboro. An image taken by Walterboro resident Tiffany Edenfield seems to show the primate standing in the grass. It has a red face, similar to some species of baboon and macaque monkeys.

Residents in the area are advised not to approach the primate, which the sheriff’s office said “could be stressed,” and only to report sightings.

“Please monitor your pets while they are outside as a precaution,” the sheriff’s office added.

The sheriff’s office received a report of the primate “attempting to attack a resident’s dog in a yard,” according to South Carolina news station WLTX.

It’s unclear how the animal got loose or came to live in Walterboro, a city of over 5,000 people.

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South Carolina law says that it’s illegal to purchase or possess great apes – chimpanzees, gorillas, and orangutans. But it is legal to keep other wild animals as pets, according to the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control. Smaller primates like monkeys and baboons seem to fall outside the state’s law on possessing wildlife.

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G7 finance chiefs back plan to leverage frozen Russian assets to fund Ukraine

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G7 finance chiefs back plan to leverage frozen Russian assets to fund Ukraine

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G7 finance ministers have backed the idea of issuing a loan to Ukraine, secured by profits on frozen Russian assets, in an effort to secure financing for Kyiv beyond 2024.

Ministers’ discussions were based on a US proposal that circulated ahead of the gathering in Stresa, Italy, to issue a loan of about $50bn to be repaid with profits from around €190bn Russian central bank assets. The Russian assets are stuck in Belgian central securities depository Euroclear.

On Saturday, ministers said they were “making progress” on options to “bring forward” the profits, according to a draft communique seen by the Financial Times. They added that G7 leaders would be presented with options for how to construct the loan ahead of a summit in June.

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The finance chiefs also vowed to continue to press China to cut industrial subsidies that they said put western rivals out of business, and said implementing the most significant global tax deal for more than a century was “a top priority”. They also raised concerns over Israel’s plans to block Palestinian banks’ access to Israeli lenders — a measure the US and allies believe could destroy the West Bank’s economy.

The G7 — a grouping of advanced economies that includes all of Ukraine’s big western allies — wants to future-proof funding for Kyiv beyond this year, when critical elections take place on both sides of the Atlantic.

Since Russia’s invasion, Ukraine has relied heavily on western aid for military support and to fund crucial public services.

Ukraine’s finance minister Serhiy Marchenko, who attended the G7 meeting, estimated Ukraine’s budget gap in 2025 to be at “more than $10bn” for social and humanitarian needs, adding that “that gap would be much broader” if military needs were included.

He welcomed progress on a loan backed by profits, but said that for Ukraine this was only a “temporary solution for right now, but the general solution should be confiscation” of the Russian assets themselves.

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Janet Yellen, US Treasury secretary, said on Saturday that she did not “want to declare victory here prematurely”, but it was “generally viewed as promising”.

“We will put in a lot of work over the next several weeks,” she said, adding that the proposal had to be “fleshed out” before leaders could consider it.

Yellen said that officials would not be swayed by Russian President Vladimir Putin’s threat to confiscate US citizens’ assets in response. “We’re all very supportive of Ukraine, we’re not going to be deterred.”

Many details of the loan are yet to be agreed, including the amount, who would issue it and how it would be guaranteed if Ukraine defaulted on its debt or if the profits fail to materialise, according to people familiar with the discussions.

Europeans are particularly concerned with “fair-risk sharing”, an official said, fearing Europe would bear the brunt of the financial and legal risks and retaliatory action by Russia because the majority of the assets are held on the continent.

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“The proposal will clearly be a G7-branded proposal and that is why burden-sharing needs to be balanced,” Giancarlo Giorgetti, Italy’s finance minister who chaired the talks, said on Saturday.

The US has also pushed the rest of the G7 to beef up their rhetoric on trade tensions with Beijing.

China’s manufacturing subsidies undermined “our workers, industries, and economic resilience”, the draft communique said, adding that the grouping would “continue to monitor the potential negative impacts of overcapacity and will consider taking steps to ensure a level playing field”.

However, there is discord on what those next steps might be.

While the Biden Administration has already quadrupled tariffs on Chinese electric vehicles, and introduced sharper levies on other clean tech imports to protect green manufacturing jobs in the US, the European Commission has favoured investigations into Chinese subsidies for solar panels, railways and electric vehicles. Beijing retaliated against both US and European imports of chemicals.

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EU members, which are more reliant on export trade with Beijing, signalled greater reluctance to impose levies for fear of escalating a trade war.

While ministers said turning the global two-tiered tax deal agreed in 2021 by more than 135 countries into a reality was a “top priority”, an end-of-June deadline to sign a treaty underpinning one part was unlikely to be met.

Ministers, including Yellen, said opposition from India was delaying progress on the so-called Pillar One, which reallocates part of countries’ right to tax multinational companies to the places where they make sales.

“We are unfortunately at an almost dead point” on Pillar One, Giorgetti said, adding the deadline “risks being missed”.

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