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Intel Brief – August 2011

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General Electric, Sharp recalls GE air conditioning and heating units due to fire hazard.
GE Appliances and Lighting, of Louisville, Kentucky, issued a recall June 14 for about 90,600 GE Zoneline air conditioners and heaters. The manufacturer of the equipment was Sharp Corp., of Osaka, Japan. An electrical component in the heating system can fail, posing a fire hazard to consumers. General Electric and Sharp have received four reports of incidents involving smoke and/or fire with the air conditioning and heating units. In two of the reported incidents, fire extended beyond the air conditioning and heating unit, resulting in property damage. No injuries have been reported. This recall involves GE Packaged Terminal Air Conditioners (PTAC) and packaged terminal heat pumps manufactured between January 2010 and March 2011, and are most often used in apartment buildings and commercial space. The items were sold by General Electric authorized representatives and HVAC distributors nationwide from March 2010 through March 2011.

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German nuclear waste headed to Tennessee.
The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission has approved licenses that will allow up to 1,000 tons of Germany’s low-level radioactive waste to be brought to Oak Ridge, Tennessee, for incineration. EnergySolutions, a Utah-based multinational company that operates radioactive waste disposal facilities in Oak Ridge said the process is safe when the proposal was introduced a few months ago. Company officials also said EnergySolutions has treated low-level radioactive waste – such as X-ray equipment, medical waste, or contaminated clothing and mops from nuclear plants – for American businesses and the government at Oak Ridge since the facility opened more than 20 years ago. Tennessee is the only state that allows commercial burning of radioactive waste, licensing six incinerators. The state already receives 75 percent of the nation’s low-level radioactive waste – about 41 million pounds per year, according to state records.
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Reservoir to be drained after man urinates in it.
A man urinated June 15 in a Mount Tabor reservoir in Portland, Oregon. The reservoir supplies drinking water for the city. The Portland Water Bureau (PWB) said June 15 it had taken the reservoir offline and that it will cost about $35,000 to drain, clean, and refill it. The early-morning incident was caught on grainy surveillance video. But it shows five people and a dog at Reservoir No. 1 after park hours. After unknown objects were tossed in the reservoir, a man walks up and urinates into the drinking water. It will cost more than $7,500 to empty the reservoir, and that drinking water would have sold for more than $28,000. “It’s 8 million gallons and there are people who will say it’s an overreaction,” the PWB administrator said. ”I don’t think so. I think just dealing with the ‘yuck factor.’” No one has been arrested or cited in this case. The district attorney will determine possible criminal charges. Officials said the cleaning could take several days, but customers will not be impacted.

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