Here is our physics news roundup for Tuesday 30 October 2012.
Hitachi buys UK nuclear project from E.On and RWE
The UK’s nuclear expansion plans have been boosted after Japan’s Hitachi signed a £700m deal to start building a new generation of power plants. Hitachi is to buy Horizon Nuclear Power, which intends to build reactors on existing sites at Wylfa, Anglesey, and Oldbury, near Bristol. Hitachi is buying Horizon from Germany’s E.On and RWE, which are withdrawing from the UK nuclear market. Prime Minister David Cameron said it was a major step for the UK.
Is our postgraduate system really as bad as Kazakhstan’s?
An new report by the Higher Education Commission has placed Britain in the unlikely company of Andorra and Kazakhstan as the only three ‘Bologna Process’ countries where fewer than one-in-10 students go on to postgraduate study. The ‘league table’ measures postgraduate numbers as a proportion of those already in higher education and therefore ignores the fact Britain – for better or worse – has one of the highest undergraduate participation rates in the world. And the comparison is also tempered by the fact that many British university courses – particularly in Engineering – offer students an ‘integrated’ Master’s-level qualifications without the need for a stand-alone postgraduate degree.
Robert Winston: BBC is dumbing down science
Lord Robert Winston has threatened to leave the BBC for a rival broadcaster and accused the corporation of dumbing down its science programming. The fertility expert, who presented the BAFTA award-winning series The Human Body, said executives were more concerned with “pursuing viewing figures” than producing quality programmes.
Benefits of 4G overstated, says report
Superfast broadband is unlikely to deliver the rapid returns for the UK economy that have been predicted, according to a leading business consultancy, before Britain’s first 4G network launch on Tuesday. The Economist Intelligence Unit will say on Tuesday that expectations of big early returns from superfast fibre and mobile broadband may be overstated, even if there is greater confidence of a beneficial longer-term impact.
Financial Times (Subscription only)