Published: Sunday 30 April 1995

SAFE REACTORS: A new model of safer reactors is coming up, announced Framatome of France and Siemens of Germany. The 2 nuclear power reactor suppliers have joined hands to desigrethe new and improved European Pressurised Water Reactor (EPR) for export and home markets. They have floated a joint venture, Nuclear, Power International, which should be able to produce cost estimates and safety specifications for the EPR by mid1997. The 14,000 row reactor would not cost more than the existing ones. And it is likely to have good export prospects in the emerging Asian market, believes Jean-Claude Leny, president, Framatome.

CYBER MEDIA: The International Business Machines Corp (IBM) is planning to flash its new annual report into cyberspace, using both the Internet and the CD-ROM as its via-media. Internet will provide the very latest assessments to the stockholders, while the CD-ROM will feature about 15 minutes of digitalised video, including an interview with Louis V Gerstner Jr, Chairman, IBM. The company hopes that its efforts to put its best foot forward will convince the clients that it is serious about promoting new technology.

GREEN BATTLE: The war between Greenpeace International, the environmental activist group and forest products giant, Macmillan Bloedel Ltd, is hotting up. Greenpeace has accused the company of gross environmental law violations, alleging that it has found evidence of at least 86 such offences committed by it.
The Macmillan authorities have retorted angrily, accusing the environmentalists of "smear tactics". According to their annual re ort, in the last 25 years it has been involved in only 15 such cases.

SLUG BUGGING: Sanyo Electronics is putting slugs into their computers. In a novel bid to apply biotechnology to electronics the company is integrating the data processing ability of the slugs in computers. These are first given a swig of their favourite carrot juice and then a dose of bitter tasting quinine sulphate. After a while the slimy creatures try to avoid the juice knowing it will be followed by the bitter chemical. The Sanyo Laboratory is now creating mathematical equations based on the changes in frequency at which electrons in the slugs' brain oscillated during the learning process.

TRASH CASH: "Cash from trash" could be the latest statement from the house of Tatas. Tata Chemicals is an set to make a profit by recovering valuable chemicals from effluents discharged at its various plants.
The chemicals include magnesium, soda ash and calcium carbonate. Magnesium will be used to make refractory bricks which are used in fur6ces. It will be extracted from the by-product that one derives in the prepgration of gypsum. Soda ash recovered from solid waste will go into the preparation of cement, and calcium carbonate will find its use in toothpastes. All these programmes would be implemented from June 1995.

VITAL ACID: India's largest exporter of menthol and mentha products, Jindal Drugs Limited, is setting up a plant for vitamin-C or ascorbic acid production. The plant, expected t produce 2,000 tonnes per annum. of vitamin-C, would be LEI located in Taloja, Bombay. Italy's Radici Group will provide technical and financial support to the project.

The company has signed MoUs with several companies abroad. Indian companies like Glaxo, Godrej Foods, Sandoz and Roche Products have shown interest in this venture.

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