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Friday, Dec 19th

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Oil prices plummet as OPEC decides against output cut

Oil prices plummetCrude prices collapsed Thursday after the powerful oil collective OPEC said it wouldn't intervene in global markets and cut production levels to stem a drop in prices that have fallen 30% since June.

Saudi Arabia's oil minister Ali Al-Naimi delivered the news as he left a meeting of the cartel in Vienna. He said it was a "great decision." It took OPEC's 12 oil ministers nearly 5 hours to reach a decision.

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One dead in Gulf of Mexico rig accident

Oil rig explosionThere is no pollution associated with an explosion on a drilling platform about 12 miles off the coast of New Orleans in the Gulf of Mexico, a regulator said.

The Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement said it was notified by oil and gas operator Fieldwood Energy of an explosion on its Echo Platform.

Fieldwood said one contract worker was killed and three other employees were treated for injuries at an onshore medical facility.

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South Korea shuts down nuclear reactor after crack discovered

S Korea nuclear reacgtor shutSouth Korea shut down one of its nuclear reactors Friday after a crack was detected in a steam generator tube.

The nuclear reactor at the Yeonggwang plant on the country's southwestern coast was shut down around 6 a.m.

The state-run Korea Hybrid and Nuclear Power said it will investigate the cause of the crack.

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PlayStation 4 And Xbox One Are Energy Hogs

playstation and XboxFor all their graphical improvements and multimedia functionality, there's one place where Microsoft's Xbox One and Sony's PlayStation 4 are sorely lacking: energy efficiency.

This is according to a report released on Thursday from the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), which found that both the Xbox One and the PlayStation 4 consume two to three times more electricity than the previous generation of consoles. The Nintendo Wii U is the only next-gen console that consumes less energy than the Wii that came before it, the NRDC found.

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EU court backs ‘right to be forgotten,’ orders Google to take down links

GoogleEurope’s top court struck a blow for the "right to be forgotten" Tuesday, ordering Google to delete search results shown to be “inadequate, irrelevant or no longer relevant” at the behest of members of the general public.

In a landmark decision, the Court of Justice of the European Union said the search giant and others must listen and sometimes comply when individuals ask for links to newspaper articles or websites containing personal information to be taken down.

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Shiny And New: World's Largest Solar Plant Opens In Nevada

solar plantThe world's largest solar power plant, made up of thousands of mirrors focusing the sun's energy, has officially started operations in Nevada's Mojave Desert.

The $2.2 billion, 400-megawatt , which covers 5 square miles near the Nevada-California border and has three 40-story towers where the light is focused, is a joint project by NRG Energy, Google and BrightSource Energy. The project received a $1.6 billion federal loan guarantee.

The plant, which went online Thursday, is to power 140,000 homes. It was dedicated by U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz.

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Surveillance network built to spot secret nuclear tests yields surprise scientific boon

international systemIt records sounds that no human ear can hear, like the low roar of a meteor slicing through the upper atmosphere, or the hum an iceberg makes when smacked by an ocean wave.

It has picked up threats invisible to the human eye, such as the haze of radioactive particles that circled the planet after the Fukushima nuclear accident in Japan in 2011.

The engineers who designed the world’s first truly planetary surveillance network two decades ago envisioned it as a way to detect illegal nuclear weapons tests. Today, the nearly completed International Monitoring System is proving adept at tasks its inventors never imagined.

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