Liquefied natural gas (LNG) is being examined as an alternative fuel to diesel for locomotive engines by a collaboration of Canadian National Railway (CN), Westport Innovations and Gaz Metro Transportation Solutions (GMTS). They are seeking to develop a prototype LNG engine for locomotives by 2013. The project has obtained a $2.4 million grant from the Canadian government-backed Sustainable Development Technology Canada, a nonprofit that finances development of clean technologies. The project initially will concentrate on an LNG system for locomotives, both in plant and field settings. GMTS will provide LNG and fuel supply logistical expertise while CN will provide the locomotive expertise, the partners said.

Southern California Edison Co. (SCE) has asked state regulators to approve retail rates to support seismic studies related to the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station (SONGS), of which it is the majority owner/operator. SCE said it will file for an additional $64 million in rates to the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC). The seismic studies are intended to expand the utility’s understanding of the seismic/tsunami conditions that could affect the SONGS site along the Southern California coast. SCE Chief Nuclear Officer Pete Dietrich said since the Japanese nuclear disaster “we have re-evaluated and enlarged the scope in order to further increase the scientific information we could obtain.” The new studies would employ 2-D and 3-D reflective mapping offshore and additional onshore evaluations. Besides SCE (78.21%), SONGS is owned by Sempra Energy‘s San Diego Gas and Electric Co. (20%) and the City of Riverside municipal utility (1.79%).

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