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Submission + - Vermont Yankee nuclear plant to close in 2014 (entergy.com)

stomv writes: Vermont Yankee nuclear plant is to close in late 2014, about 20 years before it's (extended) NRC operating permit expires in 2032. Vermont Yankee is a merchant plant, which means that it sells its energy and capacity on the open New England market. The three reasons cited by Entergy, the owner, to close are: low natural gas prices, high ongoing capital costs of operating a single unit reactor, and wholesale market flaws which keep energy and capacity prices low and doesn't reward the fuel diversity benefits that nuclear provides.

Submission + - X-ray generator fits in the palm of your hand (nature.com)

ananyo writes: Scientists have reported the first tabletop source of ultra-short, laser-like pulses of low energy, or ‘soft’, X-rays. The light, capable of probing the structure and dynamics of molecules (abstract), was previously available only at large, billion-dollar national facilities such as synchrotrons or free-electron lasers, where competition for use of the equipment is fierce. The new device, by husband-and-wife team Murnane and Henry Kapteyn based at JILA in Boulder, Colorado, might soon lie within the grasp of a university laboratory budget — perhaps allowing them to one day be as common in labs as electron microscopes are.

Use the Force, Luke.