News In Brief

World first

Russia this week used a submarine to put a satellite into orbit the first time any nation has done this. The 10kg German Tubsat-N satellite was put into space by a rocket launched from the Russian nuclear submarine Novomoskovsk in the Arctic Barents Sea.

Export help

British engineering firms looking to export to Poland, Russia and the Baltic States can get help from a new, non-profit body, the Central & Eastern European Business Bureau. Supported by EU money, it is based in Umist, Manchester, and has established export centres in Warsaw, St Petersburg, Riga and Kiev.

Field HQ contract

British Aerospace Defence Systems has won a £4m contract to supply the RAF with Phase 1 of a pilot version of the computerised Joint Air Component Headquarters. It will coordinate the air power of UK forces and allied aircraft used in out-of-area operations.

Miners challenged

The Government has begun a legal challenge to its liability for former miners who developed the condition known as Vibration White Finger. Since seven miners won damages totalling £140,000 last year for VWF, a further 25,000 claims have been lodged, suggesting a possible liability of £500m.

Remote clean up

BNFL Instruments will provide four gamma camera systems to enable the remote monitoring and retrieval of potentially lethal historical waste including spent fuel residues and cladding from two old storage buildings at Sellafield.

Pay strike

Workers at United Utilities voted this week to strike in pursuit of their pay claim, amid complaints that staff on personal contracts had been offered almost double the 3.7% rise offered to union members.