Pump failure checked
NORTH PERRY -- Government inspectors are checking into a second pump failure in two weeks at the Perry nuclear power plant along Lake Erie.
The plant was shut down Thursday when one of two pumps that recirculate coolant through the core failed. A recirculating pump dropped from high speed to low speed Dec. 23 at the plant operated by FirstEnergy Corp.
Two Nuclear Regulatory Commission inspectors were assigned to investigate Friday.
"We are looking at circumstances that led to both events," NRC spokesman Jan Strasma said. "It's too soon to say if there is a common cause."
Akron-based FirstEnergy said it would keep Perry shut down until a team of about 20 engineers determines the cause of the problems. Spokesman Todd Schneider estimated the plant, about 35 miles northeast of Cleveland, would be closed for about one week.
FirstEnergy, the nation's fourth-largest investor-owned utility, has 16 power plants and provides service in an area from Ohio to New Jersey.
Cement company sued
BALTIMORE -- A small Maryland firm is suing the international cement company Heidelberger Zement Group, claiming the company never paid for complex environmental cleanup plans that it commissioned.
Heidelberger hired the firm solely to appease environmental regulators, the suit alleges.
The civil suit, filed Thursday in U.S. District Court in Maryland, seeks $290 million in compensatory damages and $1 billion in punitive damages. It alleges fraud and breach of contract.
Eastern Materials Inc. says it was hired in 1999 to remove 20 million tons of environmentally sensitive materials from a plant in Woodsboro. The plant is owned by Lehigh Cement Company, an Allentown, Pa.-based subsidiary of Germany-based Heidelberger. The material included kiln dust or "stack dust," a byproduct of cement making.
Eastern also was hired to handle the waste from Heidelberger plants in Union Bridge; York, Pa.; Waco, Texas; Mitchell, Ind.; and Mason City, Iowa, the suit alleges.
MTV to customize shows for cell phones
NEW YORK -- "The Daily Show" is coming to your cell phone. MTV Networks, which controls "Daily Show" cable net Comedy Central, as well as MTV, VH1 and Nickelodeon, will try to reach fans anywhere, anytime through a series of deals with Verizon Wireless.
The Viacom-owned cable programming powerhouse is set to launch 3G (third-generation) video programming in conjunction with Verizon's February launch of its broadband EV-DO service.
The deal marks the first 3G wireless music entertainment available in the United States, MTV Networks said.
MTV will create special programming, taking shows such as VH1's "Best Week Ever" and Nickelodeon's "Dora the Explorer," and customizing them for cell-phone users.
Plan to buy Polaroid
MINNETONKA, Minn. -- Twin Cities entrepreneur Tom Petters plans to buy Polaroid Holding Co. for $426 million, his company announced Friday.
Waltham, Mass.-based Polaroid, best known for its instant picture cameras and sunglasses, has seen digital photography badly erode its market share.
"I'm really excited about it," Petters said from the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. "It's a great brand. It's a brand that has stayed in consumers' minds."
Vindicator wire services

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