ORNL in the News

Amit Goyal: all-star inventor

(Knoxville News Sentinel) Oak Ridge National Laboratory researcher Amit Goyal has been elected a fellow of the National Academy of Inventors. According to information provided by the lab, Goyal was recognized for “having demonstrated a highly prolific spirit of innovation in creating or facilitating outstanding inventions that have made a tangible impact on quality of life, economic development and the welfare of society.”...12/16

Novel microscopy pencils patterns in polymers at the nanoscale

(PhysOrg) Scientists at the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory have used advanced microscopy to carve out nanoscale designs on the surface of a new class of ionic polymer materials for the first time. The study provides new evidence that atomic force microscopy, or AFM, could be used to precisely fabricate materials needed for increasingly smaller devices...12/17

Geothermal Heat Pumps Outperform VRF at ASHRAE Headquarters

(HPAC Engineering) In a two-year study of the geothermal-heat-pump (GHP) and variable-refrigerant-flow (VRF) heating and cooling systems installed at ASHRAE Headquarters in Atlanta, the GHP system outperformed the VRF system by a wide margin, the Geothermal Exchange Organization says....12/17

Science and Technology

Arctic Is Warming Twice As Fast As Anyplace Else On Earth

(NPR) The latest word from scientists studying the Arctic is that the polar region is warming twice as fast as the rest of the planet. And researchers say the trend isn't letting up. That's the latest from the 2014 Arctic Report Card — a compilation of recent research from more than 60 scientists in 13 countries...12/18

Microbial Spores Help Scientists Trace Distribution Patterns

(Wired News) For microbiologists, the quest to unravel the distribution patterns of microbes across the planet is as old as the discipline itself. Simply put, the central debate asks if all organisms are distributed everywhere, and the subset we observe is shaped by environmental parameters, or if dispersal itself is the limiting factor, confining species to a narrower geographical range...12/17

Energy and Science Policy

FY 2015 Appropriations: U.S. Geological Survey

(AIP) Congress has completed the FY 2015 appropriations cycle with House and Senate approval of a $1.1 trillion bill providing funding through September 30, 2015 for all departments and agencies with the exception of the Department of Homeland Security that will be funded through early 2015...12/17

States in Parched Southwest Take Steps to Bolster Lake Mead

(NY Times) With a 14-year drought in the Colorado River basin showing few signs of breaking, states along the river’s path are taking new steps this month to ensure that Lake Mead — the Colorado River reservoir that is the water source for much of the Southwest — does not fail them...12/17

DOE

UT/Y-12 partnership

(Knoxville News Sentinel) There’s a scheduled signing of a Memorandum of Understanding on Thursday between Consolidated Nuclear Security — the government’s managing contractor at the Y-12 National Security Complex — and the University of Tennessee...12/16

Update: Y-12 spill involved less than one gallon of flammable solvent

(Oak Ridge Today) The chemical spill at the Y-12 National Security Complex on Tuesday morning involved less than one gallon of a flammable solvent, and the substance has evaporated, a federal official said Tuesday afternoon...12/16

Department of Energy Announces 22 New Projects to Enable Emissions Reductions and Improve Energy Efficiency

(Energy.gov) The Energy Department’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) today announced $60 million in funding for 22 innovative new projects aimed at detecting and measuring methane emissions and developing localized thermal management systems that reduce the energy needed to heat and cool buildings...12/16

Local and State

Roane State educators complete record-breaking 73-day underwater stay

(Oak Ridge Today) After a record-breaking 73 days living underwater, two local college professors surfaced Monday and enjoyed the feel of sunlight for the first time in more than two months. They also celebrated the end of their mission to educate the public about ocean conservation, to inspire young people’s interest in science, and to make history...12/17

TVA: Kingston Ash Recovery Project nears completion

(Oak Ridge Today) The Tennessee Valley Authority is in the final stages of the Kingston recovery project. The public utility says it’s fulfilling a promise to restore the area surrounding the Kingston Fossil Plant near Harriman following the coal ash spill in December 2008, the largest ash spill in U.S. history...12/17

Professor Honored with American Physical Society Fellowship

(Tennessee Today) Thomas Papenbrock, a professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy, has been elected a fellow of the American Physical Society, the leading organization of physicists. Papenbrock was named for his “innovative theoretical approaches to the nuclear many-body problem and other finite quantum systems.”...12/17