Friday, March 16, 2012
ORNL in the News

Spallation Neutron Source puts the squeeze on methane hydrate cages

(Physorg.com) "What we do know right now is that when methane is taken up and released into the environment, water plays a critical role", said Chris Tulk, lead instrument scientist on the Spallation Neutrons and Pressure Diffractometer (SNAP) at ORNL...This research should lead to better models of how hydrocarbons are taken up and released in the environment."...3/15

Story Tips From the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory

(Newswise) MATERIALS -- POWGEN open for business...CHEMISTRY -- Unraveling methane’s structure...BIOLOGY -- Model tells the story...CHEMISTRY -- Workshop helps student earn publication...PHYSICS -- Searching for ‘supersolidity’...3/16

What kind of science can be produced from extreme-scale hybrid supercomputers?

(Knoxville News Sentinel) Oak Ridge National Laboratory is putting together a symposium March 28-30 in Washington, D.C. to talk about the science possibilities of extreme-scale hybrid supercomputing. Top folks in the field are expected. Check it out here. The event is being called the Accelerating Computational Science Symposium 2012...3/15

DOE

Alexander prods energy secretary on Oak Ridge mercury cleanup

(Knoxville News Sentinel) Sen. Lamar Alexander wants the government to get going on mercury cleanup in Oak Ridge, and he made his case directly to Energy Secretary Steven Chu in a Senate hearing earlier this week...3/16

State & Regional

TVA thins ranks of Bellefonte Nuclear Power Plant contractors

(Chattanooga Times Free Press) TVA on Thursday laid off about half of the 900 contractors working on the Bellefonte Nuclear Power Plant project. Bellefonte, the Tennessee Valley Authority’s half-finished plant in Hollywood, Ala., about 42 miles southwest of Chattanooga, is being readied for completion, but TVA officials say the slow pace of work on Watts Bar Nuclear Plant’s new Unit 2 reactor has forced the Bellefonte preparation work to slow...3/16

National

Why Taliban really decided to suspend talks with US

(CS Monitor) The White House responded to the Taliban announcement by reaffirming the US commitment to peace talks and insisting that the Afghanistan war will have to end with a political settlement...3/15

Defense Contractors See Hope In Homeland Security

(NPR) The Defense Department is bracing for billions of dollars in budget cuts — and that has defense contractors looking for new markets. Homeland Security is one of the most promising, particularly border security, which hasn't suffered any big cuts. So companies are lining up in hopes of landing a contract...3/16

 

energy & science policy

Obama Defends Energy Policy

(NY Times) In what has become a weekly ritual, President Obama on Thursday defended his administration’s energy policy, in the face of relentlessly rising gasoline prices, to an American public that believes he can do more to ease the pain at the pump...3/15

science & technology

Isle Royale wolves may go extinct

(AP) Scientists say the gray wolves of Isle Royale National Park are dangerously close to extinction...3/16

Graphene battery demonstrated to power an LED

(Physorg.com) Scientists in Hong Kong have reported, in ArXiv, their experiments to make a graphene battery that they say generates an electrical current by drawing on the ambient thermal energy in the solution in which it is immersed...3/16

Natural Gas a Weak Weapon Against Climate Change, New Study Asserts

(National Geographic News) Although natural gas burns more cleanly than coal, a new study argues that replacing all the world's coal power plants with natural gas would do little to slow global warming this century...3/14

Has Climate Change Really Made Thunderstorms More Powerful?

(Scientific American) Social media and new reporting systems make more people aware of extreme weather, but storms themselves do not seem to have become more severe...3/15

Other Stories

North Korea Says It Will Launch Satellite Into Orbit

(NY Times) North Korea announced on Friday that it planned to launch a satellite into orbit next month, testing a technology that the United States and the United Nations Security Council have condemned as a cover for developing and testing long-range intercontinental ballistic missiles...3/16

The Credit Cards of the Future

(Main Street) Banks and credit card issuers may be beefing up their digital offerings, but it's going to be a long time before the plastic credit card disappears...3/15