Tuesday, March 22, 2011
ORNL in the News

Energy Corridor pushing projects

(Knoxville News Sentinel) Wasted heat from a gas turbine could be boosted by solar power, converted into electricity and sold to the Tennessee Valley Authority on peak demand days...The initiative, born two years ago, also is seeking ways to make Oak Ridge National Laboratory carbon-neutral by 2030 and to install hundreds of solar-charging stations in the area for electric cars...3/22

 

Remote system for forest protection

(Spatial Source) A new forest monitoring system in the United States uses satellite imagery, climate, soil, and weather data will help identify abnormal vegetation patterns and seasonal changes, and alert authorities of any potential threats from insects, disease, or fire. Known as Forest Incidence Recognition and State Tracking (FIRST), the multi-agency project is led by the United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service, and developed, in part, by the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory...3/22

Oak Ridge computer helps Knoxville officers catch child sex predators

(WATE-TV) Knoxville police are teaming up with Oak Ridge National Lab researchers to put more computer power into the fight against child sexual predators...3/21

U.S. Department of Energy Announces New Biofuel to Replace Gasoline

(Check Biotech) Energy Secretary Steven Chu has just announced that a research team headed up by the Department’s BioEnergy Science Center has developed a cost effective method for converting woody plants straight into isobutanol, which can be used in conventional car engines just as gasoline...Scientists from the BioEnergy Science Center (an offshoot of DOE’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory) worked with researchers from the University of California to develop a new strain of the microbe Clostridium celluloyticum...3/21

The Chinese are coming -- again and again

(Knoxville News Sentinel) Once again, in 2010, China was the biggest source of foreign visitors to Oak Ridge National laboratory -- accounting for more than 20 percent of the year's total number of foreign visitors and more than twice as many as any other country. According to information provided by ORNL's Laboratory Protection Division, the number of foreign visitors processed last year was 7,487. That's up significantly from 2009 (6,007), which, in turn, was up from 2008 (5,092). There's obviously a growth pattern...3/21

DOE

Reducing the protective force at Y-12

(Knoxville News Sentinel) The modernization plan at the Y-12 nuclear weapons plant would reduce the plant's high-security exclusion zone from 150 acres to about 15 acres -- encompassing the HIghly Enriched Uranium Materials Facility (storage complex) and the yet-to-be constructed Uranium Processing Facility...3/22

State & Regional

Eight Tennessee startups nab $50K TTDC grants

(Tech Journal South) Eight startups have won Tennessee Technology Development proof-of-concept grants of $50,000 each. The companies include 4D Medical Systems, Oak Ridge; Foundation Instruments, Collierville; LED North America; Nutraceutical Discoveries; Phenotype Screening Corp., Nashville; The University of Tennessee Research Foundation (2 grants); Venture Incite and Y12 National Security Complex...3/21

National

Japan Crisis Sparks Nuclear Waste Questions In U.S.

(NPR) The nuclear crisis in Japan is prompting scrutiny of nuclear power plants in the U.S., leading to a decades-old question: What to do with all the spent nuclear fuel produced here?...3/22

East Tennessee

America's Ancient Cave Art

(Slate) Over the past few decades, in Tennessee, archaeologists have unearthed an elaborate cave­-art tradition thousands of years old. The pictures are found in dark­ zone sites—places where the Native American people who made the artwork did so at personal risk, crawling meters or, in some cases, miles underground with cane torches...3/21

energy & science policy

Lawmakers Turn to Public on Obama Clean Energy Plan

(NY Times) The leadership of the Senate Energy Committee is seeking public input on how to fashion a bill creating the White House's national standard for generating more U.S. electricity from clean energy sources, delaying the bill's arrival in Congress...3/22

Nuclear Regulatory Commission: No changes to US nuke plants

(AP) The nuclear crisis in Japan, while severe, appears to be stabilizing and does not warrant any immediate changes in U.S. nuclear plants, a top U.S. nuclear official said Monday...3/22

A Good Hearing Before House Appropriators on FY 2012 DOE Science Programs

(AIP) This subcommittee has long been a supporter of the Office of Science,” declared Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-NJ), chairman of the House Energy and Water Development Appropriations Subcommittee...3/21

The American Astronomical Society Testifies Before House Appropriators

(AIP) On March 11, Debra Elmegreen, president of the American Astronomical Society, testified before the House Commerce, Justice, Science Appropriations Subcommittee...3/21

Inside Energy Extra

3/21 A daily report on U.S. energy policy
[ORNL users only]
- Input sought on clean energy standard
- Interior approves Shell drilling plan
- Nuclear review could yield new rules
- DOE initially OKs Texas coal plant
- US, Brazil ink oil, renewables pacts

science & technology

New model of protein folding helps researchers handle flood of genomic data

(Physorg.com) Genes are the recipes for stringing together amino acids into proteins, but the way in which those strings fold back on themselves determines their shape. So understanding genes’ roles in disease requires understanding how proteins fold...3/22

Templated Growth Technique Produces Graphene Nanoribbons With Metallic Properties

(Science Daily) A new "templated growth" technique for fabricating nanoribbons of epitaxial graphene has produced structures just 15 to 40 nanometers wide that conduct current with almost no resistance...3/21

Other Stories

Japan nuclear crisis: Suddenly, light at the end of the tunnel?

(CS Monitor) The power to operate cooling pumps, a challenge at the heart of the Japan nuclear crisis, is on the verge of being restored, and a detailed assessment by a US expert is notably upbeat...3/21