Tuesday, March 27, 2012
ORNL in the News

Lasers Boost Standoff Sensing

(Photonics.com) ...Researchers at the US Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory devised a technique that uses a quantum cascade laser to strike or pump a target while a second laser monitors the thermal response of the material. The measurements derived from the method can be used for the rapid evaluation of biological agents and chemicals for military, forensics, airport security, medical and quality control applications...3/26

Stephen Pennycook Wins MRS Award for Work Using Aberration-Corrected Z-Contrast STEM

(Azom.com) The Materials Research Society's Innovation in Materials Characterization Award honors an outstanding advance in materials characterization that notably increases knowledge of the structure, composition, in situ behavior under outside stimulus, electronic behavior, or other characterization feature, of materials. This year's award will be presented to Stephen J. Pennycook, Corporate Fellow of Oak Ridge National Laboratory...3/26

Eight more years of HEU fuel at HFIR

(Knoxville News Sentinel) ...One of the high-profile U.S. reactors still using HEU fuel is the High Flux Isotope Reactor at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Ron Crone, director of the Research Reactors Division at ORNL, today confirmed that the current target date for HFIR conversion is February 2020...3/27

DOE

A Basic, and Slightly Acidic, Solution to Hydrogen Storage

(Energy.gov) ...Brookhaven researchers led by chemist Etsuko Fujita announced that they had found a safe and reversible way to store hydrogen under mild (and therefore hopefully much more economical) conditions, using a newly developed catalyst...3/23

Budget cuts portend new direction for Fermilab's Long-Baseline Neutrino Experiment

(Physorg.com) Physicists working at Fermilab, the premier particle physics lab in the United States, have been asked to rework their plans for the Long-Baseline Neutrino Experiment (LBNE) in light of current and expected budget cuts...3/27

National

Obama sees progress toward securing loose nukes

(USA Today) President Obama said the international community has made great strides toward locking down loose nuclear material, but warned the threat of nuclear materials falling into the hands of terrorist remains...3/27

State & Regional

Meeting on turbines set for Vicksburg

(AP) Developers say federal approval for a pair of power-generating turbines in the Mississippi River near Vicksburg will take a bit longer than expected due to ongoing study...3/27

 

energy & science policy

Top priorities in biodiversity science agreed

(Physorg.com) Concluding a four-year global consultation, international experts have agreed on key efforts needed to reduce the on-going loss of biodiversity and associated ecosystem services...3/27

science & technology

Expedition to Undersea Mountain Yields New Information About Sub-Seafloor Structure

(Science Daily) Scientists recently concluded an expedition aboard the research vessel JOIDES Resolution to learn more about Atlantis Massif, an undersea mountain, or seamount, that formed in a very different way than the majority of the seafloor in the oceans...3/26

Global Warming Close to Becoming Irreversible

(Scientific American) The world is close to reaching tipping points that will make it irreversibly hotter, making this decade critical in efforts to contain global warming, scientists warned on Monday...3/26

The Trouble With Data That Outpaces a Theory

(New York Times) The British astrophysicist Arthur S. Eddington once wrote, “No experiment should be believed until it has been confirmed by theory.”...3/26

Nuclear Plants Could Fuel Hydrogen Future

(Discovery News) scientists say that using nuclear power could be the answer...heat from nuclear power plants -- already used to make steam that powers turbines for electricity -- could be used to make hydrogen...3/26

Other Stories

Revisiting Harvard's most successful MBA class

(Fortune) ...In the spring of 1949, when there were only 3,000 people in the world with MBA degrees, these 653 graduates entered a business world filled with promise and opportunity...3/26

Food security focus fuels new worries over crop chemicals

(Reuters) Scientists, environmentalists and farm advocates are pressing the question about whether rewards of the trend toward using more and more crop chemicals are worth the risks, as the agricultural industry strives to ramp up production to feed the world's growing population...3/27