Friday, April 8, 2011
ORNL in the News

ORNL's alumina-forming austenitic alloy licensed to Carpenter Technology Corp.

(Physorg.com) Metal alloy manufacturer Carpenter Technology Corp. has licensed an alumina-forming austenitic stainless steel alloy developed at the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory. The new alloy, developed at ORNL by Phil Maziasz, Bruce Pint, Michael Brady, Zhaoping Lu, Chain T. Liu and Yukinori Yamamoto, is unique in that the composition allows for alumina scales to form on the exterior of the steel, providing significant oxidation resistance...4/7

Capillary Condensation Used to Recover Water from Diesel Exhaust

(Daily Tech) Researchers from the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory have began to develop a new process that could supply drinkable water to U.S. soldiers without putting military personnel at risk...4/7

ORNL's new chemistry digs near completion

(Knoxville News Sentinel) The $95 million project was accelerated through the help of about $60 million in Recovery Act funds, and occupancy is expected by the first of June, months ahead of schedule, according to lab officials. The three-story, 160,000-square-foot building has lots of energy efficiencies (designed for Gold LEED status), and there's room for a number of specialty labs with 21st century capabilities...4/7

Project under way to inform hydro investment decisions

(Hydroworld.com) Oak Ridge National Laboratory is working on a Hydropower Advancement Project, using funding from the U.S. Department of Energy. For many owners of hydro facilities, particularly those with smaller facilities, it is difficult to understand or quantify the return on investment of analyzing opportunities to improve efficiency and upgrade capacity, says Brennan T. Smith, PhD, an engineer with ORNL...4/7

National

Dickering on Budget Goes Down to the Wire

(Wall Street Journal) The federal government moved within a day of shutting down for the first time in 15 years Thursday, though House and Senate leaders said after a nighttime meeting with President Barack Obama that they had moved closer to a deal ahead of a deadline of Friday at midnight...4/8

DOE

Energy Secretary Steven Chu: 'Imprudent' to close US nuclear plants

(CS Monitor) US Energy Secretary Steven Chu discussed Japan's nuclear crisis, the clean-energy transition, and the future of nuclear power in the US at the Monitor breakfast April 1...4/6

Saving the history of K-25/ETTP

(Oak Ridger) One by one ... over the past 15 years ... the Department of Energy has been "slowly" taking down more than 100 World War II buildings at the East Tennessee Technology Park's Heritage Center -- known for 40 years as K-25...4/5

East Tennessee

Government shutdown would put 3,000 out of work in ET; Smokies would close

(Knoxville News Sentinel) Nearly 3,000 federal workers in East Tennessee and thousands of others across the state would be out of a job if the federal government shuts down, a scenario that now seems likely with a midnight deadline fast approaching and negotiators still failing to agree upon a spending plan...4/7

Solar industry supplier breaks ground on plant

(Knoxville News Sentinel) Economic developers are joining executives of solar industry supplier Wacker Chemical Corp. at the groundbreaking of a $1.5 billion polysilicon plant in northern Bradley County...4/8

 

energy & science policy

U.S. falls behind China in wind power

(Reuters) ...A total of 5,116 megawatts of wind power was built in 2010, about half the level the industry added in 2009, as weak electricity prices and the global economic slowdown weighed on the industry, according to the American Wind Energy Association...4/7

GE To Build Largest Solar Factory In The U.S.

(Forbes) GE announced Thursday that it’s planning to go big in solar panel manufacturing and will build the largest solar panel factory in the U.S., with an annual capacity of 400 megawatts of production of thin-film solar when it is up and running in 2013...4/7

Inside Energy Extra

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science & technology

Plans For World's Most Powerful Rocket Unveiled

(NPR) ...The new rocket, called the Falcon Heavy, is designed to carry up to about twice as much weight as a NASA space shuttle can take to orbit. It's expected to be at the launchpad at the end of next year for its first flight, with the launch likely coming in 2013...4/5

Microscopic Art Hides Inside Computer Chips

(Wired Science) Considering the expense, precision and difficulty of manufacturing computer chips, you would think the engineers designing them are pretty serious people. But it’s not all business inside a chip fab, as these microscope photos reveal...4/6

Ancient fossils hold clues for predicting future climate change, scientists report

(Physorg.com) By studying fossilized mollusks from some 3.5 million years ago, UCLA geoscientists and colleagues have been able to construct an ancient climate record that holds clues about the long-term effects of Earth's current levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide, a key contributor to global climate change...4/8

DARPA's Humanoid Robbie Never Takes His Eyes Off You

(The Atlantic) In preparation for National Robotics Week, an initiative of the Congressional Robotics Caucus, at the National Museum of American History, the Smithsonian Institution is in the process of bulking up its collection of automatons...4/6

Other Stories

From Safe Distance, U.S.-Japanese Team Draws Up Plan to Demolish Reactors

(NY Times) Hydrogen explosions. High levels of radiation. Thousands of gallons of contaminated water dumped into the sea. With the drumbeat of bad news, including another powerful aftershock on Thursday, it will take months, if not years, to stabilize the reactors and spent fuel pools that were damaged in last month’s earthquake and tsunami at the Fukushima Daiichi plant...4/7