Thursday, May 5, 2011
ORNL in the News

New Research Center to Increase Safety and Power Output of U.S. Nuclear Reactors

(DOE Press Release) Today the Department of Energy dedicated the Consortium for Advanced Simulation of Light Water Reactors (CASL), an advanced research facility that will accelerate the advancement of nuclear reactor technology...The facility, headquartered at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, brings together four national labs, three industry partners and three universities in a highly collaborative effort to develop tools that will advance new generations of nuclear reactors and safely extend the life and reliability of existing plants...5/3

Cheaper Hydrogen Fuel Cells on the Horizon

(ENS) ... In a paper published April 22 in the journal "Science," Los Alamos researchers Gang Wu, Christina Johnston, and Piotr Zelenay, joined by researcher Karren More of Oak Ridge National Laboratory, describe the use of a platinum-free catalyst in the cathode of a hydrogen fuel cell...5/3

URS, CH2M Hill awarded $2.2 cleanup contract

(Tricity Herald) URS will lead a team with CH2M Hill Constructors that has been awarded a $2.2 billion contract for the remaining environmental cleanup at the East Tennessee Technology Park at the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge Reservation...The new contract covers completing cleanup of the technology park, while performing ongoing work such as facility surveillance and maintenance and various waste management operations at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the Y-12 National Security complex...5/3

Fiber-Optic Sensors Set Stage for Extreme Snipers

(Forbes) Snipers equipped with today’s most advanced high-caliber rifles can send lethal payloads over distances of up to two miles. But long-distance extreme sniping of this sort is usually beyond the abilities of even the most talented marksman. A new technology developed at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee may remove that limitation with lethal results...5/3

 

Oak Ridge National Laboratory Maximum Energy Efficiency Research Lab.

(R&D Magazine) Oak Ridge National Laboratory, whose campus is managed by UT-Battelle and primarily funded by the Dept. of Energy, is projected to begin construction on their new, $10 million, 16,600-ft laboratory devoted to energy-efficient building projects, including HVAC systems and exterior building envelope materials...5/4

Nanocone-Tips Take Solar Cell Efficiency to Next Level

(Forbes) Solar cells designed with 3-D nanocone tips can boost the light-to-power conversion efficiency of photovoltaics by a whopping 80%, according to research conducted at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory...5/2

DOE

Brinkman talks exascale computing

(Knoxville News Sentinel) When William Brinkman, director of DOE's Office of Science, was in town last month, I talked to him on a few topics -- including exascale computing. I asked him about the collaborative effort with the National Nuclear Security Administration to push the initiative, including a team competition to accelerate the development...5/4

TSCA Incinerator now ready for demolition

(Knoxville News Sentinel) The Dept. of Energy's TSCA Incinerator was shut down in late 2009 after burning more than 35 million pounds of toxic waste over two decades. Since then, Bechtel Jacobs Co., DOE's environmental manager in Oak Ridge, has been decontaminating systems and preparing the incinerator for its ultimate disposition...5/4

State & Regional

Centrifuge project funding uncertain

(Knoxville News Sentinel) USEC Inc. has issued a number of positive progress reports toward obtaining a $2 billion loan guarantee from the U.S. Department of Energy for its American Centrifuge Project, but the financing strategy that will likely determine the future of the big project is coming to a critical juncture...5/5

National

Massive Intelligence Haul

(Wall Street Journal) "The real benefit to our security from the raid by the Navy Seals is we've recovered a treasure trove of intelligence that can be used to go after bad guys all over the world," said Sen. Tom Carper, a Delaware Democrat and member of the Senate's homeland-security committee. "Our challenge now is to make the most of it and put it to the best use."...5/4

East Tennessee

Selma Shapiro dies; founder of Children's Museum of Oak Ridge

(Oak Ridger) Selma Shapiro, founder and former director of the Children's Museum of Oak Ridge died overnight, according to Children's Museum officials...5/3

Ten National Merit finalists chosen from Oak Ridge

(Oak Ridger) Ten students at Oak Ridge High School have been named National Merit finalists by the National Merit Scholarship Corp...5/4

Knoxville among best midsize city job markets

(Knoxville News Sentinel) ...Knoxville was ranked No. 9 among midsize cities on Forbes' 2011 "Best Cities for Jobs" list published earlier this week. That's an improvement of 34 spots from last year's list...5/5

energy & science policy

Inside Energy Extra

5/4 A daily report on U.S. energy policy
[ORNL users only]
- Texas asks court to review EPA action
- FERC, EPA cooperating on reliability
- Republicans hit Jaczko over DOE review
- Need seen for more energy cybersecurity
- Industry calls for more teamwork on CCS

science & technology

52 Years and $750 Million Prove Einstein Was Right

(NY Times) In a tour de force of technology and just plain stubbornness spanning half a century and costing more than $750 million, a team of experimenters from Stanford University reported on Wednesday that a set of orbiting gyroscopes had detected a slight sag and an even slighter twist in space-time...5/4

Climate Scientists Told to 'Stop Speaking in Code'

(NY Times) Climate scientists at a major conference on Arctic warming have been told to use plain language to explain the dramatic melt in the region to non-experts...5/4

How Biometrics Helped to Identify the Master Terrorist

(Scientific American) A toolkit used to identify Osama bin Laden in his hideout was probably a lot like the handheld devices used by U.S. soldierr...5/2

US removes gray wolf from endangered list

(Physorg.com) The US government said Wednesday it is formally removing about 1,300 gray wolves in the Rocky Mountain region from the endangered species list, acting on the orders of Congress last month...5/3

CERN Physicists Trap Antimatter for a Record-Breaking Quarter Hour, Observe It

(Popular Science) Scientists working on the Antihydrogen Laser Physics Apparatus (ALPHA) at Cern’s particle physics laboratory had very exciting quarter hour recently. The team conjured and contained atoms of antihydrogen for a full 1,000 seconds--that’s nearly 17 minutes and 10,000 times longer than they were previously able to keep antimatter around before it disappeared in burst of particle-on-particle annihilations...5/3

Other Stories

In Bin Laden’s Compound, Seals’ All-Star Team

(NY Times) There were 79 people on the assault team that killed Osama bin Laden, but in the end, the success of the mission turned on some two dozen men who landed inside the Qaeda leader’s compound, made their way to his bedroom and shot him at close range — all while knowing that the president of the United States was keeping watch from Washington...5/4

Russia praises bin Laden operation, seeks greater counterterror cooperation with US

(CS Monitor) The Kremlin has warmly welcomed the US operation that killed Osama bin Laden – who got his start killing Soviet soldiers in Afghanistan – and urged Washington to use the occasion to explore joint efforts to fight terrorism...5/4

Workers enter damaged reactor building for 1st time since right after earthquake

(AP) Workers entered one of the damaged reactor buildings at Japan’s stricken nuclear power plant Thursday for the first time since it was rocked by an explosion in the days after a devastating earthquake, the country’s nuclear safety agency said...5/4