Thursday, June 16, 2011
ORNL in the News

ORNL Neutrons, Supercomputer Simulations Reveal Molecular Structure of Lignin

(HPC Wire) A first of its kind combination of experiment and simulation at the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory is providing a close-up look at the molecule that complicates next-generation biofuels...6/15

Energy can re-organize itself, even in equilibrium

(R&D Magazine) Conventional wisdom suggests that when exposing a crystal to heat, the thermal energy within the crystal would spread uniformly across the lattice. However, physicists have found that unlike the surface of water disturbed by a rock where energy spreads out in ripples, energy in a crystal can spontaneously localize in distinct nonlinear modes....6/15

State & Regional

Nuclear Plant, Left for Dead, Shows a Pulse

(NY Times) Spider webs line the 50-story cooling towers, parts have been amputated for the scrap value of their nickel or copper, and the control room still has analog dials at Bellefonte 1, a half-built nuclear plant here that was shelved 23 years ago...6/15

Fireflies, Following Their Leader, Become a Tourist Beacon

(NY Times) The secret is out about this marvelously rare and very brief annual spectacle. About a thousand tourists a night come to Elkmont, a small trailhead in Great Smoky Mountains National Park, during the two weeks each June when the country’s largest population of synchronous fireflies puts on what locals call “the light show.”...6/15

National

CIA website goes down, hackers claim responsibility

(Reuters) The public website of the Central Intelligence Agency went down on Wednesday evening as the hacker group Lulz Security said it had launched an attack...6/15

East Tennessee

Gary Powers' son to talk about U-2 incident

(Oak Ridger) More than 50 years after the fact, misinformation still abounds about his famous father and his spy plane, Gary Powers Jr. said...6/16

DOE

Department of Energy Offers Conditional Loan Guarantee Commitment for Innovative Photovoltaic Solar Power Plant

(DOE Press Release) U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu today announced the offer of a conditional commitment for a $359.1 million loan guarantee to Mesquite Solar 1, LLC to support the development of a photovoltaic solar generating project...6/15

energy & science policy

Massive Snowmelt Pits Wind Turbines Against Water Power

(The Atlantic) With weather warm and rivers raging, there is too much power available to the northwest's grid, threatening service and rate stability...6/15

NRC hearing raises questions about safety at nuclear plants

(CS Monitor) A hearing of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) pointed to apparent weaknesses in the regulation of nuclear plants...6/15

Inside Energy Extra

6/15 A daily report on U.S. energy policy
[ORNL users only]
- House panel votes to cut DOE by $5B
- House appropriator questions need for DOE
- EPA to decide soon on mercury comments
- DOE awards loan aid to Sempra solar plant

science & technology

Human cell becomes living laser

(Nature News) Scientists have for the first time created laser light using living biological material: a single human cell and some jellyfish protein...6/15

Harvest of Fears: Farm-Raised Fish May Not Be Free of Mercury and Other Pollutants

(Scientific American) Aquaculture fish, usually fed a controlled diet, are generally less exposed to mercury than their wild, free-foraging cousins. But because they are raised in the ocean they can still absorb mercury, PCBs and dioxin...6/15

Neutrinos Change Flavors While Crossing Japan: Findings Shed Light on Why Universe Is Made of Matter Instead of Anti-Matter

(Science Daily) By shooting a beam of neutrinos through a small slice of Earth under Japan, physicists say they've caught the particles changing their stripes in new ways. These observations may one day help explain why the universe is made of matter rather than anti-matter...6/15

Other Stories

Pakistan-U.S. security relationship at lowest point since 2001, officials say

(Washington Post) The security relationship between the United States and Pakistan has sunk to its lowest level since the two countries agreed to cooperate after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, endangering counterterrorism programs that depend on the partnership, according to U.S. and Pakistani officials...6/15