Monday, July 19, 2010
ORNL in the News

UT-Battelle gives OR schools $50K

(Oak Ridger) UT-Battelle is giving Oak Ridge schools a $50,000 grant to help educators prepare students for Tennessee's new higher graduation standards.  The funds will be used to identify and work with students in the early grades who need special help in math and reading, according to UT-Battelle information.  Oak Ridge National Laboratory Director Thom Mason gave the check to the Oak Ridge Public Education Foundation Thursday at a reception hosted at the Oak Ridge Chamber of Commerce to celebrate the extension...7/16

Leading Carbon Fibre Industry Event to be Held in Spain

(AZMaterials) 13th annual Global Outlook for Carbon Fibre, newly branded as GOCarbonFibre, will take place on 29-30 September at the Barcelo Valencia Hotel, Spain and will cover all current industry issues from market analysis, virgin CFRP production to CFRP recycling...In the afternoon of day 1 and morning of day 2, the conference will split into two parallel streams; Virgin and Recycling track. Virgin track will feature speakers from STRUCTIL, OAK RIDGE NATIONAL LABORATORY, NATIONAL AEROSPACE LABORATORY, DÜRR SYSTEMS as well as the open forum discussion...7/18

 

The Life-Saving Capabilities Of Storm Shelters

(Terra Daily) For 18 horrific hours on April 3, 1974, the largest and most cataclysmic tornado on record for a single 24-hour period took North America by storm... Today, a consortium of government officials and academics works to raise awareness about the life-saving capabilities of storm shelters.  The team is a who's who of researchers and atmospheric scientists and includes the Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate (S&T); the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA); the Southeast Region Research Initiative (SERRI); the Walt Disney World Resort; the International Code Council (ICC); the Federal Alliance for Safe Homes; and the Oak Ridge National Lab...7/19

Park is ORNL's new global security chief

(Knoxville News Sentinel) Brent Park, most recently director of the Remote Sensing Laboratory in Nevada, has been named associate lab director for global security at Oak Ridge National Laboratory...7/16

DOE

Obama says electric car battery prices to tumble

(Reuters) The cost of the high-powered batteries needed for a coming wave of electric cars is projected to drop by as much as 70 percent over the next five years, according to a U.S. government forecast. The forecast was released as President Barack Obama attended a groundbreaking ceremony for a battery plant being built in Holland, Michigan by a U.S. unit of South Korea's LG Chem(051910.KS) and funded by the U.S. Department of Energy...7/15

Department of Energy Cites Bechtel Jacobs for Classified Information Security and Worker Safety and Health Violations

(US DOE) The Department of Energy (DOE) today issued two Preliminary Notices of Violation (PNOV) to Bechtel Jacobs Company, LLC (BJC) as part of an ongoing effort to ensure DOE contractors maintain a safe and healthy workplace for employees  and maintain stringent information security standards...7/16

State & Regional

June Unemployment Rate 10.1 Percent

(TN.gov) Tennessee Commissioner of Labor & Workforce Development James Neeley announced today Tennessee’s unemployment rate for June was 10.1 percent, down three-tenths of a percentage point from the May rate of 10.4 percent. The June 2009 rate was 10.9 percent. The national unemployment rate for June 2010 was 9.5 percent, down 0.2 percentage point from the May rate of 9.7 percent...7/16

Taxpayers pay for political mailings

(Tennessean.com) As Election Day nears, six figures in taxpayer money has been spent cranking out mail pieces, much of it touting the accomplishments of incumbent members of the state legislature...7/18

 

National

Louisiana constructing islands in the gulf to aid in oil cleanup

(Washington Post) [Registration Required] In theory, Louisiana's plan to hold back the BP oil spill sounds awe-inspiring, like an ancient myth made possible with oil-company money: To keep out an offshore invader, the state wants to make new land rise from the sea. In reality, it looks slightly less impressive...7/19

Hillary Clinton's Pakistan trip: More talk, less action

(CS Monitor) United States Secretary of State Hillary Clinton met with Pakistani leaders today in Islamabad in an effort to shore up relations with a country vital to peace negotiations in Afghanistan...7/18 

East Tennessee

Bechtel, B&W unite on mini-reactor work

(Oak Ridger) Babcock & Wilcox Nuclear Energy Inc. and Bechtel Power Corp. have formed an alliance to design, license, and deploy a small modular nuclear power plant, the first commercially viable facility of its type in the world, a press release said...7/15

energy & science policy

Energy Research Takes a Hit in House Spending Bill for 2011

(ScienceInsider) Not-so-happy days may be here again for scientists supported by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). In a mark-up of the budget for 2011, a spending panel in the House of Representatives has trimmed the budget for DOE's Office of Science from a requested $5.121 billion to $4.900 billion. That $221 million drop is actually $4 million less than the office is getting for the current fiscal year, which ends 30 September...7/16

Inside Energy Extra

7/19 A daily report on U.S. energy policy
[ORNL users only]
** Bill aims to add loan-aid authority
** Blowout bill passes House panel
** House bill to reshape MMS advances
** EPA chief defends oil-dispersant use
** Financial reform bill heads to Obama
** Obama promotes advanced batteries

science & technology

Why Our Universe Must Have Been Born Inside a Black Hole

(Technology Review) A small change to the theory of gravity implies that our universe inherited its arrow of time from the black hole in which it was born. "Accordingly, our own Universe may be the interior of a black hole existing in another universe." So concludes Nikodem Poplawski at Indiana University in a remarkable paper about the nature of space and the origin of time...7/13

Other Stories

Arnold Kramish, Expert on Nuclear Intelligence, Dies at 87

(New York Times) Arnold Kramish, a physicist who survived an explosion while working on the Manhattan Project and later became an expert on nuclear proliferation and espionage, died on June 15 in Washington...Before graduating from college, Mr. Kramish worked in the special engineering division of the Manhattan Project at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee, Los Alamos National Laboratory in Nevada and the Philadelphia Navy Yard...7/15

Human Brains "Evolve," Become Less Monkey-Like With Age

(National Geographic) As the human brain matures, it expands in a "strikingly nonuniform" fashion, according to researchers who compared MRI scans of 12 infant brains with scans of 12 young adult brains.  The research revealed that brain regions involved in higher cognitive and executive processes—such as language and reasoning—grow about twice as much as regions associated with basic senses such vision and hearing, said study leader Jason Hill, a neurobiologist at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri...7/12