Thursday, September 9, 2010
ORNL in the News

Future is Bright for Mini Nuclear Plants According to Industry Experts

(Forbes) The nuclear industry is now dominated by giant electricity-generating power plants, but many of tomorrow's nuclear reactors will be small-some as Lilliputian as a refrigerator. They will power entire towns or even individual ships. Daniel T. Ingersoll, a senior program manager who studies small modular reactors at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, predicts rapid growth for these mini-nukes-and big investment opportunities. "Global demand could reach 500 to 1,000 reactors by 2040," he says...9/8

Dozens of child predator arrests attributed to ORNL software

(WBIR.com) A year ago, Oak Ridge National Lab developed computer software to speed up the arrests of child predators in East Tennessee. That work is now well underway. The software breaks down the main barrier standing in the way of making arrests -- time. "Many computers will hold 10,000 or 100,000 files, some images, video text, and it takes weeks to months to go through that," said ORNL Applied Software Engineering Research Group Leader Tom Potok...9/8

New Roofs Put Money In Your Pocket

(Ivanhoe Newswire) How much is your electric bill? What if there's something you can do? Mechanical Engineers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory are testing a new energy efficient roof and attic insulation system. At the heart of these technologies is a phase change material that absorbs heat during hot summer days and releases it at night..9/2010

State’s New Electric Vehicle Corridor To Connect Nashville, Knoxville, Chattanooga

(Chattanoogan.com) ..."This project will bring exciting, pace-setting change to our local region, and we are pleased to join our partners in leading its deployment,” said Dana Christensen, associate laboratory director, energy & engineering sciences, for Oak Ridge National Laboratory. “Electric vehicles represent one of many approaches that ORNL, along with DOE, is pursuing to reduce the lab's carbon footprint and meet the nation’s energy and environment challenges."...9/8

Energy saving gets simpler with Simple Control

(Knoxville News Sentinel) At Foothills Community Development, construction manager Johnny Johnston has tried out many ideas to make the low-income houses built by the Maryville nonprofit more energy efficient...In the case of several demonstration homes, built in partnership with ORNL and TVA, Simple Control's product is being used to simulate the power demand of a typical family even though no one is home. The homes, in two subdivisions in Knoxville and Oak Ridge, are being used to test cutting-edge efficient technologies and building practices in hopes of building future homes that require much less power. 'ORNL bought our early prototypes,' Miller said. 'They were very instrumental in helping us fine-tune the product.'...9/9

DOE

Y-12 plant removes additional nuke materials

(Oak Ridger) The Y-12 National Security Complex has completed the removal of nuclear materials from two more facilities, significantly reducing its classified storage area and the cost of securing nuclear materials at the site...9/8

“Accelerators for America’s Future”

(AIP) Approximately one year ago the Department of Energy’s Office of High Energy Physics held a well-attended one-day symposium followed by a series of workshops to review “the challenges and opportunities for developing and deploying accelerators to meet national needs.” Earlier this summer DOE released a 100-page report entitled “Accelerators for America’s Future” that presents the findings of the five workshops in key application areas...9/8

Secretary Chu Announces Carbon Capture and Storage Simulation Initiative

(DOE Press Release) U.S. Secretary of Energy Steven Chu announced today the creation of the Carbon Capture and Storage Simulation Initiative with an investment of up to $40 million from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act...9/8

National

U.S. Falls in Ranks of Global Economy

(Wall Street Journal) The financial crisis and its aftermath may be taking a longer-term toll on the competitiveness of the U.S. economy, according to a study by the World Economic Forum. The U.S. fell two spots, to rank No. 4 behind Switzerland, Sweden and Singapore in the Geneva-based organization's annual survey of global competitiveness. Germany climbed two notches to end in fifth place; Japan was ranked No. 6...9/9

State & Regional

Tennessee to offer $2,500 rebates on Nissan Leaf electric car

(Tennessean) State officials hope to give a boost to electric car sales with a $2,500 incentive to early buyers of the Nissan Leaf in Tennessee via a program that could later be extended to buyers of other alternative fuel vehicles...9/9

East Tennessee

Homeland Security money to boost camera usage at Neyland Stadium

(Knoxville News Sentinel) The University of Tennessee announced Wednesday it has received a $196,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security that will allow authorities to install and upgrade a close-captioned camera system at Neyland Stadium...9/8

energy & science policy

AIP Seeks Applicants for State Department Fellowship Program

(AIP) ...Issues involving S&T are at the forefront of the U.S.’s diplomatic agenda, making it essential for the U.S. Department of State to have knowledgeable scientific input. Through its State Department Science Fellowship program, the American Institute of Physics offers an opportunity for scientists to make a unique and substantial contribution to the foreign policy process by spending one year working at the U.S. State Department...9/7

Defense Science Board to Review Basic Research

(AIP) Ashton Carter, Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology & Logistics, has requested that the Defense Science Board form a Task Force to “assess matters relating to departmental planning and managing the defense basic research program.”...9/8

Inside Energy Extra

9/8 A daily report on U.S. energy policy
[ORNL users only]
- BP spreads blame for well blowout
- DOI to seek $100M for more inspectors
- Energy sectors sort out Obama plan
- DOE funds CCS computer-simulation R&D
- DOE names new manager for S.C. site

science & technology

Google Unveils Tool to Speed Up Searches

(NY Times) Google, which can already feel like an appendage to our brains, is now predicting what people are thinking before they even type. On Wednesday, Google introduced Google Instant, which predicts Internet search queries and shows results as soon as someone begins to type, adjusting the results as each successive letter is typed...9/9

Marine Scientists Seek Standards For Spill Research

(NPR) Much of the scientific effort that has followed the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico has focused on how much oil escaped and where it's gone. But biologists want to know how that oil might affect marine life over the long term, and many say they're puzzled by the lack of an organized research effort to measure the damage...9/7

Warmth of Human Bodies Waiting Below Ground for Paris Metro Will Heat New Apartment Complex

(Popular Science) Leave it to the French to do something that’s undeniably awesome yet leaves us feeling somewhat uncomfortable at the same time. An experimental heating system, being installed in a public housing project in Paris, will use the warmth generated by human bodies in a nearby Metro station to heat the building...9/8

Other Stories

Mining the Truth on Coal Supplies

(National Geographic News) ...No matter how bad coal might be for the planet, the conventional wisdom is that there is so much of it underground that the world’s leading fuel for electricity will continue to dominate the energy scene unless global action is taken on climate change. But what if conventional wisdom is wrong?...9/8