ORNL in the News

Employee benefit cuts at ORNL; no word yet on voluntary departures

(Knoxville News Sentinel) As part of the announcement back in September that the lab was looking to cut up to 350 jobs to prepare for budget shortfalls and perceived tight budgets in the future, ORNL Director Thom Mason said management would also be evaluating changes in employees as a way to reduce costs....11/15

Jaguar #3, Kraken #11, Gaea #20 on TOP500

(Knoxville News Sentinel) The newest TOP500 list, of which UT's Jack Dongarra is a key formulator, was released this week in conjunction with the SC11 conference being held in Seattle, and ORNL's Jaguar (which is being transformed into a 10-petaflops-or-better machine known as Titan) is still No. 3 on the list....11/15

DOE

Energy Department Announces $7 Million to Reduce Non-Hardware Costs of Solar Energy Systems

(DOE Press Release) As part of the U.S. Department of Energy's SunShot Initiative, Energy Secretary Steven Chu announced up to $7 million to reduce the non-hardware costs of residential and commercial solar energy installations....11/15

Solyndra: Energy Dept. pushed firm to keep layoffs quiet until after midterms

(Washington Post) The Obama administration, which gave the solar company Solyndra a half-billion-dollar loan to help create jobs, asked the company to delay announcing it would lay off workers until after the hotly contested November 2010 midterm elections that imperiled Democratic control of Congress....11/15

 

National

Nine days left: Has the debt 'super committee' found the bipartisan middle?

(Christian Science Monitor) The deficit-reduction 'super committee' has nine days to get the nation's fiscal house in order. The closed-door sessions have produced a surprise – the revival of a nearly defunct bipartisan center....11/15

State & Regional

Millions in health dollars at risk

(Tennessean) The fate of about $242 million in federal dollars that the state health department depends upon could be in jeopardy if a special deficit committee in Washington proposes drastic cuts....11/16

Power plants put strain on TN's freshwater rivers

(Tennessean) Electricity-generating power plants in Tennessee and elsewhere put a burden on freshwater rivers, streams and underground waters that could only grow worse as droughts hit and populations increase....11/16

energy & science policy

Solyndra Highlights Long History Of Energy Subsidies

(NPR) The Energy Department has drawn stiff criticism over a government loan guarantee program that lent the company half a billion dollars, but the government has a long history of subsidizing many forms of energy...11/16.

Inside Energy Extra

11/15 A daily report on U.S. energy policy
[ORNL users only]
** Politics harder than technology: Koonin
** IG suggests closing NNSA, some labs
** Senators target DOE loan guarantees
** DOE urged Solyndra layoff delay: emails

science & technology

Scientists boost battery strength with small holes

(BBC) Batteries for phones and laptops could soon recharge ten times faster and hold a charge ten times larger than current technology allows....11/15

Erratic, Extreme Day-To-Day Weather Puts Climate Change in New Light

(Science Daily) The first climate study to focus on variations in daily weather conditions has found that day-to-day weather has grown increasingly erratic and extreme, with significant fluctuations in sunshine and rainfall affecting more than a third of the planet....11/15

The Mouse Trap: The dangers of using one lab animal to study every disease

(Slate) Standard lab rats and lab mice are insulin-resistant, hypertensive, and short-lived. Having unlimited access to food makes the animals prone to cancer, type-2 diabetes, and renal failure; it alters their gene expression in substantial ways; and it leads to cognitive decline....11/16

OTHER STORIES

Gibson Guitar ignites debate over environmental protections

(Washington Post) With the help of tea party Republicans and a Nashville Democrat, Gibson Guitar is challenging a law meant to fight illegal logging, saying it amounts to regulatory overreach....11/14