Tuesday, January 19, 2016
ORNL in the News

ClostridiumStudy Seeks Nature’s Best Biocatalysts for Biofuel Production

(Lab Manager Magazine) Researchers at the Department of Energy’s BioEnergy Science Center are looking beyond the usual suspects in the search for microbes that can efficiently break down inedible plant matter for conversion to biofuels. A new comparative study from the Oak Ridge National Laboratory-based center finds the natural abilities of unconventional bacteria could help boost the efficiency of cellulosic biofuel production...1/15

ORNL to play big role in DOE’s Grid Modernization

(The Knoxville News Sentinel) Oak Ridge National Laboratory will play a big role in the Department of Energy’s Grid Modernization Initiative. DOE today announced awards totaling $220 million over three years, and ORNL is involved in more than 25 of the funded projects...1/14

X-energy Wins Department of Energy Development Grant

(International Business Times) The U.S. Department of Energy announced that X-energy has won a $40 million grant to develop the Xe-100 pebble bed High Temperature Gas-Cooled reactor (HTGR)...X-energy's team includes BWXT, Teledyne Brown Engineering, SGL Group, Oregon State University, Idaho National Laboratory, and Oak Ridge National Laboratory...1/15

Therma Camera ImageORNL's thermal cameras snoop beneath surfaces to reveal materials' secrets

(PhysOrg) Scientists at the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory are pioneering the use of infrared cameras to image additive manufacturing processes in hopes of better understanding how processing conditions affect the strength, residual stresses and microstructure of 3D-printed parts..1/18

Science and Technology

SoybeansItalian papers on genetically modified crops under investigation

(Nature News) Papers that describe harmful effects to animals fed genetically modified (GM) crops are under scrutiny for alleged data manipulation. The leaked findings of an ongoing investigation at the University of Naples in Italy suggest that images in the papers may have been intentionally altered. ...1/18


Energy and Science Policy

Senator Ted Cruz Convenes Contentious Hearing on Climate Science

(AIP) On Dec. 8, Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX), Chairman of the Senate Subcommittee on Space, Science, and Competitiveness, convened a hearing entitled “Data or Dogma? Promoting Open Inquiry in the Debate over the Magnitude of Human Impact on Earth’s Climate.”...1/15



Hazards outpace funding for old nuke facilities

The Alpha-5 building at the Y-12 nuclear weapons plant is a notorious example of a big problem facing the U.S. Department of Energy. Old nuclear facilities have outlived their usefulness, requiring their shutdown without the money available to clean them up or, in some cases, to keep them from falling apart and spreading their contamination...1/17

LANL poised to ramp up plutonium pit production, report says

(Santa Fe New Mexican) The mission of Los Alamos National Laboratory, where a lucrative management contract may soon be up for grabs, is leaning heavily toward producing more plutonium pits for nuclear warhead triggers...1/16

Statement from Secretary Moniz on Implementation Day for the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action

(Energy.gov) Implementation Day is a milestone in the effort to ensure that Iran’s nuclear program is exclusively peaceful in nature by blocking potential pathways to a bomb. As a result of years of negotiations and months of preparations for the implementation of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), Iran’s breakout time has increased from just two to three months before the agreement to at least one year...1/16

Buried nuclear waste risky, say Stanford experts

(Stanford News) Radioactive material from the laboratories that design America's nuclear weapons will have to be buried and kept away from humans for at least 10,000 years. But three Stanford experts say the safety analysis of this project needs to be revised to reflect new strategies that aim to substantially increase the amounts of plutonium to be disposed of...1/15

Local and State

Council to receive briefing on Manhattan Project park from Park Service on Tuesday

(Oak Ridge Today) The Oak Ridge City Council will receive a briefing on the new Manhattan Project National Historical Park on Tuesday. The briefing by Niki Nicholas, superintendent of the Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area, will be during a Tuesday evening work session on January 21. It will follow a special 6 p.m. City Council meeting for boards and commissions elections in the Oak Ridge Municipal Building Courtroom...1/16