Tuesday, February 15, 2011
ORNL in the News

ORNL does well in Obama budget

(Knoxville News Sentinel) The 2012 outlook for Oak Ridge National Laboratory isn't so bad, given that President Barack Obama's proposed budget released Monday calls for the shutdown of the Holifield research accelerator and reflects other belt-tightening measures that Energy Secretary Steven Chu said were a commitment to fiscal responsibility...2/15

UT-Battelle gives $140K for waterfront pavilion

(Oak Ridger) UT-Battelle has donated $140,000 to help Oak Ridge build a large pavilion at Melton Hill Lake as part of a waterfront development plan approved by the City Council in December 2009. Oak Ridge National Laboratory Director Thom Mason made the announcement at Monday night’s City Council meeting. He said the donation will help build a new 2,400-square-foot pavilion that will contain restrooms and kitchen facilities and will house up to 200 people....2/14

Death of Betelgeuse star may change night sky forever

(Tennessee Journalist) Scientists, UT alumni, professors, past and present, and amateur astronomers gathered for UT's Science Forum to hear guest lecturer and Acting Director of Science of the National Center for Computational Sciences and Theoretical Astrophysics Group of Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Bronson Messer...2/14

Administration to Push for Small ‘Modular’ Reactors

(NY Times) The Obama administration's 2012 budget proposal will include a request for money to help develop small "modular" reactors that would be owned by a utility and would supply electricity to a government lab, people involved in the effort say...A leading candidate to receive electricity from such a project is the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee, run by the Energy Department and served by the Tennessee Valley Authority...2/12

East TN home to its own Super Computer

(WBIR.com) While the Watson which will battle human contestants on Jeopardy is a breakthrough in computer technology, East Tennessee has one of the fastest computers in the world...The Jaguar Super Computer at the Oak Ridge National Lab is the second fastest computer in the world. Watson is a big and fast computer running a complex software program, but it is just a baby compared to what this computer can handle...2/14

New lignin 'lite' switchgrass boosts biofuel yield by more than one-third

(R&D Magazine) Bioethanol from new lines of native perennial prairie grass could become less costly because of plant engineering by The Samuel Roberts Noble Foundation and fermentation research at Oak Ridge National Laboratory...2/14



President's Energy Budget Invests in Innovation, Clean Energy, and National Security Priorities

(DOE Press Release) U.S. Secretary of Energy Steven Chu today detailed President Barack Obama's $29.5 billion Fiscal Year 2012 budget request for the Department of Energy, emphasizing that it is part of an Administration-wide plan to win the future by out-innovating, out-educating and out-building the rest of the world...2/12

Nuclear dump cleared for Y-12

(Knoxville News Sentinel) Tons of radioactive scrap metal have been removed from the Cold War-era scrap yard at the Y-12 nuclear weapons plant over the past 1½ years, completing one of the higher-profile cleanup efforts funded by the Recovery Act...2/13

State & Regional

Tennessee will feel pain of federal budget cuts

(Tennessean) Federal funds that rehabilitate poor neighborhoods, that preserve Middle Tennessee's musical heritage and that have helped Tennesseans rebuild homes after the May flooding will be at risk as President Barack Obama and Congress begin the tough task of turning campaign promises into concrete spending reductions...2/13


Obama’s Budget Focuses on Path to Rein in Deficit

(NY Times) With President Obama’s release on Monday of a budget for next year and House action this week on a Republican plan for immediate deep spending cuts, the nation is getting its clearest view since the president took office of the parties’ competing visions of the role of government, the urgency of addressing the deficit and the best path to long-term economic success...2/14

East Tennessee

Obama budget has no money for new Chickamauga Lock

(Knoxville News Sentinel) President Barack Obama’s recommended budget contains no money to resume building a new Chickamauga Lock in Chattanooga and has no construction money for the Kentucky Lock near Gilbertsville, Ky...2/14

Oak Ridge schools ranked No. 1

(Oak Ridger) The Roane Alliance, Roane County's economic development organization, has named Oak Ridge and Maryville schools as the two East Tennessee school systems that tied for first place in receiving the best "report cards" from the state Department of Education...2/10

energy & science policy

Harvard Study Finds U.S. Losing Race to Produce Advanced Math Students

(AIP) Casting doubts on the United States’ ability to maintain its global edge in scientific innovation, a new study from three prominent education researchers finds that the U.S. lags far behind other nations in producing high school students who are highly accomplished in math...2/11

Inside Energy Extra

2/14 A daily report on U.S. energy policy
[ORNL users only]
** DOE would gain under Obama 2012 plan
** Republicans seek deep DOE cuts in 2011
** Fewer breaks, new fees for oil/gas

science & technology

Soaking Up the Sun to Squeeze Bills to Zero

(NY Times) The west-facing windows by Jim Duffield’s desk started automatically tinting blue at 2:50 p.m. on a recent Friday as the midwinter sun settled low over the Rocky Mountain foothills...2/14

Treat science right and it could help save the world

(Science News) ...The most important aspect of science is that it’s a philosophical construct, which man (and woman) has developed to determine what is true, might be true and can be true...8/28

‘Magnetricity’ Created in Crystals of Spin Ice

(Wired Science) Electricity has a new little sister: magnetricity. A team of physicists in England has created magnetic charges — isolated north and south magnetic poles — and induced them to flow in crystals no bigger than a centimeter across. These moving magnetic charges, which behave almost exactly like electrical charges flowing through batteries and biological systems, could one day be useful in developing “magnetronic” devices...2/14

DARPA's Brain-Controlled Robotic Arm Fast-Tracked

(Popular Science) ...the DARPA arm is a modern marvel that’s taken several years, $100 million, and some of the best minds in prosthetics design, robotics, and brain-machine interfaces to develop...2/14

Why Biofuels Help Push Up World Food Price

(Time) It's easy to miss amid the drama of Egypt — though the two stories are connected — but the world is in the grip of a full-blown food crisis...2/14

Other Stories

As Egypt uprising inspires Middle East, Iran sees biggest protests in a year

(Washington Post) Violent protests erupted in Iran, Yemen and Bahrain on Monday as the revolutionary fervor unleashed by the toppling of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak rippled across the Middle East, propelling people onto the streets to demand change from a spectrum of autocratic regimes...2/15

World's top 5 economies

(CS Monitor) It's official. On Feb. 14, China was recognized as the world's second-largest economy after the United States...2/14