Monday, February 16, 2015
ORNL in the News

CobraORNL shows off 3-D printed car at international show

(WBIR) A 3-D printed car created by Oak Ridge National Laboratory made international headlines after appearing in the 2015 North American International Auto Show in Detroit. The design, made of carbon fiber reinforced plastic, honors the classic Shelby Cobra in celebration of the racing car's 50th anniversary. The coolest part: the majority of the car's 70 parts were made on a 3-D printer...2/12

Flipping the switch

(Lab Design News) Inadequate insulation is one of the largest causes of wasted energy, quickly allowing comfortable heating or cooling to disperse air outside. That's why researchers at the U.S. Dept. of Energy (DOE)'s Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) are collaborating with industry to develop a high-performance material that nearly doubles the performance of traditional insulators without a high cost premium...2/10

Science and Technology

Stefan KropelinExposing Sahara science in the shadow of terrorism

(Nature News) Fears of terrorism and political instability put some scientists off joining geologist Stefan Kröpelin on his latest expedition to unlock the secrets of the Sahara desert..2/16

Artificial ProteinArtificial proteins could bring the next biological revolution – starting with MRI

(PhysOrg) Synthetic biology, a more recent concept, focuses on the design of artificial devices or systems with biological or "bio-like" functions. This covers a wide range of applications – but perhaps the most fascinating biological "device" we could wish to emulate is the protein...2/16

Energy and Science Policy

Open records laws becoming vehicle for harassing academic researchers, report warns

(Science Magazine) The electronic age of communication is making it easier for activists, companies, and lobbying groups to use state open records laws—designed to promote transparency—to harass academic researchers they disagree with, a scientific integrity group warns in a new report...2/13

A new shot at reducing research red tape

(Science Magazine) No matter how much scientists complain about it, federal oversight of academic research isn't going away. But could it be done better? The chair of a new National Academies panel examining how the government keeps tabs on its $40-billion-a-year investment wants that oversight "to be sensible enough so that investigators have more time to do research."...2/13

 

DOE

Alexander talks UPF, nuclear deterrence, Appropriations & Ashton Carter

(The Knoxville News Sentinel) In a telephone interview Thursday evening, U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander talked about his expectations for the multibillion-dollar Uranium Processing Facility, his new role as chairman of the Senate Appropriations energy and water subcommittee, and his thoughts on newly confirmed Defense Secretary-designate Ashton Carter...2/14

Federal safety board has concerns about Y-12 seismic safety

(WVLT) A federal safety panel is raising concerns about whether some facilities at the Y-12 nuclear plant in Oak Ridge could withstand a major earthquake. The Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board recommended in correspondence this month that the National Nuclear Security Administration conduct a new evaluation of the risks at Building 9215 and Beta-2E before proceeding with a plan that would extend use of the facilities...2/12

WindmillsBattery Storage Needed to Expand Renewable Energy

(Scientific American) Storing energy remains the missing link for many clean power technologies, but DOE researchers and startup companies are racing to fill the gap. Without a way to save electricity and heat for later use, intermittent renewable energy will struggle to close price and performance differences with fossil fuels. But stored energy has advantages...2/13

Things to Know About the Federal Government's Nuke Dump

(ABC News) Valentine's Day 2014 was coming to a close. There were fewer than a dozen workers holding down the night shift at the federal government's nuclear waste repository in southern New Mexico. An alarm sounded inside the central monitoring room less than an hour before midnight. Somewhere in the underground salt caverns, radioactivity triggered the sensors. The ventilation system kicked in, forcing contaminated air through filters and then to the surface...2/13

New DOE landfill could cost $1 billion, including construction, operations

(Oak Ridge Today) A new landfill that would hold waste from cleanup work at federal sites in Oak Ridge could cost $1 billion, a project manager said Wednesday. That start-to-finish estimate includes construction and 23 years of operations...2/13