Thursday, February 17, 2011
ORNL in the News

The National Institute for Computational Science Relies on Puppet to Manage the World's First Academic Petaflop Supercomputer

(Super Computing Online) Puppet Labs has announced that the National Institute for Computational Science (NICS) is using Puppet as its systems management solution. NICS, a joint project between the University of Tennessee Knoxville and the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, is home to one of the world's most powerful computing complexes. With Puppet, NICS can better ensure the performance and availability of various systems such as secure essential infrastructure servers and high-performance computing systems...2/16

ORNL contractor gives $140K for Melton Hill Lake pavilion

(Knoxville News Sentinel) The contractor that manages Oak Ridge National Laboratory has given $140,000 to the city to help begin a pavilion next to Melton Hill Lake. The gift from UT-Battelle was announced this week and marks the third major gift from the contractor aimed at improving the city's waterfront...2/16

DOE

Department of Energy Finalizes Loan Guarantee for New Transmission Project

(DOE Press Release) Energy Secretary Steven Chu today announced that the U.S. Department of Energy has finalized a $343 million loan guarantee, supported by the Recovery Act, to develop the One Nevada Transmission Line, known as the ON Line project...2/15

Funding cuts threaten nuclear modernization

(Knoxville News Sentinel) The consensus of support for modernizing the U.S. nuclear weapons complex, a hugely expensive endeavor that includes a new multibillion-dollar project at Y-12 in Oak Ridge, has been described as fragile...2/17

State & Regional

TVA’s Green Power Switch?

(Metro pulse) After decades of animosity, the federal power company and its environmental critics find some accord on clean energy...2/16

National

Deficit Plan Details Emerge

(Wall Street Journal) A bipartisan group of senators is considering legislation that would trigger new taxes and budget cuts if Congress fails to meet a set of mandatory spending targets and other fiscal goals aimed at reducing federal deficits...2/17

East Tennessee

Obama’s budget could impact DOE facilities in city

(Oak Ridger) President Barack Obama's proposed budget for the 2012 fiscal year could impact activities at Oak Ridge facilities being operated for the Department of Energy...2/16

Tennessee Opens New Research Facilities At Center For Renewable Carbon

(Power Online) The University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture has opened a comprehensive research facility to accommodate faculty and industry initiatives through the new Center for Renewable Carbon. The new Bioenergy Science and Technology Laboratory is expected to enhance America's emerging biobased economy through advances in bioenergy and biofuel production economies as well as the development of new chemicals and materials from renewable carbon (biomass) sources...2/17

energy & science policy

Emissions Fell in 2009, Showing Impact Of Recession

(NY Times) Greenhouse gas emissions in the United States declined in 2009 for the second consecutive year, reflecting the impact of the recession on industrial production and overall energy use, the federal government reported on Wednesday...2/16

Inside Energy Extra

2/16 A daily report on U.S. energy policy
[ORNL users only]

- DOE's budget a non-starter with GOP
- Chu: cuts would hit nuclear security
- Chu defends $500M SPR selloff
- House rejects bid to kill ARPA-E
- US royalty scheme said 'high risk'

science & technology

Mind vs. Machine

(The Atlantic) In the race to build computers that can think like humans, the proving ground is the Turing Test—an annual battle between the world’s most advanced artificial-intelligence programs and ordinary people...2/16

Scientists connect warming to extreme rain

(NPR) Scientists have been saying for years that as the planet heats up, we will have to deal with more severe weather. But pinning any particular event — such as a specific hurricane — to global warming is difficult at best...2/16

Giant Solar Blast Headed for Earth

(Wired Science) The biggest solar blast in four years erupted late Monday, and it’s sending jets of charged particles right at Earth. The spray will spark bright auroras when it hits the magnetosphere in the next 24 to 48 hours...2/16

Thorium: the miracle cure for a new nuclear backbone?

(Nuclear Energy Insider) “Once you start looking more closely, it blows your mind away,” says Kirk Sorensen, former NASA engineer and one of today’s forward looking nuclear technologists, on the metal thorium. “You can run a civilisation on thorium for hundreds of thousands of years, and it’s essentially free,” he says...2/17

New Device Uses Electromagnetic Pulses to Detonate IEDs From a Safe Distance

(Popular Science) A new technique uses electromagnetic pulses to detonate improvised explosive devices from afar, potentially thwarting the roadside bombs that have been the scourge of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan...2/16

Other Stories

Statue of Liberty Security Plan Is Delayed

(NY Times) While in New York on Thursday, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar had hoped to announce changes in how visitors to the Statue of Liberty are screened for weapons and other hazards...2/16

U.S. Spies: Iran Split on Nuclear Program

(Wall Street Journal) A new classified U.S. intelligence assessment concludes that Iran's leaders are locked in an increasingly heated debate over whether to move further toward developing nuclear weapons, saying the bite of international sanctions may be sowing discord...2/17