Thursday, March 8, 2012
ORNL in the News

David Keim moving from Y-12 to ORNL

(Knoxville News Sentinel) David Keim, public affairs chief at the Y-12 nuclear weapons plant for the past couple of years, has accepted a new position as director of communications at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. According to Tuesday's announcement from ORNL Director Thom Mason, Keim will begin his new job March 28...3/7

An Atom-wide Antennae Created from Difference-Making Defects

( A team of researchers led by ORNL’s Juan-Carlos Idrobo studied intrinsic defects in graphene, a flat material of rising potential. Graphene consists of pure sheets of carbon atoms, arrayed in hexagonal, chicken-wire like rows. It’s stronger than steel and more electrically conductive than copper. The ultra-thin sheets have incredible possibilities, which researchers supported by the Energy Department’s Office of Science are striving to work into new applications...3/7


Laser fusion nears crucial milestone

(Nature News) This could be the year the National Ignition Facility (NIF) finally lives up to its name. The facility, which boasts the world’s largest laser, is designed to trigger fusion by imploding a target pellet of hydrogen isotopes, thereby releasing more energy than will go into the shot...3/7

Changes in warhead rehab could impact Y-12

(Knoxville News Sentinel) The 10-Year Site Plan for the Y-12 nuclear weapons plant in Oak Ridge makes a number of assumptions in projecting the plant's workload over the next decade. The first assumption on the list is: "Life Extension Program production will be at or above the current level."...3/7

House Appropriators and Authorizers Review FY 2013 DOE Request

(AIP) Energy Secretary Steven Chu testified before two important panels in the last week: the House Energy and Water Development Appropriations Subcommittee and the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee. As expected, most questions centered on energy prices and nuclear waste disposal, and to a lesser degree, DOE’s science programs...3/7



A Changing Chinese Economy Can Aid American Manufacturing

(Forbes) ...increased factory automation would reduce the primary attraction of outsourcing to China. Those robots will work just as well in American as in China—eliminating the desire for low-cost labor...3/7

Is U.S. Energy Independence Finally Within Reach?

(NPR) Rising gas prices have been the big energy story of the past several weeks. But many energy experts say that's a sideshow compared with the really big energy event — the huge boom in oil and natural gas production in the U.S. that could help the nation reach the elusive goal of energy independence...3/7

East Tennessee

OR students win robotics event with a slam-dunk!

(Oak Ridger) A team of about 20 students from Oak Ridge High School won the Top Rookie award at the For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology (FIRST) Robotics Competition held in the Knoxville Convention Center on Saturday...3/7

Use of electric charging stations growing in Knoxville

(Knoxville News Sentinel) From March to December 2011, the number of charging stations in Knoxville grew from one to 105. That's second in Tennessee only to Nashville, and greater than Memphis and Chattanooga's respective totals, according to a U.S. Department of Energy report...3/8

energy & science policy

Obama urges shift to new energy technologies

(AP) President Barack Obama on Wednesday made his most urgent appeal yet for the nation to wean itself from oil, calling it a "fuel of the past" and demanding that the United States broaden its approach to energy...3/7

science & technology

Funding uncertainty strands Spain's young scientists

(Nature News) Spanish researchers are feeling the budget squeeze — until now restricted to creditors of Spain's regional governments — as the country scrambles to negotiate a 2012 budget...3/7

A Fuel Cell That Cleans Water and Makes Electricity Simultaneously

(Popular Mechanics) The new design devised by a team of Penn State graduate researchers opens up a future of sustainable wastewater treatment...3/6

1 Year after Fukushima: Could It Happen in the U.S.?

(Scientific American) ...Could a Fukushima-scale nuclear incident happen in the U.S.? “There’s been a lot of debate on this issue,” physicist Edwin Lyman of the Union of Concerned Scientists said last week at a meeting of the American Physical Society in Boston...3/5

U.S. smartphones: Inching toward 1 million per week

(Fortune) ...By the fourth quarter of 2012, the U.S. carriers will be adding new smartphone subscribers at the rate of 1 million every week...3/7

Other Stories

Why the cyber security bill in Congress is getting big push from Pentagon

(CS Monitor) The bill would require US companies that run 'critical infrastructure' to buttress their cyber security and share certain information with the government. Critics say that's risky and unnecessary, but the Pentagon is all for it...3/7

Iran nuclear talks: delaying tactic or platform for peace?

(CS Monitor) A return to the negotiation table could relieve some of the tension that has built up over threats of an Israeli military strike on Iran nuclear targets...3/7