Tuesday, March 15, 2011
ORNL in the News

ORNL engineers streamline nuclear reactor siting process

(WBIR.com) For at least one group of Oak Ridge National Laboratory engineers, going to work every day has rarely been more thrilling."It's probably one of the most exciting, most interesting things I've ever worked on in the laboratory," said Advanced Reactor Systems and Safety Group Leader Gary Mays...3/3

Concerns rise at ORNL, nationally

(American Chronicle) As with most folks, ORNL nuclear engineer Syd Ball has learned of the devastating events in Japan in stages -- with each stage bringing new concerns. After hearing about the massive earthquake, quickly followed by a powerful tsunami, Ball worried about the well-being of his buddies at Oarai, Japan, about 50 miles north of Tokyo. Ball has visited the nuclear research complex at Oarai on multiple occasions to work on development of high-temperature, gas-cooled reactors...3/14

ORNL's research reactor built to withstand 6.0-7.0 earthquake

(Knoxville News Sentinel) In light of the nuclear emergency in Japan, everyone is asking questions about the reactors in the United States and whether events taking place in Japan could happen in the U.S...3/15

Possibility that ORNL's nuclear-simulation project could shift focus, depending on events in Japan

(Knoxville News Sentinel) I talked earlier today with Doug Kothe, director of the Consortium for Advanced Simulation of Light Water Reactors, and his colleague, Jess Gehin, about the nuclear emergency in Japan and what's taking place at the nuclear simulation project based at Oak Ridge National Laboratory...3/14

ORNL officials react to quake, tsunami in Japan

(WBIR.com) ...Nuclear engineers at the Oak Ridge National Lab said the evacuations around the plant are a good idea. "You may have further aftershocks. You may have other events happening. I think at this point the plant is in a state which is still under control but concern is can something else happen another failure somewhere else that could get the plant into trouble," said Dr. George Flanagan of Oak Ridge National Lab...3/11

ORNL scientists monitoring conditions in Japan

(WATE) [Video] Scientists at Oak Ridge National Laboratory have lots of information at their fingertips about the massive earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan. They can track the ripple effect and even estimate wave heights and something else very valuable to relief organizations. "We can get population counts within just a matter of two or three seconds," said senior research scientist Eddie Bright...3/11

ORNL scientists monitoring conditions in Japan

(WATE) [Video] Scientists at Oak Ridge National Laboratory are keeping a close watch on the developments from the Pacific following the earthquake and tsunami in Japan. The lab is equipped with sophisticated tools to monitor the situation half a world away. The power of the earthquake stirred concern in scientists at ORNL. Larry Anovitz said, "Something like this we've seen from other things on the news will cause, can cause a dramatic amount of damage both near and far away depending on how big those tsunamis are and what they hit as we saw in Indonesia a few years ago."...3/11

ORNL gets high marks on audit

(Knoxville News Sentinel) ...DOE's Office of Inspector General this week released the findings from its audit, which took place between Sept. 22, 2010, and Jan. 26, 2011, and evaluated a total of nine projects at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in California and ORNL...3/12


Statement from the White House Press Secretary on the Ongoing U.S. Response to the Earthquakes and Tsunami in Japan

(DOE Press Release) ...Officials from the Department of Energy, NRC, and other agencies have maintained contact with Japanese officials and will provide whatever assistance the Japanese government requests as they work to stabilize their damaged nuclear reactors...3/14

State & Regional

State of the State address

(Tennessean) Gov. Bill Haslam, in his first State of the State address, urged lawmakers to work together to continue reducing the size of government as Tennessee recovers from the country's worst recession in generations...3/15


Japan Triggers Shift In U.S. Nuclear Debate

(NPR) The nuclear power industry had been experiencing something of a rebirth in the United States, following decades of doubt. That's been put at risk by the crisis unfolding at a nuclear power plant in Japan in the wake of a devastating quake and tsunami there...3/14

East Tennessee

Quake in Japan may affect manufacturers in E. Tenn.

(Knoxville News Sentinel) Even if their factories escaped serious damage, last week's earthquake could still have an impact on Japanese manufacturers with a presence in East Tennessee...3/15


energy & science policy

Inside Energy Extra

3/14 A daily report on U.S. energy policy
[ORNL users only]
- Nuclear still key to US policy: Poneman
- Democrats seek nuclear-safety inquiry
- Upton expands Solyndra loan probe
- House vote on EPA by mid-April: Cantor
- In Hawaii, wind power gains appeal

science & technology

A Look at the Mechanics of a Partial Meltdown

(NY Times) The difference between a partial meltdown and a full meltdown at a nuclear plant is enormous, both in the degree of damage and in the potential release of radiation, experts in nuclear power said...3/13

Interactive: A Visual Guide Inside Japan's Reactors

(NPR) Workers at Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in the northeastern coast of Japan have been struggling to keep three reactors there from overheating...Here's a visual guide to what's going inside the reactors...3/14

Why The Fukushima Nuclear Crisis Doesn’t Equal Chernobyl

(Popular Mechanics) The crisis at Japan’s nuclear power plants is deadly serious—but even the worse case scenario is better than what happened in the Ukraine in 1986...3/14

The Day the Earth Sped Up

(Discovery News) The quake in Japan shaved about one-millionth of second off our day and tilted the planet's axis by several inches...3/14

Physicists demonstrate conditions for laser-driven fusion

(Physorg.com) Currently, commercial nuclear power plants generate electricity using nuclear fission, in which an atom’s nucleus is split into lighter nuclei. But scientists are also researching the reverse reaction, nuclear fusion, in which two light atomic nuclei fuse to form a single heavier nucleus. Compared with fission, fusion has the potential to produce less radioactive waste while still generating large amounts of energy...3/15

Other Stories

Fire and Damage at Japanese Plant Raise Risk of Nuclear Disaster

(NY Times) Japan’s nuclear crisis verged toward catastrophe on Tuesday after an explosion damaged the vessel containing the nuclear core at one reactor and a fire at another spewed large amounts of radioactive material into the air, according to statements from Japanese government and industry officials...3/15

Top 10 most nuclear-dependent nations

(CS Monitor) ...As dependent as Japan is on nuclear power, 12 nations are even more reliant it, according to the World Nuclear Association...3/13

Germany to Suspend Nuclear Extension Plan

(NY Times) German Chancellor Angela Merkel will suspend on Monday a deeply unpopular agreement to delay closing the nation's nuclear power stations, due to the crisis at a Japanese plant, sources in her coalition said...3/14