Friday, March 25, 2011
ORNL in the News

Bacteria-inspired solar cell devices come closer to reality

(BioScholar) Researchers from the Washington University in St. Louis and the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory are studying nature's most efficient light-harvesting systems that could pave way for a new generation of biologically inspired solar cell devices...3/24

RAE Systems Introduces Compact, All-in-One Radiation Detector and Dosimeter

(Live-PR) As part of a multi-pronged effort to support Japan responders, RAE Systems accelerated its production of the new, versatile DoseRAE 2 : instrument to make it available to local and international response teams in Japan...Instrument performance was tested and verified by Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tenn., a globally recognized lab for radiation testing...3/25

Expert: Casey's Car Definitely Smelled Like Remains

(MSNBC.com) A scent expert said Thursday that the smell from Casey Anthony's car smelled so strongly of human decomposition, that he had to step back initially. Dr. Arpad Vass, a researcher at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, is testifying at a hearing in the case Thursday about the methodology he used to test air from Casey Anthony's trunk...3/24

ORNL's research reactor down for annual spring maintenance period

(Knoxville News Sentinel) The High Flux Isotope Reactor was shut down March 19 and will remain out of operation until May 2 -- one of two lengthy maintenance-and-upgrade outages during the year.  According to Ron Crone, research reactors director at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, there are 149 different activities planned during the six-week maintenance period at the HFIR...3/24

DOE

U.S. Department of Energy Releases Radiation Monitoring Data from Fukushima Area

(DocuTicker) Today the U.S. Department of Energy released data recorded from its Aerial Monitoring System as well as ground detectors deployed along with its Consequence Management Response Teams...3/23

U.S. spent-fuel storage sites are packed

(Oak Ridger) The nuclear crisis in Japan has laid bare an ever-growing problem for the United States -- the enormous amounts of still-hot radioactive waste accumulating at commercial nuclear reactors in more than 30 states...3/24

State & Regional

Gov. Haslam's tenure reform bill passes House

(Knoxville News Sentinel) The House joined the Senate today in approving changes in Tennessee's teacher tenure system advocated by Gov. Bill Haslam.  The vote on SB1528 was 64-32 with all no votes coming from Democrats. The bill was approved earlier by the Senate 21-12, also with all no votes coming from Democrats...3/24

National

US gets its wish: NATO to assume control of Libya no-fly zone

(CS Monitor) NATO countries agreed Thursday to a plan that will allow the United States to hand over command and control of the no-fly zone in Libya...3/24

Mitt Romney hits up donors

(The State Column) Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney is making a push for financial contributions, an indication at a 2012 campaign may be close. The Wall Street Journal reports Mr. Romney has quietly launched a 15-city push to secure financial commitments from big-money "bundlers," hoping to reveal a fund-raising network...3/25

East Tennessee

Watts Bar Nuclear Reactor

Worker denies falsifying TVA reactor data

(Tennessean) A Chattanooga man has been charged with falsifying documents about the electrical safety systems at TVA's Watts Bar nuclear reactor that is under construction.  Matthew David Correll, 31, of Hixson, Tenn., who has been indicted on two charges by a federal grand jury, entered a not guilty plea in court Thursday...3/25

 

energy & science policy

Comments Requested on Important Review of DOE Energy Technology Activities

(AIP) Individuals have until April 15 to file comments with the Department of Energy (DOE) about a new review of its energy technology activities.  First recommended by the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAT), the resulting DOE Quadrennial Technology Review will “provide a content and framework for the Department’s energy programs, as well as principles by which to establish plans with a five-year horizon.”...3/24

science & technology

High Temperature SuperconductorHigh-temperature superconductor spills secret: A new phase of matter

(Phys.Org) An unprecedented three-pronged study has found that one type of high-temperature superconductor may exhibit a new phase of matter. As in all superconductors, electrons pair off (bottom) to conduct electricity with no resistance when the material is cooled below a certain temperature...3/24

North American Tool KitAncient Portable Tool Kit Shows Humans Settled North America Much Earlier Than Scientists Thought

(Popular Science) A prehistoric mobile toolkit buried in milky creek sediments in central Texas shows humans first settled North America 2,500 years earlier than previously thought. The finding could shatter the prevailing theory of paleo-American settlement, which holds that people left northeast Asia via a land bridge through the Bering Strait and settled the continent 13,000 years ago...3/24

Cold StarColdest Star Found—No Hotter Than Fresh Coffee

(National Geographic) Dubbed CFBDSIR 1458 10b, the star is what's called a brown dwarf. These oddball objects are often called failed stars, because they have starlike heat and chemical properties but don't have enough mass for the crush of gravity to ignite nuclear fusion at their cores...3/23

Other Stories

Film Legend Meshed Stardom With Her Roller-Coaster Life

(Wall Street Journal) Elizabeth Taylor, who died of congestive heart failure Wednesday at age 79, broke the mold for Hollywood celebrity by becoming a star of the first magnitude while infusing her career with the triumphs and pathologies of her freewheeling life...3/24