Monday, March 28, 2011
ORNL in the News

ORNL simulating Japan nuke crisis

(Knoxville News Sentinel) Some of Oak Ridge National Laboratory's best computer scientists and nuclear specialists are working long hours and weekends on computer simulations that could help in stemming the nuclear crisis in Japan...3/28

Scientists use neutrons to study properties of piezoelectric ceramics

(R&D Magazine) Stress, fatigue, and heavy loads aren't always negative elements of work—in fact, they are what attracted Jennifer Forrester to the Spallation Neutron Source at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Forrester, a research scientist working in the research group of professor Jacob Jones at the Univ. of Florida, came seeking stress at SNS as part of her work on piezoelectric ceramics...3/25

Thorium-fueled nuclear reactors — better alternative to uranium

(Grand Junction Free Press) A superior nuclear technology exists that hardly anyone has ever heard of that was partially developed 40 years ago at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Funding for thorium nuclear technology development was dropped at the height of the Cold War because it did not produce the plutonium that the U.S. wanted to build a large nuclear weapons arsenal. Those who have studied thorium technology believe it could produce electricity at a cost on par with that produced by burning coal, without the greenhouse gases...3/25

US' Titan supercomputer will dwarf China's Tianhe-1A

(TechEye) The Department of Energy has funded the building of the $100 million supercomputer that on completion will be a full eight times faster than the Tianhe-1A Chinese effort that grabbed headlines, and the top spot, back in October 2010...The machine will be housed in the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee alongside what was once the world’s fastest machine, the Jaguar, which once upon a time lead the field with 1.759 petaflops...3/24


Congressmen seek Y-12, Pantex contract extensions

(Oak Ridger) Two freshmen congressmen from Tennessee have asked federal administrators to extend management and operations contracts for the Y-12 National Security Complex in Oak Ridge; the Pantex Plant near Amarillo, Texas; and tritium operations at the Savannah River Site near Aiken, S.C...3/26

State & Regional

TN bill aims to improve domestic violence accounting by police

(WBIR) The bill, sponsored by two Memphis legislators, looks to develop a better accounting of domestic violence in Tennessee by forcing police officers across the state to create a detailed report for every domestic violence complaint within 48 hours...3/28

Tennessee immigration bills carry added costs

(Knoxville News Sentinel) Legislation targeting illegal immigration in Tennessee has been deemed too costly to taxpayers in some cases, prompting sponsors to consider revisions to lower the fiscal impact to enhance chances of passage...3/28






Obama Urged to Clear Up Confusion Over Libya Mission in Critical Address

(Foxnews) President Obama faced mounting pressure Sunday to make crystal clear what the United States' intentions are in Libya, as he prepared to deliver an address to the nation that could go a long way toward determining whether the public views his actions as reckless or just...3/27

Fiscal Showdown Looms in Capitol

(Wall Street Journal) The White House and Democratic lawmakers, with less than two weeks left to avoid a government shutdown, are assembling a proposal for roughly $20 billion in additional spending cuts that could soon be offered to Republicans, according to people close to the budget talks...3/28

East Tennessee

Knox superintendent proposes central office cuts

(WBIR) Knox County School's superintendent will present his budget proposal to the board of education Monday.  Dr. Jim McIntyre's $384.67 million budget doesn't eliminate any teaching positions, but it does call for a 7% reduction in central office staffing and a 2% reduction in athletic coaching supplements...3/27

energy & science policy

Inside Energy Extra

3/25 A daily report on U.S. energy policy
[ORNL users only]

  • Nuclear parts defects go unreported: IG
  • Nuclear-review costs uncertain: Exelon
  • Chevron gets deepwater permit in gulf
  • Delaware wind project to get DOI lease

science & technology

Debut of the First Practical 'Artificial Leaf'

(Science Daily) Scientists have claimed one of the milestones in the drive for sustainable energy -- development of the first practical artificial leaf...3/28

Future Firefighters Could Fight Fire With Blasts of Flame-Bending Electricity

(Popular Science) In some respects, firefighting technology has come a long way over the past several decades--we now have flame suppressing foams and powders for instance, as well as new ways of delivering them to the fire...3/27

Odd Saber-Toothed Beast Discovered—Preyed on ... Plants?

(National Geographic) Thriving long before the dinosaur age, Tiarajudens eccentricus was armed with an incredible arsenal of teeth for grinding, tearing, and even scaring. But the newly discovered saber-toothed mammal ancestor was a vegetarian, a new study says...3/24

Other Stories

High Court Takes Another Stab At Campaign Finance

(NPR) The campaign finance wars return to the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday. Last year, the high court, by a 5-4 vote, overturned a century-old legal understanding that barred corporations from spending money on candidate elections.

Japan Fears Nuclear Reactor Is Leaking Contaminated Water

(New York Times) Highly contaminated water is escaping a damaged reactor at a crippled nuclear power plant in Japan and could soon leak into the ocean, the country’s nuclear regulator warned on Monday....3/28

What a Sign to See at the Zoo: Cobra Is Missing

(New York Times) Visitors to the Bronx Zoo were greeted with locked doors when they tried to enter the reptile exhibit this past weekend, and with good reason: a venomous snake was on the loose...3/27