Tuesday, March 29, 2011
ORNL in the News

BioEnergy Science Center Studies Plant Traits to Help Yield More Sugar For Biofuels

(Biofuels Journal) New clues about plant structure are helping researchers from the Department of Energy’s BioEnergy Science Center narrow down a large collection of poplar tree candidates and identify winners for future use in biofuel production. Led by Charles Wyman of the Bourns College of Engineering’s Center for Environmental Research and Technology at the University of California, Riverside, a research team from Oak Ridge National Laboratory, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory and UCR determined that the amount and composition of lignin in the plant’s cell wall interact in an unanticipated way to influence release of sugar from the plant...3/28

Harper Awarded Contract for Complete State-of-the-Art Carbon Fiber Processing Line at Oak Ridge National Laboratory

(PRWeb) Harper International, leader in the design of thermal processing solutions for advanced materials, has finalized a contract with the United States Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory for a full pilot scale carbon fiber process line valued at greater than US$12M. The line is a custom designed conversion process to support ORNLs Low Cost Carbon Fiber research and technology transfer. The facility, to be a collaborative research center, is designed as one of the most sophisticated and capable facilities in the industry...3/29


East Tennessee

Regional robotics competition comes to Knoxville, five local teams represented

(Knoxville News Sentinel) From March 31 through April 2, five local teams will participate in a regional robotics competition at the Knoxville Convention Center as part of the 2011 season of For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology's robotics competition...3/28

Loudon landfill to provide green energy

(Knoxville News Sentinel) After nearly two years of discussion, Loudon County's Solid Waste Disposal Commission and Santek have agreed to build a landfill gas collection system at the Matlock Bend landfill. The facility will generate electricity that Santek plans to sell to TVA...3/29



Obama Defends Libya Fight

(Wall Street Journal) President Barack Obama made his case for military intervention in Libya in a speech to the nation on Monday, saying the action he directed was in U.S. interests and had already succeeded in preventing a massacre of "horrific scale.'...3/29

Traces of Japanese radiation detected in 13 US states

(CS Monitor) Radiation has been detected in the air or water in 13 states, but 'far below levels of public health concern.' Rainwater is called safe to drink. Massachusetts is monitoring milk supply...3/28


Y-12 gets award from Energy Secretary; Bechtel also recognizes Y-12 projects

(Knoxville news Sentinel) The Steam Plant Life Extension Project at the Y-12 nuclear weapons plant has won a Secretary of Energy Project Management Improvement Award...3/28

energy & science policy

Skeptical House Science Committee Reviews FY 2012 NASA Budget Request

(AIP) The central focus of a hearing earlier this month of the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee was whether NASA’s FY 2012 budget request was a path forward for the space agency...3/28

Inside Energy Extra

3/28 A daily report on U.S. energy policy
[ORNL users only]
- Little support seen for EPA compromise
- Markey queries permits after BOP report
- Review of geothermal funds lacking: IG
- Oak Ridge lab joins DOE reactor project

science & technology

Radiation From Japan Plant Seeping Into Pacific

(Discovery News) Radiation from a crippled atomic plant northeast of Tokyo has wafted into the air, contaminating farm produce and drinking water as well as seeping into the Pacific Ocean, although officials stress there is no imminent health threat...3/28

At U.S. Nuclear Sites, Preparing for the Unlikely

(NY Times) American nuclear safety regulators, using a complex mathematical technique, determined that the simultaneous failure of both emergency shutdown systems that are designed to prevent a core meltdown was so unlikely that it would happen once every 17,000 years...3/28

Architect Of The Internet, Paul Baran, Dies At 84

(NPR) In 1961, engineer Paul Baran sold a communications method called "packet switching" to the U.S. Department of Defense. It became the foundation of Arpanet, which was the foundation of the Internet and is still the way e-mails are delivered to your inbox, today...3/28

Other Stories

What is at stake if Syria's regime falls

(CS Monitor) Syria is a gateway for Iran's influence in the Middle East, but it has also been a relatively predictable neighbor for Israel. If Assad's regime comes unhinged, that could all change...3/28

School Fails Budget Test

(Wall Street Journal) Academy Heights Elementary boasts a 98% pass rate on state exams, has an award-winning math program, and is ranked the second-best kindergarten-to-fifth-grade school in North Carolina. Yet it is slated to close at the end of the school year...3/29