Wednesday, March 30, 2011
ORNL in the News

Japan earthquake, tsunami spell need for preparedness

(R & D Magazine) Perhaps lost in the recent debates related to the earthquake and tsunami in Japan is that natural disasters and not nuclear energy should be the focus, says Oak Ridge National Laboratory's John Sorensen, an emergency preparedness expert....3/29

Congressmen and scientists go to bat for OR facilities

(Knoxville News Sentinel) It's not a bad time to have good friends in high places, and that's one of the reasons you see a steady stream of VIPs making visits to the Oak Ridge facilities. U.S. Reps. Chuck Fleischmann, R-Tenn., and Heath Shuler, D-N.C., were the latest to visit Oak Ridge National Laboratory....3/30

Key Plant Traits Yield More Sugar for Biofuels

(University of California, Riverside) 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....3/29

ORNL scientist's tsunami research in Samoa and how people deal with emergencies

(Knoxville News Sentinel) John Sorensen, who along with his wife, Barbara Vogt, has done some formidable research on emergency preparedness, is planning to study tsunamis....3/29


Department of Energy Launches "America's Next Top Energy Innovator"

(DOE Press Release) As part of the Obama Administration's Startup America Initiative, U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu today announced the "America's Next Top Energy Innovator" challenge, which will give start-up companies the opportunity to license groundbreaking technologies developed by the National Laboratories for $1,000 and build successful businesses....3/29

East Tennessee

Watts Bar evacuation plan reviewed after Japanese disaster

(Chattanooga Times Free Press) With Rhea, Meigs and McMinn counties all sitting within a 10-mile radius of TVA's Watts Bar nuclear facility, officials with those counties say they have a responsibility to protect residents....3/30

Other Stories

Japan to scrap stricken nuclear reactors

(BBC) Japan is to decommission four of the quake-hit reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, after failing to bring them under control....3/30


House Republican leaders turn to moderate Democrats for budget deal

(Washington Post) Having trouble finding consensus within their own ranks, House Republican leaders have begun courting moderate Democrats on key fiscal issues, including a budget deal to avoid a government shutdown next week....3/30

At London Libya meeting, the 'soft power' side of international action

(Christian Science Monitor) The meeting, in which world leaders offered humanitarian arguments for Qaddafi's ouster, established a 'contact group' to help guide the political process in the Libyan operation....3/30

State & Regional

White-tail deer farms debated

(Knoxville News Sentinel) A bill to allow white-tail deer farming in Tennessee was promoted as an economic boon for rural areas by supporters while criticized as a threat to native deer by an official of the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency and others....3/30

energy & science policy

President Obama to call for one-third cut to oil imports

(Washington Post) President Obama on Wednesday will call for a one-third cut in oil imports by 2020, part of a plan he says will reduce U.S. dependence on foreign petroleum....3/30

U.S. drops to 3rd in clean-energy investment: Pew

(Reuters) The United States fell one spot to third place in clean-energy investment last year as the lack of a national energy policy hurt purchases in wind and solar power and other technologies, a report said on Tuesday....3/30

F.D.A. Panel to Consider Warnings for Artificial Food Colorings

(New York Times) More studies suggest a link between the dyes added to Jell-O, Lucky Charms and Cheetos and hyperactivity in children, which has prompted F.D.A. scrutiny....3/30

Inside Energy Extra

3/29 A daily report on U.S. energy policy
[ORNL users only]
** Obama, GOP maneuver anew on energy
** DOE sending robot to Fukushima Daiichi
** DOE plans new push on lab technologies
** CEOs plea for continued DOE loan aid

science & technology

Entanglement can help in classical communication

((PhysOrg) When most of us think of entanglement, our minds jump immediately to quantum communication. "Entanglement has become very well known and useful in quantum communication," Robert Prevedell, a scientist at the Institute for Quantum Computing at the University of Waterloo in Ontario, Canada, believes that entanglement can be used in classical communication as well....3/30

Measurements of Winter Arctic Sea Ice Shows Continuing Ice Loss, Study Finds

(Science Daily) The 2011 Arctic sea ice extent maximum that marks the beginning of the melt season appears to be tied for the lowest ever measured by satellites, say scientists at the University of Colorado Boulder's National Snow and Ice Data Center....3/30

First Image of Mercury From Orbit

(Wired) Early Tuesday morning, NASA's Messenger spacecraft sent home the first image of Mercury ever taken from orbit around the planet. The picture, taken at 5:20 a.m. EDT on March 29, shows a wide swath of Mercury's southern hemisphere. The bright crater at the top of the image is called Debussy, and a smaller crater called Matabei lies to Debussy's west....3/30