Friday, March 30, 2012
ORNL in the News

$20M plutonium project at ORNL to support space program

(Knoxville News Sentinel) Over the next two years, Oak Ridge National Laboratory will carry out a $20 million pilot project to demonstrate the lab's ability to produce and process plutonium-238 for use in the space program. Tim Powers, director of ORNL's Non-Reactor Nuclear Facilities Division, said the technology demonstration will include development of neptunium-237 targets that will then be introduced into the High Flux Isotope Reactor to produce small amounts of Pu-238...3/29

Oak Ridge National Laboratory to Partner with Knowledge Foundation for Biosurveillance Symposium in Washington, DC on June 27th, 2012

(San Francisco Chronicle) The Knowledge Foundation is partnering with the Oak Ridge National Laboratory to bring together leading experts for the Biosurveillance Symposium and Biodetection Technologies 2012. The Biosurveillance Symposium will be held in conjunction with the 20th annual Biodetection Technologies 2012 Conference in Washington, DC, taking place June 27th -29th 2012...3/29

Printing Prosthetics, Engines, And Jets

(CNN Money) Additive manufacturing is an industrial form of 3D printing that makes large complicated designs with very little waste...3/28


Faster than 50 million laptops -- the race to go exascale

(CNN) ...The first computer to break through the petaFLOP barrier was IBM's Roadrunner in 2008. But its reign as the fastest computer in the world didn't last long, with the Cray Jaguar installed at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in the United States becoming the quickest with a performance of 1.75 petaFLOPS in 2009...3/29


U.S. nukes official visits Israel, touts cooperative efforts to counter nuclear terrorism

(Knoxville News Sentinel) ...The NNSA cooperated with Israel in 2009 in installing a radiation detection system at the port to scan cargo containers "for special nuclear or other radioactive materials that could be trafficked through the international shipping system," NNSA said...3/29

Secretary Chu Announces New Institute to Help Scientists Improve Massive Data Set Research on DOE Supercomputers

( Energy Secretary Steven Chu today announced $5 million to establish the Scalable Data Management, Analysis and Visualization (SDAV) Institute as part of the Obama Administration’s “Big Data Research and Development Initiative,” which was announced this morning and takes aim at improving the nation’s ability to extract knowledge and insights from large and complex collections of digital data...3/29


U.S. and China Joust for Influence in Myanmar

(NY Times) As Chinese workers in hard hats and red overalls bulldoze deep trenches into the orange soil across northern Myanmar for gas and oil pipelines to China, China’s largest energy conglomerate is paying cash for land and trees in the pipelines’ path, and building schools and health clinics for some of the poorest people on earth...3/30

Supreme Court likely to vote on health care law Friday

(USA Today) The fate of President Obama's landmark health care law likely will be decided Friday in an oak-paneled conference room adjoining the chambers of Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts...3/29



science & technology

2 Studies Point to Common Pesticide as a Culprit in Declining Bee Colonies

(NY Times) Scientists have been alarmed and puzzled by declines in bee populations in the United States and other parts of the world. They have suspected that pesticides are playing a part, but to date their experiments have yielded conflicting, ambiguous results...3/29

Policy On High-Risk Biological Research Tightened

(NPR) The Obama administration has announced a new policy to handle the risks posed by legitimate biological research that could, in the wrong hands, threaten the public...3/30

Life-changing experiments: The biological Higgs

(Nature) Biologists may have little cause to envy physicists — they generally enjoy more generous funding, more commercial interest and more popular support. But they could have been forgiven a moment of physics envy last December when, after a week of build-up and speculation, researchers at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) near Geneva in Switzerland addressed a tense, standing-room-only auditorium...3/28

Other Stories

S. Korea: N. Korea test-fired short-range missiles

(AP) S. Korea: N. Korea test-fired short-range missiles this week from its west coast.. Two Defense Ministry officials said Friday that the testing took place Wednesday. The launches came one day after South Korea hosted a nuclear security summit of nearly 60 world leaders in Seoul...3/29

Food, Not War, Is the Biggest Threat to World Security, Argues Lester Brown

(Scientific American) Even as Iran’s nuclear program raises the likelihood of yet another conflict in the Middle East, the bigger threat is a potential food crisis in the making, says Lester Brown, founder of the Earth Policy Institute...3/29

The Top 6 Misconceptions About Credit Scores

(Forbes) Credit scores were never meant for consumers. Implemented in the 1980s for lenders and banks to provide an algorithm-based assessment of consumers’ creditworthiness, the clandestine, proprietary credit score models are the credit industry’s secret sauce and they’re selling it to every bank and lender on the market...3/29