Tuesday, April 2, 2013
ORNL in the News

Supercomputer Research Helps Understand Planet-forming Gases

(Tennessee Today) Many newly formed stars are surrounded by what are called protoplanetary disks, swirling masses of warm dust and gas that may potentially become celestial bodies such as planets and asteroids...A team of researchers is using the supercomputer, Kraken, to understand the nature of the gases. Kraken is housed at Oak Ridge National Laboratory and managed by UT’s National Institute for Computational Sciences (NICS)...4/1

So, what did DOE's advisory committee say about the High Flux Isotope Reactor?

(Knoxville News Sentinel) ...The High Flux Isotope Reactor (HFIR) at Oak Ridge National Laboratory provides the
highest time-averaged neutron flux of any facility in the western hemisphere. Operating at 85 MW of thermal power, it supports 11 instruments, with one more in commissioning...4/1

Photo of the Week: RoHAWKtics at Oak Ridge National Laboratory

(Energy.gov) Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam signs the robot of Hardin Valley Academy's FIRST robotics team during the dedication of DOE's Carbon Fiber Technology Facility, located at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. The RoHAWKtics team (named after their school mascot) spent an intense six weeks constructing the robot, using design, engineering, and problem-solving skills. The team will be moving on to a national competition in April...4/1

 

DOE

State works with Y-12 to develop supply network for UPF

(Knoxville News Sentinel) The Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development is partnering with Y-12 and TVA to help recruit and prepare businesses for work on the Uranium Processing Facility, a project that could cost up to $6.5 billion and pump big bucks into the state’s economy...3/1

Former supercomputer king Roadrunner to shut down today

(CNET) Four years ago, Roadrunner was the world's fastest supercomputer. But it has lost a step on today's speed leaders and will be shut down today in preparation for dismantling...3/31

State & Regional

TVA does re-check at Watts Bar

(Knoxville News Sentinel) TVA announced Monday it is reinspecting some monitoring devices at the Watts Bar Unit 2 nuclear reactor project because some of them may not have been inspected after installation...4/2

National

Visa Demand Jumps

(Washington Post) For the first time since the financial crisis, U.S. employers are expected within days to reach a limit on the yearly allotment of applications for coveted skilled-worker visas, a sign of the strengthening economy that means some employers will rely on a lottery to fill key positions...4/1

East Tennessee

Historically Speaking: Manhattan Project National Historical Park — an update

(Oak Ridger) It was exceptionally rewarding recently to see both Senator Lamar Alexander and Congressman Chuck Fleischmann sponsoring bills in the Senate and House of Representatives, respectively, calling for the passing of legislation that would create the Manhattan Project National Historical Park...4/1

Local drivers charged up about electric cars

(Knoxville News Sentinel) Knoxville EV drivers utilize public chargers at a higher percentage rate than anywhere else in the country — including runners-up San Francisco and Los Angeles, according to ECOtality, a California-based company that has spent the last two years installing charging stations throughout the country with the aid of Department of Energy funding...2/1

energy & science policy

Health Questions Key to New York Fracking Decision, But Answers Scarce

(National Geographic News) ...The combination of hydraulic fracturing with horizontal drilling has ushered in a new era of natural gas production in the United States, particularly in states such as Pennsylvania and Texas. New York, which sits on part of the same shale formation that has fueled Pennsylvania's gas boom, issued a moratorium on high-volume hydraulic fracking in 2008...4/1

science & technology

Cool It: Is the Internet Too Hot for Data Centers to Handle?

(Scientific American) The Internet may not consume nearly as much environmentally unfriendly fossil fuel as airplanes or automobiles, but the growth of cloud-based services offered by Apple, Netflix and others is forcing data centers to provide greater speed and more storage capacity...4/1

Soils in newly forested areas store substantial carbon that could help offset climate change

(PhysOrg) If you're a land manager trying to assess the potential of forests to offset carbon emissions and climate change by soaking up atmospheric carbon and storing it, what's going on beneath the surface is critical...4/1

Other Stories

Australian science embroiled in government leadership row

(Nature) Fears abound that Australian science funding will be vulnerable to cuts after a succession of changes of minister in the science-and-research portfolios amid a protracted battle for the leadership of the minority Labor government...3/26

Government Fights for Use of Spy Tool That Spoofs Cell Towers

(Wired News) The government’s use of a secret spy tool was on trial on Thursday in a showdown between an accused identity thief and more than a dozen federal lawyers and law enforcement agents who were fighting to ensure that evidence obtained via a location-tracking tool would be admissible in court...3/29

North Korea Threatens to Restart Nuclear Reactor

(NY Times) North Korea said on Tuesday that it will put all its nuclear facilities — including its operational uranium-enrichment program and its reactors mothballed or under construction — to use in expanding its nuclear weapons arsenal, sharply raising the stakes in the escalating standoff with the United States and its allies...4/2