Friday, April 9, 2010
ORNL in the News

Nuclear Waste May Get A Second Life

(NPR) Less than 1 percent of spent reactor fuel is made up of the nasty radioactive elements that last hundreds of thousands of years. And Sherrell Greene at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee says the technology to remove those elements from waste is as old as nuclear reactors themselves....4/9

Time to Update the Periodic Table? Not So Fast

(AOL News) Despite this week's torrent of news reports breathlessly proclaiming the discovery of a brand-new element, it will not be showing up on the periodic table anytime soon. "It will take many, many years for someone to confirm these results," said Dawn A. Shaughnessy, research chemist at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California.... Shaughnessy stressed that instrumentally, her team's observation would not have been possible without Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee, which provided the initial rare target material, berkelium....4/8

Separation of benefits at ORNL/Y-12

(Knoxville News Sentinel) ORNL and Y-12 will separate the administration of health and welfare benefits along with the pension and savings plans in late summer of 2010....4/8

Element 117: How Scientists Found the Atom at the End of the Material World

(FOX News) Five years of preparation, eight months collecting a few drops of precious radioactive material from a nuclear reactor in Tennessee, five trans-Atlantic flights, millions in research dollars and rubles, and six months of nearly 24-hour-a-day bombardment in a Russian particle accelerator have come to this: Element 117. "We saw immediately that this was an interesting experiment to both sides and that working together we could accomplish something that was pretty exciting," recalled James Roberto, who was then the deputy director for science and technology at Oak Ridge....4/8

SEC wins another Recovery Act contract at ORNL; potential cap of $50.2 million

(Knoxville News Sentinel) Safety and Ecology Corp., a small business based in Knoxville, has won another task order under the Dept. of Energy's Recovery Act cleanup program and will demolish and clean up a series of old hot cells at Oak Ridge National Laboratory....4/8

Morris College gets $3M in federal money

(The Item [Sumter, SC]) Morris College has been awarded almost $3 million in federal money to improve its courses in environmental health and safety. The private college won the grant with a proposal titled "Preparing Students for Graduate and Research Careers and Professional Careers in Environmental Management." Dr. Radman Ali, chairman of the college's Division of Natural Sciences and Mathematics, said these objectives can be met by sending students to places like Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee. "The grant will help pay stipend, housing and travel (expenses)," he said....4/9


Obama Administration Announces Nearly $100 Million for Smart Grid Workforce Training and Development

(DOE News Release) U.S. Secretary of Energy Steven Chu announced today that the Department of Energy is announcing award selections for nearly $100 million for 54 smart grid workforce training programs that will help prepare the next generation of workers in the utility and electrical manufacturing industries....4/7

Y-12 finishes initial HEUMF loading ahead of schedule

(Oak Ridger) Officials at the Y-12 National Security Complex announced Thursday that they have finished the transfer of enriched uranium from a warehouse in operation since the 1940s into the nation's new Highly Enriched Uranium Materials Facility -- more than two weeks ahead of an already highly accelerated schedule....4/8

'Little Chamber of Horrors'

(Knoxville News Sentinel) Cylinders of technetium compounds -- notably pertechnetyl fluoride -- are inherently dangerous and will be among the greatest hazards that anybody has to deal with at the K-25 site....4/8


Analysis: Treaty focuses on a threat from the past

(Washington Post) The new U.S.-Russian atomic weapons treaty, hailed by both sides as a historic step in arms control, focuses on relics of the past and not the suitcase bomb or other devices that inspire today's nuclear nightmares....4/9 [Registration Required]

Crews Forced Back Out Of West Virginia Mine

(NPR) Searchers desperately hoping to find up to four survivors of a mine blast that killed 25 went back underground early Friday but were soon forced back out, while workers above pumped nitrogen into the earth to flush out noxious gases that have kept rescuers at bay....4/9

energy & science policy

NASA Announces Programs and Costs for Next 5 Years

(New York Times) The administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration fleshed out plans for the coming years on Thursday by announcing a lineup of new programs and those NASA centers that would be responsible for them....4/9

FDA says studies on triclosan, used in sanitizers and soaps, raise concerns

(Washington Post) The Food and Drug Administration said recent research raises "valid concerns" about the possible health effects of triclosan, an antibacterial chemical found in a growing number of liquid soaps, hand sanitizers, dishwashing liquids, shaving gels and even socks, workout clothes and toys....4/9 [Registration Required]

science & technology

New Hominid Species Discovered in South Africa

(New York Times) The species sediba, which means fountain or wellspring in Sotho, strode upright on long legs, with human-shaped hips and pelvis, but still climbed through trees on apelike arms. It had the small teeth and more modern face of Homo, the genus that includes modern humans, but the relatively primitive feet and “tiny brain” of Australopithecus....4/9

On Plains, concern about another Dust Bowl

(USA Today) Lessons learned during that era are more relevant than ever as impending water shortages and droughts threaten the U.S....4/9

Venus Orbiter Finds Potential Active Volcanoes

(Wired) The Venus Express spacecraft has found convincing evidence that Earth is not the only geologically active planet in the solar system. Infrared emissions from lava flows on the surface of Venus indicate that they are relatively young, which means the planet may still be capable of volcanic eruptions....4/9

DNA Nanotechnology: 'Magic Bullets' Breakthrough Offers Promising Applications in Medicine

(Science Daily) Scientists have achieved a major breakthrough in the development of nanotubes. They have developed tiny "magic bullets" that could one day deliver drugs to specific diseased cells. The research involves taking DNA out of its biological context. So rather than being used as the genetic code for life, it becomes a kind of building block for tiny nanometre-scale objects....4/9

'World needs a barometer of life'

(BBC) The world needs a "barometer of life" to prevent ecosystems and species being lost forever, scientists have warned. Existing schemes, they said, did not include enough species from groups such as fungi and invertebrates to provide a detailed picture of what is at risk....4/9

Other Stories

Ancestry Search Can Annoy Living Relatives

(Live Science) Ancestry sleuths be forewarned: While researching your family's past can bring rewards, it might also stir up problems in the present. Uncovering the roots of your family tree can reveal secrets that might cause conflict and widen rifts between your living family members, a new study finds....4/9