Monday, April 9, 2012
ORNL in the News

Oak Ridge mercury not just an East Fork problem

(Knoxville News Sentinel) Oak Ridge has a well-known mercury problem, amplified by warning signs along East Fork Poplar Creek. East Fork has been posted as a hazard since 1982 because of large-scale mercury releases during Cold War operations at the Y-12 nuclear weapons plant, where the creek originates...4/6

Research that Pays Off: Experts Make the Case for Federal R&D Spending in Capitol Hill Briefings

(AAAS)...Hunt mentioned several Dow projects that have benefited from federal R&D investment, including the commercially available Powerhouse Solar Shingles that were developed with the help of Department of Energy funding...and a collaboration with the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory and others to build lightweight carbon fiber blades for next-generation wind turbines...4/6

Congressman Womack at ORNL

Womack(Knoxville News Sentinel) U.S. Steve Womack, R-Ark., vice chairman of the House Appropriations energy and water subcommittee, visited Oak Ridge National Laboratory on Wednesday...4/5

Sacramento teacher wins national research fellowship

(Sacramento Bee) Danny Delgado, a teacher at Christian Brothers High School in Sacramento, has been chosen to take part in the Siemens Teachers as Researchers fellowship program at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee...4/7


U.S.-backed battery company's sale to Russian tycoon sparks anxiety

(Chicago Tribune) (Video at Link) Batteries made in America for America and backed by America. That's how politicians hailed Ener1. The company tapped the country's top scientists at Argonne National Lab in Illinois, and U.S. taxpayers pledged up to $118 million in federal stimulus funds and $80 million in state and local incentives to help Ener1 produce cutting-edge battery technology for electric cars and the U.S. military.

State & Regional

HemlocksMighty hemlocks falling to tiny, hungry insects

(The Tennessean) Only a small portion of the state’s hemlocks — many that are hundreds of years old and stand 10 stories or higher — are expected to survive a scourge of tiny insects that has advanced here from the Northeast...4/9

Strip SearchSheriffs hail ruling allowing strip searches for anyone arrested

(WBIR) Just days after the U.S. Supreme Court gave the OK for jailers to strip search anyone who's arrested - regardless of how minor their offense - the sheriff in Tipton County decided that every incoming detainee will be strip searched...4/9


Mild winter may have artificially inflated jobs data, economists fear

(Washington Post) As most Americans basked in the warmest, sunniest March in half a century, economists stared at the skies with dread:Could good weather portend bad news for the economic recovery? Economists say the mild winter has artificially inflated job growth.

U.S. policy on Iraq questioned as influence wanes, Maliki consolidates power

(Washington Post) On the face of it, Iraq’s first springtime since American troops withdrew in December is turning into the most peaceful and promising the country has witnessed in a decade, offering what U.S. and some Iraqi officials say amounts to a vindication of President Obama’s Iraq policy...4/8

East Tennessee

Knoxville top 10 growing city in America

(Volunteer TV) Some big recognition for Knoxville. CNN Money named it one of the top ten growing cities in America... Oak Ridge National Laboratory is one reason, with a 1.65 billion dollar budget and 44 hundred employees...4/6

Watts BarNRC sets meeting on delayed Watts Bar reactor

(Knoxville News Sentinel) The Nuclear Regulatory Commission will hold a public meeting Thursday to discuss delayed construction at TVA's Watts Bar Unit 2 nuclear reactor...4/6

energy & science policy

DOE antes up $15M for 'bio-oils'

(Knoxville News Sentinel) The Dept. of Energy today announced it making $15 million to demonstrate "biomass-based oil supplements that can be blended with petroleum, helping the U.S. to reduce foreign oil use, diversify the nation's energy portfolio, and create jobs for American workers..."4/6

Government Acts On Biosecurity

(Chemical & Engineering News) A long-awaited federal policy on oversight of dual-use research in the life sciences was issued on March 29 on a somewhat obscure government website ( The policy comes in the midst of controversy over the conduct and publication of two recent H5N1 avian flu experiments...4/9

science & technology

PhytoplanktonEvolution at Sea: Long-Term Experiments Indicate Phytoplankton Can Adapt to Ocean Acidification

(Science Daily) Fossil fuel derived carbon dioxide has a serious impact on global climate but also a disturbing effect on the oceans, know as the other CO2 problem. When CO2 dissolves in seawater it forms carbonic acid and results in a drop in pH, the oceans acidify...4/8

Magnetic storms spotted on Venus

Venus(Nature) When magnetic fields of opposite polarity collide and merge, they unleash a torrent of energy. The process, known as magnetic reconnection, can cause flares on the Sun and magnetic storms and shimmering auroras on magnetized planets with substantial atmospheres, such as Earth, Jupiter and Saturn...4/5

Other Stories

Silent SpacePhoto Artists Use Filter "Normally Used by NASA" to Remove People From Crowded Urban Places

(Popular Science) "Silent World," a photography project by Parisian artists Lucie & Simon, takes the most crowded parts of New York City, Paris, and Beijing, and alters them in a basic (but technically incredible difficult) way.