Wednesday, April 24, 2013
ORNL in the News

NASA Must Pay for Plutonium Production to Fuel Deep-Space Probes

(Space.com) NASA will now foot the entire bill for the United States' production of plutonium-238 spacecraft fuel, which recently started up again for the first time in a quarter-century...NASA officials announced last month that researchers at the DOE's Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee had irradiated targets of neptunium-237 with neutrons...4/23

Summit returns to Oak Ridge in May; registration open

(Oak Ridger) Registration is officially open this week for the upcoming Tennessee Valley Corridor Summit that will be held in Oak Ridge on May 29 and 30...The session features keynote speaker U.S. Lamar Alexander; Pete Lyons, assistant secretary for Nuclear Energy at the U.S. Department of Energy; Thom Mason, director of Oak Ridge National Laboratory;...4/22

Carbon Fiber9 Materials That Will Change the Future of Manufacturing

(Scientific American) Autos of the future will require strong, lightweight carbon-fiber composite structures to enhance efficiency and driving range, but low-cost fibers will be needed for market success. A consortium of national labs, industry and academia working at Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s Carbon Fiber Technology Facility are working to overcome the challenges of making cheaper carbon fiber...4/22

DOE

Department of Energy seizes $21 million reserve account from Fisker

(Engadget) Fisker just can't catch a break. As if enduring the layoffs of three out of every four employees and the resignation of its founder wasn't unsettling enough, it's now come to light that the Department of Energy recently confiscated the company's $21 million reserve account in an attempt to recoup some of the government's loan...4/23

Department of Energy Shows More Than $40-Million in Unaudited Money

(KAMR-TV) A new report released from the Department of Energy shows nearly 40-million dollars in unaudited money. The study shows that over the last decade $8.4-million management and operating subcontractor cost were unaudited at Pantex...4/23

Potential court witness believes Y-12 trespassers were 'justified'

(WBIR) In court, attorneys argued over whether a witness for the defense should be allowed to testify. The defense wants to use testimony from former US Attorney General Ramsey Clark to prove the suspects' actions were justified...4/23

National

Officials: Boston bomb suspect read jihadist sites

(AP) Boston Marathon bombing suspect Tamerlan Tsarnaev was an ardent reader of jihadist websites and extremist propaganda, U.S. officials said Tuesday, adding another piece to the body of evidence they say suggests the two brothers were motivated by an anti-American, radical version of Islam...4/23

Twitter hoax rocks Wall Street, shows vulnerabilities

(USA Today) A hacked Twitter account of a major news organization Tuesday dispelled any lingering notion that tweets are mere 140-character missives that harmlessly fly off into the ether...4/23

East Tennessee

Sequoyah PlantTVA admits mistakes to NRC in calculating flood, natural disaster risks

(Chattanooga Times Free Press) TVA officials were squirming a bit Monday and a few cheeks glowed pink at times as directors and inspectors with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission plied them with questions about protecting Watts Bar and Sequoyah nuclear plants from a future monster flood...4/23

science & technology

Methane burningJapanese test coaxes fire from ice

(Nature News) Methane flowing from beneath the sea floor has buoyed Japan’s hopes for securing its own plentiful energy source. A pilot project 80 kilometres off the country’s shores produced tens of thousands of cubic metres of gas...4/23

DNAAncient DNA Reveals Europe's Dynamic Genetic History

(Science Daily) Ancient DNA recovered from a series of skeletons in central Germany up to 7,500 years old has been used to reconstruct the first detailed genetic history of modern Europe...4/23

Xenon PlumeRadioactive Gases Detected From North Korea's Recent Nuclear Bomb Test

(Popular Science) When North Korea detonated a nuclear bomb underground in February, seismic researchers knew right away. The nuclear test shook the ground like a 5.1 magnitude earthquake, and in an area not known for natural quakes...4/23

Hurricane Irene Might Have Triggered Virginia Earthquake Aftershocks

(Scientific American) Hurricane Irene, a powerful storm that ran north along the US East Coast four days after a magnitude-5.8 earthquake rattled Virginia in 2011, may have triggered some of that earthquake’s aftershocks, scientists reported today at the annual meeting of the Seismological Society of America in Salt Lake City, Utah...4/22

Other Stories

Obama Budget Plan Results In 'Back Door' Tax Increase For Middle-Class Households: Analysis

(HuffPost) For those looking to put the woes of Tax Day behind them, we have some bad news: It's probably only going to get worse. President Obama's budget proposal, released earlier this month, includes a provision that would steadily boost taxes for middle-class households over the next 10 years, according to an analysis from the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center...4/22

Coffee For A Cause: What Do Those Feel-Good Labels Deliver?

(NPR) What does it take to find guilt-free coffee? Much of our coffee comes from places where the environment is endangered and workers earn very little — sometimes, just a few dollars for a whole day's work. Coffee farmers have helped cut down tropical forests, and most of them use pesticides...4/24