Friday, May 3, 2013
ORNL in the News

Better bomb detector – dogs or machines?

(CNN) From the aftermath of the attack in Boston to the frontlines of the war in Afghanistan, a debate of dog versus machine is taking place over which is better equipped in the life and death challenge of detecting bombs...4/29

ORNL analysis predicts extreme weather losses could double by 2050

(Oak Ridge Today) U.S. economic losses from extreme weather could at least double by 2050, according to an Oak Ridge National Laboratory analysis published this month in the online edition of the journal Global Environmental Change...5/2

Spotlight on mercury

(Knoxville News Sentinel) U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., will headline a press gig Friday morning in Oak Ridge to announce plans related to mercury cleanup in Oak Ridge...Earlier this year, a research team headed by ORNL scientists announced a major breakthrough in understanding how mercury behaves and converts to its most toxic form in the environment...5/3

DOE

Coming Full Circle in Florida: Improving Electric Grid Reliability and Resiliency

(Energy.gov) ... Florida Power & Light’s Recovery Act-funded project will help in better understanding the health of the grid, identifying issues before they become problems and speeding restoration of power following storms...5/2

State & Regional

TN delegation urges caution on Syria

(Tennessean) While acknowledging pressure for stepped-up U.S. activity on behalf of moderate forces in Syria, Middle Tennessee lawmakers want the Obama administration to move with extreme caution — and in concert with Congress — every step of the way...5/3

National

North Korea could reach U.S. with nuclear arms: Pentagon

(Reuters) North Korea's continuing development of nuclear technology and long-range ballistic missiles will move it closer to its stated goal of being able to hit the United States with an atomic weapon, a new Pentagon report to Congress...5/2

East Tennessee

Alcoa plans $275M expansion, adding 200 jobs

(Business Wire) Alcoa Inc. said Thursday it will invest $275 million over the next three years to expand its Blount County plant "to meet the growing demand for light, durable and recyclable aluminum sheet for automotive production."...5/2

4,000-acre land deal links the Smokies and Cherokee National Forest

(Knoxville News Sentinel) ...The forested lands along Calderwood Lake seen from that overlook are part of 4,000 acres that The Nature Conservancy soon will purchase from Brookfield Renewable Energy Partners...5/3

energy & science policy

Obama on Scientific Research, Sequestration, Grant Process, and STEM Education

(AIP) “You’ve got a strong supporter in the White House” President Obama told a gathering on Monday celebrating the 150th anniversary of the National Academy of Sciences...5/2

Are Methane Hydrates Really Going to Change Geopolitics?

(The Atlantic) Renewables are on a much more solid path to affordability than the exotic fuel...5/2

NSF Peer Review Under Scrutiny by House Science Panel

(Science Magazine) The National Science Foundation (NSF) may soon be getting some unsolicited advice from Congress on how to improve its vaunted peer-review system...4/18

science & technology

Atomic Toolbox: Manufacturing at the Nanoscale

(Scientific American) When we are unable to find what we need in nature, we make it. This in-depth report examines new technologies, materials and methods shaping the future of fabrication...5/2

Printable Functional 'Bionic' Ear Melds Electronics and Biology

(Science Daily) Scientists at Princeton University used off-the-shelf printing tools to create a functional ear that can "hear" radio frequencies far beyond the range of normal human capability...5/2

Scientists Are Divided Over Threat to Pacific Northwest Salmon

(NY Times) Like mariners scanning the horizon from the crow’s nest, scientists have for years been on the lookout in the Pacific Northwest for signs that a dreaded salmon-killing disease, scourge to farmed salmon in other parts of the world, has arrived here, threatening some of the world’s richest wild salmon habitats...5/2

Other Stories

North Korea almost done building new reactor. Is that a big deal?

(CS Monitor) While all things in North Korea are cloaked in secrecy, it appears that this new reactor could produce material for nuclear weapons – potentially expanding North Korea's small stockpile...5/2