Tuesday, May 10, 2011
ORNL in the News

Oak Ridge Supercomputers Modeling Nuclear Future

(HPCwire) During the annual televised “State of the Union” address at the beginning of 2011, Barak Obama sought to renew the national focus on science and technology, in part by using supercomputing capabilities to drive progress. To highlight the role of HPC in the new generation of scientific endeavors, the President told millions of Americans about how supercomputing capabilities at Oak Ridge National Laboratory will lend the muscle for a Department of Energy initiative “to get a lot more power out of our nuclear facilities” via the Consortium for Advanced Simulation of Light Water Reactors (CASL )...5/9

The iPad in Your Hand: As Fast as a Supercomputer of Yore

(N.Y. Times) ...Jack Dongarra, one of the computer scientists who keeps track of the world’s 500 fastest computers, has figured out just how fast that computer in your palm really is. Dr. Dongarra, who is on the computer science faculty at the University of Tennessee and a researcher at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, is one of the keepers of the Linpack computing benchmark, a linear algebra test that measures  the mathematical capabilities of computers...5/9

CASL to Improve Reactor Design, performance

(Oak Ridger) Federal officials and industry executives this week celebrated the opening of a new research facility at Oak Ridge National Laboratory that uses supercomputers to study and improve nuclear reactor design and performance. Located in an office research building on ORNL's east campus, the high-tech facility is known as the Consortium for Advanced Simulation of Light Water Reactors, or CASL. It develops computer models that simulate nuclear power plant operations...5/8

Secretary Clinton To Praise Announcement of Six New U.S.-China EcoPartnerships on May 10

(U.S. Department of State Press Release) On May 10, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton will deliver opening remarks at a signing ceremony for six new U.S.-China EcoPartnerships, taking place alongside the third annual U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue, at the Department of State...5/9

DOE

Progress on Y-12 mercury project

(Knoxville News Sentinel) The West End Mercury Area (WEMA) cleanup project, supported with Recovery Act money, has removed 2,885 grams of mercury from the storm sewer system, according to a spokesman at the Y-12 nuclear weapons plant...5/9

State & Regional

Memphis officials keep close eye as Mississippi River nears crest

(The Commercial Appeal) As the Mississippi River continued carrying near-record amounts of water past Memphis, draining storm-drenched lands stretching from the Rocky Mountains to the Appalachians, officials combined messages of reassurance and caution...5/10

Obama declares Tenn. 'major disaster' from April storms, frees funds

(USA Today) President Obama today declared Tennessee a "major disaster" in the wake of severe storms, tornadoes, flooding and high winds in April. Nine counties are now eligible for federal funding...5/9

National

Pakistan may let U.S. question bin Laden wives

(Reuters) Pakistan may let U.S. investigators question the wives of Osama bin Laden, a U.S. official said, a decision that could begin to stabilize relations between the prickly allies that have been severely strained by the killing of the al Qaeda leader...5/10

East Tennessee

Oak Ridge continues to play vital role in Tennessee Valley Corridor success

(Oak Ridger) ...Today the tremendous assets located in Oak Ridge, coupled with those throughout the region, have helped establish the Tennessee Valley as a national and international leader known for its collaboration, technology-driven solutions and world-class innovation...5/8

Blount bridge work tries not to disturb endangered fish

(Knoxville News Sentinel) Rehabilitation of a bridge over the Little River near Rockford is more complicated than expected because of an endangered fish that likes to breed underneath...5/9

Knoxville company aiding in Japanese nuclear plant crisis

(Knoxville News Sentinel) A Knoxville nuclear industry equipment supplier began shipping underwater demineralizers to the troubled Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant in Japan on Friday and will deliver a total of 22 of the devices over the next several days...5/9

energy & science policy

Battle brewing over biofuels' future

(USA Today) Imagine filling up the car on a fuel that isn't made from oil but doesn't have the drawbacks of corn ethanol, including its lower energy content and ability to damage older cars or gas pumps...9/8

Controversy over waste in Yucca

(Reuters) A top congressional watchdog is warning the U.S. nuclear safety regulator to hand over documents by Thursday about its role in shutting down work on Nevada's Yucca Mountain nuclear waste dump site, or face subpoenas for the information...5/9

Inside Energy Extra

5/9 A daily report on U.S. energy policy
[ORNL users only]
- Austin Energy leads in 'green' power
- House chairmen probe EPA rulemakings
- Suit challenging NRC waste rule expands
- No ratings fallout seen for US reactors
- FERC, NERC combine SW power probes

science & technology

Life and the Cosmos, Word by Painstaking Word

(NY Times) Like Einstein, he is as famous for his story as for his science. At the age of 21, the British physicist Stephen Hawking was found to have amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Lou Gehrig’s disease. While A.L.S. is usually fatal within five years, Dr. Hawking lived on and flourished, producing some of the most important cosmological research of his time...5/9

Does It Really Help Research When Scientists Work Close Together?

(The Atlantic) ...It's long been thought that proximity fosters fruitful encounters among researchers, but a recent paper showed just how powerful it can be...5/9

Electric cars take off in Norway

(Physorg.com) They speed past gas guzzlers in traffic, ignore congestion charges and get city centre parking for free. In a country whose wealth is fuelled by oil, Oslo has become the world capital of the electric car...5/10

New Mineral Discovered: One of Earliest Minerals Formed in Solar System

(Science Daily) ...These objects, known as refractory inclusions, are thought to be the first planetary materials formed in our solar system, dating back to before the formation of Earth and the other planets...5/7

Other Stories

Pakistani Leader Sides With Military

(Wall Street Journal) Pakistan's prime minister defended the country's military in his first major speech since the raid that killed Osama bin Laden, in a sign the politically powerful Pakistani army could escape internal scrutiny over suspicions that it sheltered the al Qaeda leader...5/10

Japan’s Nuclear Future in the Balance

(N.Y. Times) The accident at the Fukushima Daiichi power plant has done more than spew radiation into the air and sea and force tens of thousands of people to evacuate their homes. It has blown a big hole in Japan’s energy policy, which had assumed that nuclear power would supply a growing part of the country’s needs...5/9