Monday, May 16, 2011
ORNL in the News

Bullish on Biodiesel

(Domesticfuel.com) At the 4th International Biomass Conference and Expo, Joe Jobe with the National Biodiesel Board (NBB), said they are very optimistic about the state of the industry right now...NBB will be holding a webinar on the topic of biodiesel’s impact on the food supply and land use May 24. “Vantage Point: Views on Food, Fuel and Land Use” will feature insights from two national land use experts Dr. Stephen Kaffka with the U.C. Davis Department of Plant Sciences and Director of the California Biomass Collaborative and Keith Kline of Oak Ridge National Laboratory...5/15

 

Supercomputing expansion at ORNL and the budding involvement of U.S. security agencies

(Knoxville News Sentinel) Oak Ridge National Laboratory has become the Grand Central Station for scientific supercomputing, already hosting the Department of Energy's top supercomputer (Jaguar), as well as the top-rated machines of the National Science Foundation (Kraken) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (Gaea, Mother Earth)...5/15

Nanocone-Based Solar Cell Platform to Enhance Light to Energy Conversion Efficiency

(Azonano) An Oak Ridge National Laboratory team led by Jun Xu has enhanced the light-to-energy conversion efficiency of PV by almost 80% with a three-dimensional nanocone-based solar cell system...5/16

DOE

Secretary Chu Highlights More Than 1,800 Electric Vehicle Chargers Installed Under the Recovery Act

(DOE Press Release) As part of the Obama Administration's comprehensive plan to address rising gas prices and reduce oil imports one-third by 2025, U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu today announced that to date, more than 1,800 electric vehicle chargers have been installed under the Recovery Act...5/13

State & Regional

East Tennessee missed the full brunt of the Great Recession but wasn't completely immune to decade's struggles

(Knoxville News Sentinel) Economic analysts and area business people say Knoxville was not as severely affected by the recession as other areas of the country, but work remains to be done to bring regional employment back to the levels enjoyed before the 2007 financial crisis and restore confidence in commerce...5/15

National

As Debt Limit Reached, Agreement Still Far Off

(Wall Street Journal) The U.S. government is expected to hit the $14.294 trillion debt ceiling Monday, setting in motion an uncertain, 11-week political scramble to avoid a default...5/16

Defense Secretary Gates was unsure of bin Laden raid intel

(Reuters) ..."There wasn't any direct evidence that he was there. It was all circumstantial. But it was the best -- information that we had -- since probably 2001," Gates said...5/15

 

energy & science policy

Obama Shifts to Speed Oil and Gas Drilling in U.S.

(NY Times) President Obama, facing voter anger over high gasoline prices and complaints from Republicans and business leaders that his policies are restricting the development of domestic energy resources, announced Saturday that he was taking several steps to speed oil and gas drilling on public lands and waters...5/14

Nuclear Nations Turn To Natural Gas And Renewables

(NPR) Engineers probing the ruined nuclear reactors at Japan's Fukushima Dai-ichi plant are finding yet more damage. Not only did fuel melt in three reactors, they've just discovered a hole in one reactor vessel. And radioactive water continues to leak at the site. That mess in Fukushima has led several governments to reassess nuclear power...5/16

Inside Energy Extra

5/13 A daily report on U.S. energy policy
[ORNL users only]

science & technology

Action Needed to Manage Climate Change Risks

(Science Daily) Warning that the risk of dangerous climate change impacts is growing with every ton of greenhouse gases emitted into the atmosphere, a National Research Council committee has reiterated the pressing need for substantial action to limit the magnitude of climate change and to prepare to adapt to its impacts...5/12

'Computer synapse' analyzed at the nanoscale

(Physorg.com) Researchers at Hewlett Packard and the University of California, Santa Barbara, have analysed in unprecedented detail the physical and chemical properties of an electronic device that computer engineers hope will transform computing...5/16

What Green Technology Could Save the World?

(Wired) If you could snap your fingers and invent something that would cure a pressing global problem, what would it be? A cheap way to extract salt from seawater so we can drink it?...5/15

Other Stories

Why the Mississippi River Floods Should Have Been Expected

(Scientific American) A combination of bad weather, ocean conditions and land development conspired to produce high waters...5/13