Thursday, May 17, 2012
ORNL in the News

Lab Breakthrough: Neutron Science for the Fusion Mission

(Energy.gov) Oak Ridge National Laboratory scientist Robert McGreevy explains the accelerator's role in the complex, seven-country consortium to develop an experimental fusion reactor. Fusion power technology is tricky, though with Oak Ridge's help the international team anticipates the first commercial fusion energy reactor to be online by 2050...5/17

Mid-project data from Oak Ridge study suggests hydrogen vehicles could have up to 70% market share by 2050

(Green Car Congress) Hydrogen vehicles (H2V, including H2 ICE, fuel cell and fuel cell plug-in hybrid vehicles) could achieve a market share ranging from 30% to 70% in 2050, according to preliminary results from a study by Dr. David Greene and colleagues at Oak Ridge National Laboratory presented at the DOE 2012 Hydrogen and Fuel Cells and Vehicle Technologies Programs Annual Merit Review meetings in Washington this week...5/16

DOE

Y-12 introduces a kinder, gentler technique for analyzing nuclear warhead parts

(Knoxville News Sentinel) The Y-12 nuclear weapons plant, with help from Los Alamos National Laboratory, is putting into play this month a refined technique for analyzing warhead parts. The Non-Destructive Laser Gas Sampling system reportedly can evaluate warhead parts -- Y-12 specializes in parts manufactured with highly enriched uranium -- that have been brought in from deployment to determine if there's been wear, tear, and unusual deterioration...5/16

State & Regional

Gov. Haslam puts his signature on $31B spending plan

(Tennessean) ...The House voted 63-27 to adopt the budget proposal agreed to in a rare conference committee following disagreements over local projects. The Senate passed it 31-2 shortly afterward with little debate...5/17

TVA: Browns Ferry not yet ready for re-inspection

(AP) TVA says its Browns Ferry Nuclear Plant, which has been under a federal safety warning for a year, isn't yet ready for an inspection...5/16

National

Plans to strike Iran "ready," says U.S. Israel envoy

(Reuters) U.S. plans for a possible military strike on Iran are ready and the option is "fully available", the U.S. ambassador to Israel said, days before Tehran resumes talks with world powers which suspect it of seeking to develop nuclear arms...5/17

Census: Minorities Surpass Whites In U.S. Births

(AP) For the first time, racial and ethnic minorities make up more than half the children born in the U.S., capping decades of heady immigration growth that is now slowing...5/17

East Tennessee

Documentary on Oak Ridge available online

(AP) A new documentary film miniseries chronicling the history of the Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the Y-12 National Security Complex is now available online...5/17

energy & science policy

Fracking's Methane Trail: A Detective Story

(NPR) There are a lot of cheerleaders for the nation's natural gas boom — in part because they believe it's a lot cleaner than dirty coal. It's pretty well-known that power plants that burn coal pump out far more greenhouse gases than power plants that run on natural gas. But there's a hitch: We don't really know how much air pollution is created when companies drill for natural gas...5/17

science & technology

A biological clock to wind them all

(Nature) Enzymes that mop up toxic hydrogen peroxide may have formed life's first circadian clock...5/16

Some U.S. Fisheries Rebounding

(Discovery News) Six U.S. fish populations were "rebuilt to healthy levels" in 2011, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)...5/16

Finland's Crazy Plan to Make Nuclear Waste Disappear

(Popular mechanics) The U.S. plan to bury nuclear waste in Yucca Mountain may be dead, but in Finland, engineers are going ahead with a plan to build an enormous bunker to house the dangerous stuff...5/12

MAJORANA, the search for the most elusive neutrino of all

(PhysOrg) In a cavern almost a mile underground in the Black Hills, an experiment called the MAJORANA DEMONSTRATOR, 40 kilograms of pure germanium crystals enclosed in deep-freeze cryostat modules, will soon set out to answer one of the most persistent and momentous questions in physics: are neutrinos their own antiparticles?...5/17

Other Stories

In aerospace wars, don't count Russia out yet

(Fortune) The tragic crash of the Russian superjet means Boeing and Airbus still control the skies -- but not for long.

Experts Try to Chart Path for Exit From Currency

(Wall Street Journal) Returning to a national currency after more than a decade of using the euro and having its money managed by the European Central Bank would catapult Greece into a financial, legal and political no man's land...5/17