Thursday, June 13, 2013
ORNL in the News

Titan didn't re-test for TOP500, keeping last year's benchmark; ORNL's Jeff Nichols explains why

(Knoxville News Sentinel) The 200-cabinet Cray XK7 system known as Titan had barely been assembled last fall when it went through benchmark testing for the TOP500 supercomputer list, performing well enough to debut at No. 1 with a world-best performance north of 17 petaflops. Well, a new list, which is released every six months, is coming up in a matter of days, and Titan won't be up top. That's assuredly so....6/12

LEDLED Technology Moves to Glasses

(Technorati) Google Glass may be getting most of the attention, but there is another trend trying to compete with it. Mashable reports on June 11 that DropShades combine light and sound into a new type of sunglasses...Although clubs may soon be filled with LED sunglasses that react to music and amuse people, the technology is still evolving. The Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) reports that researchers are working on a new project with tiny crystals that emit different colors....6/12

DOE

No long-term impact expected after fish kill on Y-12 property

(WBIR) Thousands of fish and salamanders were killed over the weekend, when a water line broke at Y-12 and spilled chlorinated water into  East Fork Poplar Creek. The rupture in the line, which provided drinking-quality water, was discovered on Saturday...6/13

Building an Electric Vehicle Highway to Energy Security: Tennessee EV Project

(Brookings Institute) Electric vehicles (EVs)—notwithstanding the high-end success story of Tesla Motors—remain stuck in a classic “chicken and egg” dilemma...6/12

State & Regional

Bellefonte Nuclear PlantTVA cuts 530 jobs, spending on Ala. nuclear plant

(Atlanta Journal-Constitution) The Tennessee Valley Authority will cut 530 jobs and trim millions of dollars in spending on its effort to revive a mothballed nuclear plant in Alabama, utility officials said Wednesday in a decision that calls into question the project's future...6/12

National

General AlexanderNSA director says surveillance programs disrupted dozens of attacks

(The Detroit News) The director of the National Security Agency said Wednesday that once-secret surveillance programs disrupted dozens of terrorist attacks, explicitly describing for Congress how the programs worked in collecting Americans' phone records and tapping into their Internet activity...6/12

East Tennessee

UT seeks bids for fracking on its own land

(WATE) The University of Tennessee is officially seeking bidders who want to drill natural gas wells on land it owns on the Cumberland Plateau. The Tennessean reports UT released its request for bids on Friday...6/12

Knoxville traffic signals to get improvements, move traffic better

(Knoxville News Sentinel) Knoxville traffic signals in some places rely on computers from the era of the dial-up modem. “Most of the stuff we have is between 10 and 20 years old,” Jim Hagerman, Knoxville’s engineering director, said...6/12

energy & science policy

Update on OMB Travel Restrictions

(AIP) Scientific associations recently sent a letter to key Members of Congress about restrictions placed on federal employees traveling to conferences.   In addition, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) sent an alert to Chief Financial Officers recognizing scientific collaboration as an example of a circumstance “in which physical collocation is necessary to complete the [federal agency] mission.”...6/12

science & technology

Black HolesNASA's Chandra Turns Up Black Hole Bonanza in Galaxy Next Door

(Science Daily) Using data from NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory, astronomers have discovered an unprecedented bonanza of black holes in the Andromeda Galaxy, one of the nearest galaxies to the Milky Way...6/12

Researchers Develop Material that Expands Under Pressure

(Nature World News) Researchers at the Argonne National Laboratory have developed a new kind of material that expands on squeezing instead of contracting. "It's like squeezing a stone and forming a giant sponge. Materials are supposed to become denser and more compact under pressure...6/13

Bottom FeederThe Energy Fix: Engineering Triumphs Over Wave And Tidal Forces

(Popular Science) Water is 800 times denser than air, and building a gen­erator able to withstand the tremendous force it generates has hampered the development of next-gen hydropower. If engineers can harness its energy, water holds great potential: about 1,420 terawatt-hours per year, or roughly a third of U.S. annual electricity usage...6/12

Other Stories

Companies Complying with NSA’s PRISM May Face E.U. Lawsuits

(MIT Technology Review) Internet companies that pass data to the National Security Agency under the PRISM program could face legal action in the European Union, say privacy regulators and experts there. ...6/11

Obama Quietly Raises 'Carbon Price' as Costs to Climate Increase

(Bloomberg News) Buried in a little-noticed rule on microwave ovens is a change in the U.S. government’s accounting for carbon emissions that could have wide-ranging implications for everything from power plants to the Keystone XL pipeline...6/12