Monday, June 20, 2011
ORNL in the News

SupercapacitorsPacking the ions: Discovery boosts supercapacitor energy storage

(Phys.Org) Drexel University's Yury Gogotsi and colleagues recently needed an atom's-eye view of a promising supercapacitor material to sort out experimental results that were exciting but appeared illogical. That view was provided by a research team led by Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) computational chemists Bobby Sumpter and Jingsong Huang and computational physicist Vincent Meunier...6/17

US nuke regulators weaken safety rules

(Washington Post) Federal regulators have been working closely with the nuclear power industry to keep the nation's aging reactors operating within safety standards by repeatedly weakening those standards, or simply failing to enforce them, an investigation by The Associated Press has found...A 1995 study by Oak Ridge National Laboratory covering a seven-year period found that aging contributed to 19 percent of scenarios that could have ended in severe accidents...6/20

What'll it cost to stay at the ORNL hotel?

(Knoxville News Sentinel) The newly constructed Guest House at ORNL will be managed by Paragon Hotel Co., out of Anderson, S.C., which also manages the Comfort Inn in Oak Ridge, lab spokesman Ron Walli said.  Asked how much it would cost to stay at the mini-hotel, here's the response from Jon Forstrom of ORNL's Facilities & Operations Directorate:"The standard rate will be the GSA government rate for Oak Ridge, which is currently $90 per night"...6/17

Uncharacteristic weather patterns on the rise

(EnvironmentalResearchweb) False springs, where uncharacteristically early warm weather is followed by a sudden hard freeze, can have a devastating effect on vegetation and agricultural crops by killing off early growth. Now researchers from Oak Ridge National Laboratory, US, who analysed more than 100 years of data to look for a trend in the frequency of false springs over the southeastern US, have found considerable regional variations.

DOE

DOE Offers $150 Million Conditional Commitment for a Loan Guarantee to Support Breakthrough Solar Manufacturing Process

(DOE Press Release) U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu today announced the offer of a conditional commitment for a $150 million loan guarantee to 1366 Technologies, Inc. for the development of a multicrystalline wafer manufacturing project...6/17

Opening the Secret City: March 19, 1949

(Knoxville News Sentinel) On March 19, 1949, the government opened the gates to Oak Ridge, one of the super-secure encampments created for work on the World War II Manhattan Project. While there were new fences and still tight security for roads leading to the plants -- X-10, Y-12 and K-25 -- the gates to the city were unblocked for the first time since the spring of 1943. It was time for a celebration [ed: The video has no sound]...6/17

State & Regional

GM to invest $32 million in Spring Hill plant

(Tennessean) General Motors will invest $32 million at their Spring Hill auto plant, where the company builds four-cylinder engines and vehicle body panels. The investment will fund equipment to build a greater number of engines, according to GM spokeswoman Kim Carpenter...6/17

National

House May Vote This Week on Money for Libya Strikes

(New York Times) The House appears likely to vote this week on a measure that would limit financing for the American military efforts in Libya, using the chamber’s appropriations power to push back against the White House, which did not seek Congressional authorization for the mission...6/19

Obama Big-Money Donors Got Plum Posts

(NPR) President Obama and the first lady attended a total of six fundraising events last week, half of them small gatherings with top-dollar donors. They also got a reminder of what comes with reliance on high rollers: An unflattering analysis of how many big givers in 2008 wound up with jobs in the administration...6/20

US Stock Futures Lower; Fears Of Greek Default Remain Worrisome

(Wall Street Journal) U.S. stock futures were pointing to a lower open for Wall Street, with markets expected to track losses in Europe after a weekend meeting of euro-area finance ministers failed to wipe out fears of a Greek default. Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average index fell 41 points to 11897, while those for the Nasdaq 100 fell 6 points to 2184.25. Futures for the Standard & Poor's 500 index dropped 4.25 points to 1261.75...6/20

energy & science policy

Inside Energy Extra

6/17 A daily report on U.S. energy policy
[ORNL users only]

  • 73 senators vote to end ethanol subsidies
  • Efficiency, vehicle bills likely: Bingaman
  • Salazar accelerates date for Alaska auction
  • DOE awards $275M loan aid to Calisolar
  • BPA seeks more time to reply to complaint

science & technology

Centaurus AHubble Stares Deep into Dust-Choked Galaxy

(Discovery News) 11 million light-years away, deep inside the massive spiral galaxy Centaurus A (also known as NGC 5128), baby stars are bursting into existence. Although these enigmatic events appear to be choked by a thick shroud of dust, the Hubble Space Telescope has looked into the cosmic smog, revealing previously unseen intricacies of this well-known galaxy....6/17

oval-shaped shellLife After 'Snowball Earth': New Fossils Suggest Rapid Recovery of Life After Global Freeze

(ScienceDaily) The first organisms to emerge after an ancient worldwide glaciation likely evolved hardy survival skills, arming themselves with tough exteriors to weather a frozen climate...6/16

Breeding with Neanderthals appears to have helped early humans fight disease

(Phys.Org) Following up on evidence that Homo Sapiens and Neanderthals mated and produced offspring, following the sequencing of the Neanderthal genome last year, Peter Parham, professor of microbiology and immunology at Stanford, set forth evidence in a presentation to the Royal Society in London last week that shows that humans benefitted from such encounters by having human leukocyte antigens (HLAs), added to their genomes, which in turn helped them to fight off diseases native to northern climates.

Tsubame SupercomputerJapan takes top spot in supercomputer race

(TechEYE.net) The Land of the Rising Sun, Japan currently owns the world's fastest supercomputer.  Dubbed "K Computer", which is a bit of a misprint of a Radiohead album cover, the beast is three times faster than a Chinese rival that previously held the top slot.   Jack Dongarra, a professor of electrical engineering and computer science at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville [and a researcher at Oak Ridge National Laboratory], who compiles the supercomputer league tables, told the New York Times that K was a "giant leap forward" in computer speed...6/19

Other Stories

Internet Body Opens Way For New Domain Names

(Wall Street Journal) The end of the dot-com era is over—welcome to the dot-anything age. The organization that regulates the world's Internet domain names Monday approved changes that will allow companies and individuals to potentially register any name they like in almost any language as domain suffixes, a step that could change the way users navigate the Web...6/20