Wednesday, July 18, 2012
ORNL in the News

Report Details Application Speedups Enabled by GPU-Accelerated Supercomputing

(HPC Wire) ...can scientists and engineers benefit from extreme-scale supercomputers that use application-code accelerators called GPUs (for graphics processing units)?...With the availability of new, higher-performance GPUs later this year, such as the Kepler GPU chip to be installed in the 20-petaflop Titan supercomputer at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), application speedups are expected to be even more substantial.

Energy Department Announces New Nuclear Energy Innovation Investments

( ...University of Michigan, along with scientists from Oak Ridge National Laboratory, will conduct research at the university as well as at Idaho National Laboratory. The project will examine whether post-irradiation heating can reduce or eliminate cracks in steel that can occur in light water reactors materials after years of operation...7/17


'Ultra-secure' wireless installed at Y-12

(Knoxville News Sentinel) The Y-12 nuclear weapons plant said it has installed an "ultra-secure" wireless system at two of its major facilities. Y-12 spokesman Steven Wyatt said the wireless system is now in place at the Jack Case Center, the plant's main office building and administrative hub, as well as the New Hope Center that houses the visitor center and museum...7/17

New Database from NREL Makes Costs of Energy Technologies More Transparent

(NREL Newsroom) A new web application collects cost and performance estimates for electric generation, advanced vehicles, and renewable fuel technologies and makes them available for utilities, policy makers, consumers, and academics...7/16

State & Regional

Bill Haslam weighs health law as poor risk falling into coverage gap

(The Tennessean) ...States that reject the law’s Medicaid expansion risk leaving behind many of their low-income uninsured residents in a coverage gap already being called the new “doughnut hole” — a reference to a Medicare gap faced by seniors until Congress moved to close it under the Affordable Care Act...7/18




Historic drought to bring higher food prices, experts say

(Fox News) The historic drought baking the nation's breadbasket is about to hit American consumers where it hurts most—the supermarket checkout. "Prices are going to go up," Justin Gardner, assistant professor of agribusiness at Middle Tennessee State University, told the Christian Science Monitor. "The only question is when."...7/17

Obama plans $1B effort to build "Master Teacher Corps" of elite math, science teachers

(CBS News) The Obama administration unveiled plans Wednesday to create an elite corps of master teachers, a $1 billion effort to boost U.S. students' achievement in science, technology, engineering and math...7/18

East Tennessee

Report: UT grads less likely to have student loan debt

(WBIR) A new report shows that UT grads are less likely to have student loan debt than students in other states, and those who do owe money, owe less. The Project on Student Debt report is issued by the nonprofit Institute for College Access & Success. It looked at students who graduated in 2010...7/17

TVA to decrease rates in August

(Kingsport Times News) Customers who have experienced higher electricity bills during the high heat of this spring and summer should see some relief when looking at their bills next month...7/18



energy & science policy

US boosts research into natural gas-powered cars

(CBS Money Watch) As natural gas competes with increasingly costly oil as a heating fuel, researchers are now looking at it to run the family car. United Technologies Corp. is among 13 recipients of federal Energy Department funding to come up with a natural gas tank for cars...7/17

science & technology

Big-brained mammalMostly the big-brained survive

(Nature News) Large-brained animals may be less likely to go extinct in a changing world, perhaps because they can use their greater intelligence to adapt their behaviour to new conditions, according to an analysis presented to a meeting of conservation biologists this week...7/17

Acretion ModelsWhy Is Earth So Dry? Planet Formed from Rocky Debris in Hotter Region, Inside of Solar System's 'Snow Line'

(Science Daily) With large swaths of oceans, rivers that snake for hundreds of miles, and behemoth glaciers near the north and south poles, Earth doesn't seem to have a water shortage...7/17

Mar Rover "Curiosity"Mars Rover Landing's "Seven Minutes of Terror" Just Got Scarier

(National Geographic) A glitch in the Mars Odyssey orbiter may add additional drama to the "seven minutes of terror" expected as the Mars Science Laboratory rover, aka Curiosity, lands on the red planet next month, NASA scientists announced Monday...7/17

Other Stories

Two Classes, Divided by ‘I Do’

(New York Times) ...The economic storms of recent years have raised concerns about growing inequality and questions about a core national faith, that even Americans of humble backgrounds have a good chance of getting ahead. Most of the discussion has focused on labor market forces like falling blue-collar wages and lavish Wall Street pay...7/15

Could The Health Law End Up Back In Court? Opponents Think So

(NPR) If you thought last month's Supreme Court ruling upholding the Affordable Care Act was the final word on the legality of the health law, think again. Some conservative scholars believe they may have discovered a flaw that could send the law back to court, or at least cause some big problems for its implementation...7/18