Friday, July 19, 2013
ORNL in the News

New manufacturing method to help automakers lighten up

(PhysOrg) New federal fuel-efficiency rules are forcing auto makers to lighten up their vehicles...But a new method from BYU's School of Technology may be helpful to automakers in achieving the 54.5 miles per gallon average the EPA is mandating for U.S. fleets by 2025. BYU's friction bit joining method, which is being developed in collaboration with MegaStir and Oak Ridge National Lab, has received funding from the National Science Foundation, the Department of Energy, the state of Utah and some auto suppliers in South Korea..7/19

Energy Department Invests to Save Small Buildings Money by Saving Energy

(Energy Industry News) Building on President Obama’s Climate Action Plan, which calls for steady, responsible steps to reduce carbon pollution and reduce energy bills for U.S. businesses, the Energy Department today announced an award of $10 million for six projects to help small commercial buildings save money by saving energy...The institute will also partner with Oak Ridge National Laboratory and Georgia Tech to develop training materials to help local contractors to conduct energy audits for about 240 small buildings in the Atlanta, Georgia metro area...7/18

DOE

Town Hall with Secretary Moniz

(Energy.gov) In a town hall meeting with Department staff, Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz spoke about his plans for a reorganization of the Energy Department’s management structure...7/19

Editorial: NNSA must take control of UPF project at Y-12

(Knoxville News Sentinel) (Editorial) Seemingly inevitable cost increases, design flaws and extended completion dates have combined to undermine confidence in the National Nuclear Security Administration’s management of the Uranium Processing Facility project at the Y-12 nuclear weapons plant...7/18

Governor SandovalSandoval, DOE fail to reach agreement on waste shipments

(Las Vegas Review-Journal) A telephone call Thursday between Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval and the nation’s energy secretary failed to yield a breakthrough on proposed shipments of potent uranium waste the government wants to send into the state for burial...7/18

National

Detroit files for largest municipal bankruptcy in US history

(Fox News) Detroit filed for the largest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history Thursday after steep population and tax base declines sent it tumbling toward insolvency...7/19

Public relations battle over health care heats up

(USA Today) The public relations battle over President Obama's signature health care law has simmered long past the point when it became law more than three years ago...7/18

East Tennessee

Browns FerryNRC cites TVA again at nation's worst-rated nuclear plant

(Chattanooga Times-Free Press) For the ninth time in three years, the Tennessee Valley Authority is being cited by federal regulators for violating safety standards at one of its reactors...7/18

State unemployment rate rises to 8.5 percent

(WBIR) Tennessee's unemployment rate rose to 8.5 percent for June, according to the Tennessee Department of Labor and Workforce Development, a slight increase from the previous month...7/19

energy & science policy

WindmillsDepartment of Energy to Allocate $8 Billion for Efficiency Initiatives

(The Energy Collective) As part of the Climate Action Plan recently announced by President Obama, the Department of Energy (DOE) has announced an additional allocation of $8 billion through its loan program for projects that work toward reducing greenhouse emissions...7/18

science & technology

Boldly Illuminating Biology’s “Dark Matter”

(Berkeley Lab News Center) Is space really the final frontier, or are the greatest mysteries closer to home?  In cosmology, dark matter is said to account for the majority of mass in the universe, however its presence is inferred by indirect effects rather than detected through telescopes...7/18

Pandora VirusesGiant viruses open Pandora's box

(Nature News) The organism was initially called NLF, for “new life form”. Jean-Michel Claverie and Chantal Abergel, evolutionary biologists at Aix-Marseille University in France, found it in a water sample collected off the coast of Chile, where it seemed to be infecting and killing amoebae...7/18

Light-absorbent waferScientists Break Record for Thinnest Light-Absorber: May Lead to More Efficient, Cheaper Solar Cells

(Science Daily) Stanford University scientists have created the thinnest, most efficient absorber of visible light on record. The nanosize structure, thousands of times thinner than an ordinary sheet of paper, could lower the cost and improve the efficiency of solar cells, according to the scientists...7/18

X47BWhy The X-47B Failed Its Latest Landing Attempt, And Why It's Still The Future Of Flight

(Popular Science) The X-47B autonomous aircraft made history last week, successfully landing on the aircraft carrier George H. W. Bush. Twice. Then things went awry...7/19

Other Stories

Driving somewhere? There's a gov't record of that

(Yahoo News) Chances are, your local or state police departments have photographs of your car in their files, noting where you were driving on a particular day, even if you never did anything wrong...7/17

Bill Gates: Software Assistants Could Help Solve Global Problems

(MIT Technology Review) Besides keeping us organized, software personal assistants could help fix some of the world’s most vexing problems, according to Microsoft cofounder and philanthropist Bill Gates, who spoke yesterday about developments in computing at an event held at the company’s headquarters in Redmond, Washington...7/16