Thursday, July 21, 2011
ORNL in the News

ORNL unveils new research facility

(WVLT-TV) Before Tuesday, visiting scientists had one question when they saw the chemical and materials science building at ORNL. "They looked at it and said, 'you expect me to work here?'" Not anymore. ORNL replaced the 60 year old complex with a new one. Scientist Steve Overbury said, "this is how we're going to solve the energy crisis. This is how we're going to meet the energy challenges of the next century."...7/19

Scientists Prove Hydrogen Controls Shape, Size + Growth of Graphene

( Scientists at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory of the Department of Energy found that the key element that determines the dimensions of graphene is hydrogen and not carbon. Ivan Vlassiouk stated that hydrogen triggers the growth of graphene and impacts its size and shape. He said that they have formulated a technique to grow hexagonal shaped graphene grains resulting in the formation of flawless single crystals...7/20

'It's just a drop-dead gorgeous building'

(Knoxville News Sentinel) There were a lot of nice things said about the new Chemical and Materials Sciences Building when Oak Ridge National Laboratory held a dedication ceremony earlier this week...7/20

High-temperature superconductivity at 25: Still in suspense

(Nature News) A quarter of a century after the discovery of high-temperature superconductivity, there is still heated debate about how it works..."It's almost like a do-over," says Thomas Maier, a physicist at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee. Pnictides have a more complex structure than cuprates, but they might help to uncover which phenomena are central to high-temperature superconductivity, and which are simply due to the copper oxide structure...7/20


It's past time for NNSA to reveal Y-12 contract plan

(Knoxville News Sentinell) Back in March 2010, the National Nuclear Security Administration announced plans to combine the management contracts for two of its nuclear weapons production plants — Y-12 in Oak Ridge and Pantex in Amarillo, Texas — and possibly include some of the work done at Savannah River in South Carolina...7/19

Graphene Gives Up More of Its Secrets

(Science Daily) ...researchers using the Advanced Light Source at the U.S. Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory have taken an important step toward confirming that graphene is every bit as unusual as expected -- perhaps even more so...7/18




The Shuttle Ends Its Final Voyage and an Era in Space

(NY Times) The last space shuttle flight rolled to a stop at 5:58 a.m. on Thursday, closing an era of the nation’s space program. "Mission complete, Houston," said Capt. Christopher J. Ferguson of the Navy, commander of the shuttle Atlantis for the last flight. "After serving the world for over 30 years, the space shuttle has earned itsplace in history, and it’s come to a final stop."...7/21

State & Regional

Tennessee on environmental group's Top 20 emissions list

(Knoxville News Sentinel) The environmental group Natural Resources Defense Council has named Tennessee one of 20 states with the most toxic air pollution from coal and oil-fired power plants...7/20

Nissan to build electric car motors at Tennessee plant

(AP) Nissan will build motors for its electric Leaf car at its engine plant in Decherd, Tenn. The company says production will start in 2013 and create up to 90 jobs...7/20

energy & science policy

Commission: U.S. Must Make Nuclear Plants Safer

(NPR) America's nuclear reactors need new safeguards to ensure that the kind of accident that destroyed reactors in Japan last March doesn't happen here. That's the conclusion from a 90-day study of the accident undertaken by experts at the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission...7/19

Split Within Nuclear Regulatory Agency

(NY Times) A majority of the five-member Nuclear Regulatory Commission is signaling that it wants to move slowly on at least some new recommendations from its staff on how to reduce the chance of a Fukushima-type accident at an American reactor despite calls by its chairman for swift action...7/20

Inside Energy Extra

7/20 A daily report on U.S. energy policy
[ORNL users only]
- DOE says Vitol oil sale was legal
- USDA: ethanol firm struggling with loan
- DOE says small modular reactors clean, safe
- Wind farm guidance not a legal shield
- Chu urged to lead on climate change

science & technology

CERN 'gags' physicists in cosmic ray climate experiment

(The Register) The chief of the world's leading physics lab at CERN in Geneva has prohibited scientists from drawing conclusions from a major experiment. The CLOUD ("Cosmics Leaving Outdoor Droplets") experiment examines the role that energetic particles from deep space play in cloud formation...7/20

Researchers create the first artificial neural network out of DNA

( Caltech researchers have invented a method for designing systems of DNA molecules whose interactions simulate the behavior of a simple mathematical model of artificial neural networks...7/20

New Approach Proposed for Science Curriculums

(NY Times) A new framework for improving American science education calls for paring the curriculum to focus on core ideas and teaching students more about how to approach and solve problems rather than just memorizing factual nuggets...7/19

Other Stories

TSA says it's making airport screening more 'private'Transportation Security Administration

(USA Today) The said Wednesday it has begun installing software to give passengers more privacy when they're screened by some of the full-body scanning machines at airport checkpoints...7/20