Monday, July 25, 2011
ORNL in the News

Panel Discusses Federal Budget Crisis

(WBIR) A panel of political and economic experts talked about the federal budget crisis...7/22

 

Pyron Solar Appoints CTO And Chief Engineer

(Solar Industry) Pyron Solar, a developer of concentrated PV technology, says it has hired Dr. Duncan Earl as chief technology officer (CTO) and Joe Bentley as chief engineer. Earl will also continue his research work with the Oak Ridge National Laboratory. He is the former CEO and CTO of Sunlight Direct, a solar spin-off company from the ORNL...7/22

Bill Brinkman, Thom MasonDOE's Bill Brinkman talks about Holifield, science, and budget-cutters in Washington

(Knoxville News Sentinel) Bill Brinkman, director of the Dept. of Energy's Office of Science, was in Oak Ridge earlier this week for dedication of a new research facility and discussions with lab and DOE leaders. One of the topics apparently was what to do with the Holifield Radioactive Ion Beam Facility, which has been targeted for shutdown -- or least restricted use -- by the administration as part of a budget-cuts package...7/22

Pyroelectricity key for energy harvesting researchers

(Electronics Weekly) In 314 BC the Greek philosopher Theophrastus noticed something unusual: when he heated a black crystalline rock called tourmaline, it would suddenly attract ash and bits of straw. He had observed what we now call pyroelectricity...Pyroelectricity could be the key, say Scott Hunter and colleagues at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee...7/22

Atomic-Level “Cowboy” Herds Graphene Grains into Shape

(Clean Technica) Graphene, the newly discovered material that is only one atom thick but two hundred times stronger than steel, could be put to infinite uses in the next generation of electronic devices, but getting graphene to behave is a little like herding cats…until now. A team of scientists at Oak Ridge National Laboratory has discovered that hydrogen can function like an atomic-scale cowboy, controlling the growth of graphene grains to form well defined, perfect hexagons.

ORNL's Titan could become a 30-petaflops machine, but then again . . .

(Knoxville News Sentinel) Nothing changes faster than the world of computing, and it seems like a lot of change is in the works at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, a leading center for scientific computing. Some of it relates to technology, but the uncertain budget situation in Washington is apparently driving change, too...7/24

DOE

Department of Energy Cites Savannah River Nuclear Solutions, LLC for Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Violations

(DOE Press Release) The U.S. Department of Energy has issued a Preliminary Notice of Violation (PNOV) to Savannah River Nuclear Solutions, LLC (SRNS) for a June 14, 2010, incident that violated DOE's radiation protection and nuclear safety regulations, and has proposed a $243,750 civil penalty...7/22

K25 East WingBJC's last tango in Oak Ridge

(Knoxville News Sentinel) On Thursday, about a week before the end of its DOE contract, Bechtel Jacobs Co. began demolishing the East Wing of the K-25 building. On Aug. 1, URS-CH2M Oak Ridge (UCOR) will replace BJC as the Department of Energy's environmental manager in Oak Ridge and complete the demolition of the historic uranium-enrichment plant...7/22

State & Regional

TN Democrats propose scholarships, food tax cut

(Tennessean) Tennessee Democrats are proposing lower taxes on food and more money for college scholarships if state revenue continues to improve, but Gov. Bill Haslam says the state has not recovered yet...7/22

National

Boehner, Reid seek own debt proposals

(USA Today) With just eight days left to raise the nation's $14.2 trillion debt ceiling, President Obama and Republican congressional leaders failed Sunday to reach a bipartisan deal, leaving both sides to devise their own solutions...7/25

U.S. trucking funds reach Taliban, military-led investigation concludes

(Washington Post) A year-long military-led investigation has concluded that U.S. taxpayer money has been indirectly funneled to the Taliban under a $2.16 billion transportation contract that the United States has funded in part to promote Afghan businesses...7/24

East Tennessee

Shuttle contractor Nucsafe bracing for program’s end

(Knoxville News Sentinel) An Oak Ridge company that provided equipment and support for space shuttle inspections expects to lose about $500,000 in annual revenues now that NASA's 30-year-old shuttle program has ended, but no layoffs are anticipated...7/23

 

energy & science policy

Inside Energy Extra

7/22 A daily report on U.S. energy policy
[ORNL users only]

  • Libya, spill factor into Keystone review
  • Mich. lawmakers slam new fuel standards
  • BOEM oil spill report to miss deadline
  • Belgian co. invests in US offshore wind
  • Congressional compact florescent bulb ban fails

science & technology

Astronomers Discover Largest and Most Distant Reservoir of Water Yet

(Science Daily) Water really is everywhere. Two teams of astronomers, each led by scientists at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech), have discovered the largest and farthest reservoir of water ever detected in the universe...7/22

ColliderCollider sees tantalizing hint of Higgs

(Nature News) For now, physicists are only willing to call them 'excess events', but fresh data from two experiments at the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) are hinting at something unusual — and it could be the most sought-after particle in all of physics...7/22

Researchers Identify Seventh and Eighth Bases of DNA

(Science Daily) For decades, scientists have known that DNA consists of four basic units -- adenine, guanine, thymine and cytosine. Those four bases have been taught in science textbooks and have formed the basis of the growing knowledge regarding how genes code for life...7/21

Other Stories

Experimental RockeetRace to the Moon Heats Up for Private Firms

(New York Times) Now that the last space shuttle has landed back on Earth, a new generation of space entrepreneurs would like to whip up excitement about the prospect of returning to the Moon...7/21