Tuesday, August 1, 2012
ORNL in the News

Carbon Fiber a Government Clean Tech Innovation Success Story

(The Energy Collective) ...While much of the interest in new automobile technology is directed at more efficient batteries for electric vehicles, low-cost carbon fiber has major implications for developing a low-carbon transportation sector as well...the Department of Energy recognized the substantial potential benefits of low-cost carbon fiber and stepped in to help scale up the technology. Using early funding support from the DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, the Oak Ridge National Laboratory established a research program in the early 1990s to discover better and cheaper precursors and more effective processing treatments to convert them into carbon fiber...7/31

Western Drought Could Last 100 Years

(Business Insider) ...Christopher Schwalm and his colleagues at Northern Arizona University's School of Earth Science and Environmental Sustainability think that there is a good chance the drought could be the new normal. If that happens, a big carbon sink will be lost...Schwalm and his team used several sources of data to get their estimates, such as Fluxnet, a network of sensors run by the Oak Ridge National Laboratory; the Center for Climatic Research at the University of Delaware; and the U.S. Department of Agriculture...7/31

DOE

Government vows to 'look very hard' at Y-12 security breach and learn from it

(Knoxville News Sentinel) The National Nuclear Security Administration, the semi-autonomous part of the U.S. Department of Energy that oversees the nation's nuclear weapons program, vowed Tuesday to "look very hard" into the unprecedented intrusion by protesters into the highest-security area at the Y-12 nuclear weapons plant and learn from it...8/1

Nuclear national parks? WWII weapon sites did change history

(Seattle Times) The Obama administration is supporting legislation in Congress that would designate major sites in Oak Ridge, Tenn.; Hanford, Wash.; and Los Alamos, N.M., as national parks, paving the way for wider exposure for the aging laboratories that altered world history...7/29

USEC cites progress in DOE-supported centrifuge research-and-demo project

(Knoxville News Sentinel) USEC Inc. this afternoon issued, in tandem, its financial results for the 2nd quarter and a report stating that it's making "steady progress" toward goals established for the American Centrifuge RD&D (research development and demonstration) project that the Dept. of Energy is helping funding based on a revised agreement earlier this year...7/31

National

Leaders Reach Tentative Deal on Spending to Avoid Fight Before Election Day

(NY Times) ...Under the deal, lawmakers have agreed to a spending rate slightly higher than the current one, despite a call by some conservative Republicans for a lower one. The current level was agreed to last summer as part of a deal to raise the debt ceiling, another partisan standoff...7/31

East Tennessee

Eastman Chemical joint venture to make China plant

(AP) Specialty chemicals maker Eastman Chemical Co. is teaming up with Sinopec Yangzi Petrochemical Co. to build a new resin plant in China...7/31

 

energy & science policy

US to make solar energy development on public land easier

(Ars Technica) 285,000 acres will host fast-tracked development of up to 24GW of peak power...7/27

science & technology

Theoretical physicists win massive awards

(Nature) A billionaire Internet mogul has awarded a record US$27 million to nine physicists for their work on fundamental theory...7/31

Ebola in Uganda: Why Can't We Cure It? Where Does It Hide?

(National Geographic News) A recent outbreak of the deadly Ebola virus in Uganda highlights the many unknowns of the highly contagious fever, experts say...7/31

New Dimension of Physics Research: Cutting the Graphene Cake

(Science Daily) Researchers at The University of Manchester have demonstrated that graphene can be used as a building block to create new 3D crystal structures which are not confined by what nature can produce...7/25

Could A Smart Grid Curb Blackouts?

(Discover News) 620 million people in India are without power in the biggest blackout ever. U.S. cities routinely lose power. Could smart grids help?...7/31

Other Stories

FBI Files Go Digital, After Years of Delays

(Wall Street Journal) Federal Bureau of Investigation agents have finally ditched paper files for a new computer system, an effort that took 12 years and cost more than $600 million...7/31