Thursday, August 12, 2010
ORNL in the News

Former VP Gore visits lab with climate technologies firm reps

(Oak Ridger) Former Vice President Al Gore visited Oak Ridge National Laboratory with representatives of a venture capital firm on Tuesday to discuss new technologies. Barbara Penland, ORNL deputy director of communications and external relations, said Gore came with Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, a venture capital firm involved in climate technology. According to its website, KPCB is actively working with entrepreneurs to solve the climate crisis, and Gore has joined KPCB as a partner. KPCB has also formed an alliance with Generation Investment Management, co-founded by Gore and David Blood in 2004. Blood is retired as chief executive officer of Goldman Sachs Asset Management...ORNL's Penland said the firm and former Vice President Gore were to be briefed on the lab's "cutting-edge technologies.”...8/11

Nanoscale Inhomogeneities in Superconductors Explained

(Science Daily) Superconducting materials, which transmit power resistance-free, are found to perform optimally when high- and low-charge density varies on the nanoscale level, according to research performed at the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory...8/9

Superconductors go fractal

(Science News) A new experiment using powerful X-ray beams has found a surprising pattern lurking in a superconductor, a material that conducts electricity without energy-sapping resistance. In a particular kind of superconductor, oxygen atoms are physically arranged as a fractal, showing the same pattern at small and large scales...The finding is “very interesting, since it provides a much-welcomed fresh view of the high temperature superconductivity problem,” comments physicist Elbio Dagotto of the University of Tennessee in Knoxville and the Oak Ridge National Laboratory...8/11

SBA ruling puts SEC's $50M cleanup contract at ORNL in jeopardy

(Knoxville News Sentinel) Preliminary work is continuing on a major Recovery Act-funded cleanup project at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, despite ongoing protests of the award (with a potential value of $50 million) and a new ruling by the Small Business Administration that could throw a wrench in the proceedings...8/11


Department of Energy Announces 15 Projects Aimed at Secure CO2 Underground Storage

(DOE Press Release) U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu announced today the selection of 15 projects to develop technologies aimed at safely and economically storing carbon dioxide in geologic formations...8/11

State & Regional

TVA exercise designed to prepare for flooding

(Knoxville News Sentinel) ...The purpose of the exercise is to sharpen abilities to stay ahead of events. Part of the test deals with technical issues such as when to open or close flood gates, operate turbines, fill up reservoirs and other actions, but communication also is vital, [David] Bowling said...8/12


Illegal Immigrants Estimated to Account for 1 in 12 U.S. Births

(Wall Street Journal) One in 12 babies born in the U.S. in 2008 were offspring of illegal immigrants, according to a new study, an estimate that could inflame the debate over birthright citizenship...8/12


East Tennessee

Actress here when museum, gates opened

(Oak Ridger) She was a young, beautiful starlet when she officially visited Oak Ridge for the opening of the city's gates and the American Museum of Atomic Energy -- now called the American Museum of Science and Energy...8/10

energy & science policy

Inside Energy Extra

8/11 A daily report on U.S. energy policy
[ORNL users only]
- Town balks at DOE clean-coal project
- Indian royalty pact may collapse
- BP puts up trust-fund collateral
- Markey: BP must accept spill estimate
- Texas panel warns feds on oil regs

science & technology

Earliest Known Trace of Tool Use Reported

(Wall Street Journal) An international research team working in Ethiopia has unearthed what it considers the earliest known traces of stone-tool use, potentially pushing back the advent of technology about 800,000 years to a time before the evolution of the human family...8/11

Grid Could Meet Sudden Energy Demands By Storing Power As Liquid Oxygen

(Popular Science) Cryonic technology could help meet the world's peak energy demands as well as cut down on greenhouse gas emissions, a new study says. No, not by freezing excess humans -- by storing excess energy at sub-zero temperatures...8/11

Inexplicable Superconductor Fractals Hint at Higher Universal Laws

(Wired Science) What seemed to be flaws in the structure of a mystery metal may have given physicists a glimpse into as-yet-undiscovered laws of the universe...8/11

Other Stories

Scientists find new superbug spreading from India

(Reuters) A new superbug from India could spread around the world -- in part because of medical tourism -- and scientists say there are almost no drugs to treat it...8/11

Hiroshima Survivors Remember Atomic Bomb Blast

(Discovery News) Three days after an atomic bomb devastated Hiroshima, six-year-old Kazuko Uragashira and her parents were aboard an evacuation train out of their charred home city...8/6