ORNL in the News

First round of solar grants announced in Tennessee

(Bloomberg Business Week) The Tennessee Solar Institute has issued its first round of grants. The awards announced Friday total $4.5 million and officials said they will result in 2.8 megawatts of new solar energy production in the state. The institute - a partnership of the University of Tennessee and the Oak Ridge National Laboratory - is aimed at speeding construction of renewable energy resources. It falls under Gov. Phil Bredesen's Volunteer State Solar Initiative and is funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009...8/13

$50M contract may end

(Knoxville News Sentinel) A new ruling could jeopardize a $50 million contract awarded earlier this year to Knoxville-based Safety and Ecology Corp., and potentially disrupt Recovery Act-funded cleanup work in Oak Ridge that the Department of Energy has described as urgent...The project involves the demolition and cleanup of old nuclear facilities at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, and work has been stop-and-go for months because of the ongoing protests...8/12

MC student conducts ORNL research that could aid Homeland Security

(Maryville Daily Times) Maryville College student Katherine Nadler is spending the summer at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) conducting research that could aid the U.S. Department of Homeland Security in detecting vaporized explosives...8/15

ARPA-E funding supports research on carbon dioxide removal from flue gases

(Scientific Computing) Researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology are using funding from the Advanced Research Projects Agency—Energy—also known as ARPA-E—to pursue two different, but related, approaches for removing carbon dioxide from the flue gases of coal-burning power plants...In one project, awarded directly to Georgia Tech, researchers are developing hollow-fiber composite membranes that will use nanoporous metal-organic framework materials to separate carbon dioxide from the flue gases. In the other project, Georgia Tech researchers are assisting colleagues at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in developing hollow-fiber sorbents that will soak up carbon dioxide like a sponge—then release it when heated...8/13


Y-12 transformation continues with potable water project, new towers

(Oak Ridger) A critical improvement to the operations of the Y-12 National Security Complex has come online with this summer's start-up of a new potable water system that includes two prominent, 220-foot-tall water towers and more than 1.5 miles of newly installed water lines...8/12

State & Regional

Tennessee's neonatal infection rate higher than average

(Knoxville News Sentinel) A new study has found that infection rates among the tiniest infants in Tennessee's neonatal intensive care units are 70 percent higher than the national average...8/16

Federal teacher money uncertain for Tenn.

(Knoxville News Sentinel) Gov. Phil Bredesen said Wednesday that it's uncertain whether Tennessee will qualify for any of the federal money approved by Congress to save the jobs of schoolteachers. "The teacher money, the way it's structured since we haven't laid off any teachers, we're sitting here trying to struggle over whether we qualify for it," the governor said in a conference call with reporters...8/12


Petraeus Opposes a Rapid Pullout in Afghanistan

(New York Times) Gen. David H. Petraeus, the commander of American and NATO forces, began a campaign on Sunday to convince an increasingly skeptical public that the American-led coalition can still succeed here despite months of setbacks, saying he had not come to Afghanistan to preside over a "graceful exit."...8/15

Rates Fall as Market Fears Economic Weakness

(New York Times) As 2010 began, there was nearly unanimous agreement in financial circles on at least one thing: Interest rates were sure to rise during the year. Quite to the contrary. As Labor Day approaches, interest rates have collapsed, plunging along with economic optimism...8/15

Another Threat to Economy: Boomers Cutting Back

(Wall Street Journal) America's baby boomers—those born between 1946 and 1964—face a problem that could weigh on the economy for years to come: The longer it takes for the economy to recover, the less money they'll have to spend in retirement...8/15

East Tennessee

Fuel cost for TVA customers up again in September

(WBIR) For the seventh consecutive month, Tennessee Valley Authority customers will pay an increased fuel cost in September.  The utility said in a Thursday posting on its website that compared to August, residential bills will increase between $1 and $3, depending on usage levels...8/13

energy & science policy

Inside Energy Extra

8/16 A daily report on U.S. energy policy
[ORNL users only]

  • DOE stimulus spending too slow: IG
  • LANL still struggles with safety: IG
  • BLM approves Chevron solar project
  • Alabama takes BP to court over spill
  • Brookhaven names stimulus contractor

science & technology

Stuxnet could hijack power plants, refineries

(Cnet News) A worm that targets critical infrastructure companies doesn't just steal data, it leaves a back door that could be used to remotely and secretly control plant operations, a Symantec researcher said on Thursday...8/13


Other Stories

Evidence of new solar activity from observations of aurora in New Zealand

(Phys.Org) Scientists from Boston University's Center for Space Physics (CSP) announced that they have sub-visual evidence of the onset of a new cycle of solar-terrestrial activity. The key results being reported deal with the fact that recent auroral displays at high latitudes (ones visible to the naked eye) were accompanied by far less luminous glows in the atmosphere at lower latitudes...8/13

"Dead Zone" Asteroid Found Following Neptune

(National Geographic) Neptune's got company—a so-called Trojan asteroid caught in a gravitational "dead zone" caused by a cosmic tug-of-war between the gravitational fields of the gas giant planet and the sun.  In this dead zone the sun and Neptune's gravitational pulls are roughly equal. As a result, the asteroid is held at a fixed distance behind the planet, following—but not orbiting—Neptune as it circles the sun...8/12

Signing, Singing, Speaking: How Language Evolved

(NPR) These words you are reading are really just a collection of arbitrary symbols. Yet, after some decoding by your brain, these symbols convey meaning. That's because humans have evolved a brain with an extraordinary knack for language. And language has given us a major advantage over other species. Yet scientists still don't know when and how we began using language...8/16