Friday, August 16, 2013
ORNL in the News

ORNL superconducting wire yields unprecedented performance

(Oak Ridge Today) The ability to control nanoscale imperfections in superconducting wires results in materials with unparalleled and customized performance, according to a new study from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory...8/15

One-of-a-kind spectrometer reads vibrations between atoms to find structures of molecules

(PhysOrg) A Rice University laboratory has improved upon its ability to determine molecular structures in three dimensions in ways that challenge long-used standards...Junrong Zheng and his co-authors at Rice and Oak Ridge National Laboratory analyzed variations of a model molecule, 4'-methyl-2'nitroacetanilide (MNA), and compared the results with computer-generated and XRD models...8/15

DOE

DNFSB returning in October for Y-12 meeting; nuclear operations and UPF safety on the agenda

(Knoxville News Sentinel) ...The October meeting will include a discussion of the safety-related risks of operating aged nuclear facilities at the site...8/15

U.S. Dept. of Energy to Set New Efficiency Standards

(WAMC) A recent agreement aims to improve the energy efficiency of major electrical appliances across the nation...8/15

State & Regional

TVA Inspects power lines from the sky

(WVLT-TV) ...TVA says it spends half a million hours a year trying to prevent power failures, including 2 trips in the air to see how the main transmission lines look...8/15

National

The Next Disaster Scenario Power Companies Are Preparing For

(NPR) ...there is one disaster scenario for which the power companies are still unprepared: a massive attack on the computer networks that underlie the U.S. electric grid...8/15

East Tennessee

Noted Environmentalist, Author Bill McKibben to Speak Monday

(Tennessee Today) Noted environmentalist Bill McKibben, whose latest book, Eaarth: Making a Life on a Tough New Planet, is this year’s Life of the Mind selection for freshmen, will speak on campus on Monday... the event is free and open to the public...8/15

energy & science policy

Intermittent Nature of Green Power Is Challenge for Utilities

(NY Times) The 21 turbines at the Kingdom Community Wind farm in Vermont soar above Lowell Mountain, a testament in steel and fiberglass to the state’s growing use of green energy...8/14

science & technology

Smart glass blocks heat or light at flick of a switch

(Nature) An engineered window coating can be tweaked to respond to changing weather conditions. Small voltages applied to the material trigger it to block heat and, independently, light...8/14

The Surprisingly Large Energy Footprint of the Digital Economy

(Time) Our computers and smartphones might seem clean, but the digital economy uses a tenth of the world's electricity — and that share will only increase, with serious consequences for the economy and the environment...8/14

Oldest petroglyphs in North America confirmed in Nevada

(CS Monitor) Ancient rock etchings along a dried-up lake bed in Nevada have been confirmed to be the oldest recorded petroglyphs in North America, dating back at least 10,000 years...8/15

As Asia Bakes, Scientists Predict Extreme Heat May Become the Norm

(Scientific American) As the heat wave in East Asia drags on, hospitalizing thousands in Japan and straining power resources in South Korea, a new study by European climate researchers predicts that today's unusually high temperatures may become tomorrow's normal summer weather for many regions across the globe...8/15

Other Stories

Why Some Startups Say the Cloud Is a Waste of Money

(Wired) ...while cloud computing is suited to many tasks — including getting your startup off the ground or running a modest website — it doesn’t make sense for others...8/15