Wednesday, August 18, 2010
ORNL in the News

ORNL's Peng wins Fusion Power Associates Leadership Award

(PhysOrg) Martin Peng, a researcher in the Fusion Energy Division of Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory, has been selected by the Fusion Power Associates board of directors to receive a 2010 FPA Leadership Award. The FPA Leadership awards have been given annually since 1980 to individuals who have shown outstanding leadership qualities in accelerating the development of fusion as an energy source....8/17

Oak Ridge National Laboratory and Asylum Research Receive Microscopy Today Innovation Award for New Band Excitation SPM Technology

(Nanowerk News) Asylum Research, the technology leader in scanning probe and atomic force microscopy, and Oak Ridge National Laboratory have just received the prestigious Microscopy Today Innovation Award for the development of Band Excitation, a new breakthrough scanning probe microscopy technology....8/18

New approaches to meet the carbon-capture challenge

(R & D Magazine) Researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology are using funding from the Advanced Research Projects Agency -- 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....8/17


Secretary Chu Dedicates World's Most Powerful X-ray Laser

(DOE Press Release) U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu today dedicated the Linac Coherent Light Source (LCLS), the world's first and most powerful X-ray laser, at the Department of Energy's SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory. The LCLS will play an essential role in addressing the scientific needs of the 21st century by exploring new ways to create better energy sources and enabling advances in a range of scientific fields....8/16

Y-12 stimulus fund grows, new projects may follow

(Knoxville News Sentinel) Y-12's Recovery Act war chest for cleanup projects has grown to $245 million. That's about $29 million more than the plant's initial allotment of $216 million, according to contractor spokesman David Keim. While there's more money available for cleanup activities, that hasn't yet translated into new projects....8/18

East Tennessee

TVA study shows no long-term health problems from spill

(Knoxville News Sentinel) The results of the TVA-commissioned effort were unequivocally positive: no health problems had been found in residents that could be traced to coal ash exposure and no long-term problems were anticipated by the experts who put the study together....8/18


What happened to Gulf oil spill? Rosy portrait was hasty, study says

(Christian Science Monitor) The new estimate from marine scientists comes two weeks after a report that prompted rosy conclusions from some Obama administration officials about the Gulf oil spill....8/17

State & Regional

UT ranks 47th on magazine's list of top universities

(Knoxville News Sentinel) The University of Tennessee is five steps closer to its goal of becoming a Top 25 university. That's how many spots it jumped since last year, coming in at No. 47 on the U.S. News & World Reports' annual rankings of public universities. UT owes its uptick to a slight rise in graduation rates, freshman to sophomore retention rates and its reputation among other institutions. In the last year, the university has created distinguished fellowships in a partnership with Oak Ridge National Laboratory to attract top-flight graduate students to do research....8/18

Politics cripple TVA board

(Tennessean) The TVA board was overhauled five years ago in a plan that was supposed to make governance of the federal power producer more effective and similar to corporate America. But, mashed through the reality of Washington politics, the board today is teetering on the edge of losing its ability to function....8/18



energy & science policy

House Science and Tech Subcommittee Advances Nuclear Energy R&D Legislation

(AIP Bulletin) The legislation modifies the Energy Policy Act of 2005 by adding a small modular reactor program, a nuclear fuel cycle research and development program, requiring a report on the risks associated with a severe accident at a nuclear facility, and directing the National Institute of Standards and Technology to put together a nuclear energy standards committee....8/17

Inside Energy Extra

8/17 A daily report on U.S. energy policy
[ORNL users only]
** EPA plans to combat emissions globally
** API plans rallies to fight bills
** Oil spill bill losing momentum: Analysts
** Loan aid critical to nuclear: S&P
** Most powerful X-ray laser dedicated
** Ex-OMB aide joins Chu's staff

science & technology

Step 1: Post Elusive Proof. Step 2: Watch Fireworks

(New York Times) A claimed proof for one of the most vexing mathematical problems, P versus NP, set off shock waves online, demonstrating the potential of Web-based collaboration....8/17

Black hole mystery solved by magnetic star discovery

(BBC News) The discovery of a rare magnetic star - or magnetar - is challenging theories about the origin of black holes. Magnetars are a special type of neutron star with a powerful magnetic field. They are formed by gravitational collapse after the original, or progenitor star, dies and forms a catastrophic supernova....8/18

A Quest to Make the Morgan Seaworthy

(New York Times) Restorers are spending $10 million to make the world's last surviving wooden whaling vessel, the Charles W. Morgan, seaworthy....8/17

Scots scientists create car biofuel from whisky by-products

(PhysOrg) Whisky lovers have another excuse to enjoy a dram -- scientists in Scotland on Tuesday unveiled a biofuel to help power cars developed from the by-products of the distillation process....8/18

Pakistan Flooding Because of Farms?

(National Geographic) Pakistan's extreme floods, which have displaced 20 million people and swamped a fifth of the country, have been made far worse by decades of river mismanagement, experts say....8/17

A (Load) Balancing Act: The Challenge Of Clean Power

(NPR) Solar and wind power are booming in California, but there are times when the sun doesn't shine and the wind doesn't blow. So California utilities are looking to smooth out those bumps by doing something rarely done on the grid today: storing electricity....8/18