Thursday, August 18, 2011
ORNL in the News

UT receives $18 million award to study nation's power grid

(Knoxville News Sentinel) Even before he accepted the job at the University of Tennessee, Kevin Tomsovic was accessing how to assemble a dynamic team that could lead the country in finding solutions for the nation's outdated power grid...The Center for Ultra-wide-area Resilient Electrical Energy Transmission Networks — or CURENT — will work with Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Tennessee Valley Authority and more than 40 industry partners to find efficient methods of transferring electric power that could be used to build a new "smart grid" to deliver the nation's power...8/18

Knox County Schools Get Video Conferencing

(Metro Pulse) Bright students at all Knox County high schools may benefit from the new STEM school that opened this week in the old L&N building downtown. The school system got over $400,000 in “distance learning” equipment from UT-Battelle, the operator of Oak Ridge National Laboratory. A video conferencing room is being constructed at each high school...8/17

Single, Key Gene Discovery Could Streamline Production of Biofuels

(Science Daily) A team of researchers at the Department of Energy's BioEnergy Science Center (BESC) have pinpointed the exact, single gene that controls ethanol production capacity in a microorganism...BESC is led by Oak Ridge National Laboratory and is one of three DOE Bioenergy Research Centers established by the DOE's Office of Science in 2007...8/16

The workhorse of science

(Knoxville News Sentinel) Buddy Bland, project director for the Leadership Computing Facility at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, passed along a cool report on results of the Department of Energy's INCITE (Innovative and Novel Computational Impact on Theory and Experiment) program -- much of which is carried out at ORNL...8/17



Y-12 gets a jump on B53 dismantlement

(Knoxville News Sentinel) Usually, when there's a change of schedule in government, it involves a delay that stretches out the timetable for getting work done. That apparently wasn't the case with Y-12's role in dismantling second-stage components of B53 bombs, some of the biggest nuclear weapons ever put into play...8/17


Time running short on USEC's loan quest

(Knoxville News Sentinel) Deadline after deadline seems to pass on USEC's application for a $2 billion loan guarantee from the U.S. Department of Energy, yet the company continues to tread water and keep alive its plans for a new uranium-enrichment plant in Ohio...8/17

State & Regional

NRC upholds TVA Browns Ferry red violation

(Knoxville News Sentinel) The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission has upheld its finding of a serious safety violation that will require increased inspection activities at the Tennessee Valley Authority's Browns Ferry nuclear plant in Alabama...8/17


Exxon, U.S. Government Duel Over Huge Oil Find

(Wall Street Journal) Exxon Mobil Corp. is fighting with the U.S. government to keep control of one of its biggest oil discoveries ever, in a showdown where billions of dollars hang in the balance for both sides...8/18

East Tennessee

UT president talks biofuels with White House

(Knoxville News Sentinel) University of Tennessee President Joe DiPietro took his message on the potential of switchgrass as a biofuel to Iowa Tuesday, where he touted the idea to the White House administration during a forum on rural economies...8/17

‘20/20’ Vision: Entrepreneurial spirit lauded

(Oak Ridger) Entrepreneurship could be the answer to today's challenging economy. And in light of that hope, Technology 2020 -- established 16 years ago by the Oak Ridge Chamber of Commerce -- is slightly changing its brand, building on its proven strengths, and reaffirming its commitment to helping create potential high-growth companies through technological resources in the Tennessee Valley Corridor...8/17

energy & science policy

Inside Energy Extra

8/17 A daily report on U.S. energy policy
[ORNL users only]
- Offshore R.I., Mass. wind plans aired
- New policy for appliance standards set
- Inhofe grills EPA on grid reliability
- Macondo report urges coordination

science & technology

Set a bug to kill a bug

(Nature News) Engineered bacteria that can detect and kill human pathogens could provide a new way to treat antibiotic-resistant bacteria...8/16

Hunt for Solar Technology Identifies Best-Yet Organic Semiconducting Molecule

(Scientific American) US researchers have used computer modeling to identify an organic molecule with useful electrical properties - proof-of-concept for an approach that could soon yield new compounds to harvest solar energy in photovoltaic cells...8/16

Seeking a Safer Future for Electricity’s Coal Ash Waste

(National Geographic News) In the United States, where a catastrophic 2008 coal ash spill sullied land, rivers, and homes over 300 acres (121 hectares) of Tennessee, government and industry are locked in a dispute over future handling of the nettlesome by-product of fossil-fueled electricity...8/15

Infographic: The Past, Present, and Future of Supercomputers

(The Atlantic) Over the last seven decades, processors have gone from measuring thousands of operations to quadrillions of operations per second...8/17

Other Stories

Japan Utility May Face Delay in Fukushima Cleanup Plan

(Scientific American) The operator of Japan's tsunami-hit Fukushima nuclear power plant said Wednesday that it would stick to its timetable of trying to achieve "cold shutdown" of damaged reactors by January, though technical problems could delay the plan...8/17

Manned space flights no longer priority for Russia

(Reuters) Moscow no longer sees manned spaceflight as its top priority but remains committed to its International Space Station obligations, the head of Russian space agency Roskosmos said on Wednesday...8/17