Monday, August 25, 2014
ORNL in the News

Clues uncovered to role of magnetism in iron-based superconductors

(R&D Magazine) New measurements of atomic-scale magnetic behavior in iron-based superconductors by researchers at the U.S. Dept. of Energy (DOE)’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) and Vanderbilt Univ. are challenging conventional wisdom about superconductivity and magnetism...8/22

PoplarsSignatures of selection inscribed on poplar genomes

(PhysOrg) One aspect of the climate change models researchers have been developing looks at how plant ranges might shift, and how factors such as temperature, water availability, and light levels might come into play...The team led by Gerald Tuskan of Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), the Department of Energy Joint Genome Institute (DOE JGI) and Stephen DiFazio of West Virginia University, used a combination of genome-wide selection scans and analyses...8/24

Catalytic gold nanoclusters promise rich chemical yields

(PhysOrg) Old thinking was that gold, while good for jewelry, was not of much use for chemists because it is relatively nonreactive...In collaboration with scientists from Carnegie Mellon University, researchers at the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory have found one new gold molecule, a catalyst containing exactly 25 gold atoms, that is powerful as well as sophisticated...8/25

ORNL’s Biomass Steam Plant a flop; DOE looking for a long-term solution, negotiating with contractor

(The Knoxville News Sentinel) Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s Biomass Steam Plant, heralded as a money saver and friend to the environment, failed to live up to its hype operationally, and the U.S. Department of Energy is reportedly trying to renegotiate its deal with the company that performed this and other projects at ORNL under a $90 million Energy Savings Performance Contract...8/24

Science & Technology

Disssolved Organic MatterSunlight, not microbes, key to carbon dioxide in Arctic

(Science Daily) The vast reservoir of carbon stored in Arctic permafrost is gradually being converted to carbon dioxide after entering the freshwater system in a process thought to be controlled largely by microbial activity...8/21

EcologyIs ecology explaining less and less?

(Science Magazine) Ecologists are testing more and more hypotheses, but their studies are explaining less of the world. That’s the striking conclusion of a new study that analyzes 8 decades of research papers. What exactly is driving these trends isn’t clear, but researchers fear it could undermine confidence in ecological research...8/25

Energy and Science Policy

House Legislation: Energy Critical Elements Program and “Helium II”

(AIP) FYI #136 reviewed the provisions of H.R. 1022, the Securing Energy Critical Elements and American Jobs Act of 2014 as introduced in March 2013.  The bill considered on the House floor differed from this original version, following bipartisan discussion, in several ways...8/22

ScalesStudy: Cutting emissions pays for itself

(MIT News) ...just how large are the health benefits of cleaner air in comparison to the costs of reducing carbon emissions? MIT researchers looked at three policies achieving the same reductions in the United States, and found that the savings on health care spending and other costs related to illness can be big — in some cases, more than 10 times the cost of policy implementation...8/24



Wind FarmDepartment of Energy is Optimistic of US Wind Energy Future

(KFYR-TV) Amid concern over tax incentives, the low cost of wind turbines and the price of wind powered electricity, a federal agency is predicting a large increase in the amount of electricity generated from wind...8/19

Science group asks U.S. energy secretary to intervene in case of fired Los Alamos researcher

(Science Magazine) A science advocacy group is calling on Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz to get involved in the case of political scientist James Doyle, who was fired by the Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) after publishing a scholarly article questioning the value of nuclear weapons...8/22

Energy Department Announces $17 Million to Advance Efficient, Environmentally-Friendly Highway Transportation Technologies

(EIN News) The Energy Department announced today $17.6 million for 14 cooperative agreements with small businesses and institutions of higher education to develop and deploy efficient and environmentally friendly highway transportation technologies that will help reduce petroleum use in the United States...8/22

State and local

Federal program set to ‘DRIVE’ economy into future

(Murfreesboro Daily News Journal) ...Representing the Tennessee Valley’s automotive manufacturing sector, DRIVE was chosen as one of 12 communities in a national competition launched in December 2013 by the Obama Administration and led by the Department of Commerce to designate certain manufacturing communities...8/24

Roane County debates use of TVA funds

It's been more than five years since Roane County felt the devastation of a large ash spill. In an effort to fix the damage, the Tennessee Valley Authority offered Roane County $43 million...8/23

Military surplus bonanza transforms Tennessee police work

(The Tennessean) Nashville police don't want to be compared to the authorities in Ferguson, Mo., where images of their heavily armed clashes with protesters stirred national passions and have hummed across TV screens for two weeks' running...8/23

TVA cuts staff, spending but boost rates 1.5 percent

(Chattanooga Times Free Press) For the second consecutive year, the Tennessee Valley Authority is raising electric rates less than inflation. Most consumers may not even notice the higher base rate charge since next month's drop in fuel costs will be even bigger than the planned October price increase...8/22