Tuesday, September 3, 2013
ORNL in the News

Making plutonium in Oak Ridge: an update

(Knoxville News Sentinel) The $20 million pilot project to demonstrate Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s capabilities to produce plutonium-238 for the space program is apparently moving forward as expected. “We have made very good progress to date,” Tim Powers, a division director at ORNL, said in response to questions...8/31

Prepping ORNL’s plutonium waste for WIPP; DOE won’t comment on quantity of fissile material

(Knoxville News Sentinel) Oak Ridge contractors are in the preparatory stages of a two-year project that will get rid of 170 containers of transuranic waste from Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s Solid Waste Storage Area No. 5, including 26 containers that reportedly contain significant quantities of plutonium...9/2

Lecture next week focuses on IAEA training program hosted at ORNL

(Oak Ridge Today) A lunchtime lecture next week will feature a discussion of a recent International Atomic Energy Agency training program that was hosted at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Michael Whitaker, group leader of the ORNL International Safeguards Group in the Nuclear Security and Isotope Technology Division, will lead the presentation...9/2

National

Drawing a Line on Syria, U.S. Eyes Iran Talks

(NY Times) As the Obama administration makes a case for punitive airstrikes on the Syrian government, its strongest card in the view of some supporters of a military response may be the need to send a message to another country: Iran...9/2

DOE

Status of UPF technologies still cloudy

(Knoxville News Sentinel) Last week I posted that microwave casting, despite a number of setbacks in the effort to bring it into the production activities at the Y-12 nuclear weapons plant, is apparently doing well of late and appears set to be a technology of choice in the yet-to-be-built Uranium Processing Facility...9/2

State & Regional

TVA averts debt crisis, won't ask Congress to raise borrowing cap

(Chattanooga Times Free Press) Congress will have to again raise the U.S. debt ceiling next month for the United States to pay its debts, but the debt cap for one federal agency appears to no longer be a problem -- at least for the foreseeable future...9/3

East Tennessee

Historian offers glimpse into Oak Ridge National Laboratory

(The Daily Beacon) ...The mysteries of the so-called "Secret City" were revealed to an attentive audience on Friday as Oak Ridge historian Ray Smith held a lecture in the Baker Center as a part of the Nuclear Security brown bag series...9/3

Norris Dam, Museum of Appalachia among Top 10 on USA Today’s I-75 Guide

(Oak Ridge Today) Norris Dam and the Museum of Appalachia were among the Top 10 attractions published by USA Today in an I-75 guide to the best stops between Detroit and Atlanta...9/2

energy & science policy

No Solution in Sight: Attempts to Craft Federal Budget Deal Fail With One Month to Go

(AIP) “I have no idea” a key Republican senator said yesterday when asked about the next step to craft a budget deal to continue federal funding in FY 2014 following an announcement that high level talks had ended...8/30

science & technology

The STEM Crisis Is a Myth

(IEEE Spectrum) Forget the dire predictions of a looming shortfall of scientists, technologists, engineers, and mathematicians...8/30

Crop pests advancing with global warming

(Nature) Crop pests and diseases are moving towards the poles at about the same speed as warmer temperatures. The finding suggests that climate change is driving their relocation, and raises major concerns about food security...9/1

The Latest In Scientific Field Equipment? Fido's Nose

(NPR) Dave Vesely is busy training his dog, Sharpy. She isn't learning to sit, or fetch or even herd sheep — Sharpy is learning to find the nests of Western Pond Turtles...9/3

Quantum steps towards the Big Bang

(PhysOrg) Present-day physics cannot describe what happened in the Big Bang. Quantum theory and the theory of relativity fail in this almost infinitely dense and hot primal state of the universe...9/3

Other Stories

American Diana Nyad, 64, sets record with Cuba-to-Florida swim

(Reuters) American 64-year-old long-distance swimmer Diana Nyad became the first person to swim across the Florida Straits from Cuba without a shark cage on Monday, succeeding on her fifth attempt at the feat...9/2

First Cars Cross SF-Oakland Bay Bridge’s New Span

(Time) There was little fanfare, but the gleaming white and newly built $6.4-billion eastern span of the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge reopened to the public as vehicles began crossing it after more than a decade of construction delays...9/3