Thursday, September 6, 2012
ORNL in the News

Good week for solar, as US government strengthens backing for research

(Renewable Energy Magazine) ...two projects have been awarded a total of $900,000 to establish research partnerships and carry out research using existing tools at Energy Department Scientific User Facilities. Based in Berkeley, California, PLANT PV will partner with Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory’s Molecular Foundry to develop 3D mapping tools for higher performing thin film solar material. The University of Colorado will use tools at Oak Ridge National Laboratory to research high-temperature inexpensive materials for concentrating solar power technologies...9/5

Infinite Power Solutions granted key encapsulation patent

( Infinite Power Solutions, Inc., a U.S. clean-technology company and global leader in manufacturing solid-state, rechargeable batteries, today announced it has been granted a key battery encapsulation patent by the United States Patent and Trademark Office...This patent expands on the first, in part, by including a vertical conducting element that eliminates the need for peripheral current collectors as invented by Oak Ridge National Labs in the 1990s...9/5


WSI says 'full investigation' of security test info

(Knoxville News Sentinel) WSI-Oak Ridge, the protective force subcontractor at the Y-12 nuclear weapons plant, today said the company is conducting a "full investigation after test questions associated with the current HSS inspection were released to employees who could have been administered the test during the inspection."...9/5

DOE sites miss out on $6.6 million/year in energy savings

(Platts) ..."The department has publicly advocated for energy conservation in US businesses and private residences, as well as within its own facilities," Inspector General Gregory Friedman said in a report to Energy Secretary Steven Chu. "Effectively evaluating systems in existing buildings and using electricity metering data could significantly advance energy conservation and decrease energy costs."...9/4


U.S. to Retain Role as a Jailer in Afghanistan

(NY Times) The United States military will maintain control over dozens of foreign detainees in Afghanistan for the indefinite future, even as the two countries prepare to ceremonially mark the hand-over of detention operations to the Afghan government, officials from both countries say...9/5

State & Regional

Crumbling Chickamauga Lock needs work, funding

(Chattanooga Times-Free Press) U.S. Army Corps of Engineers officials lead U.S. Rep. Chuck Fleischmann, R-Tenn., and others on a tour of the dewatered Chickamauga Lock early Tuesday morning where they showed off issues that are in need of repair for the waterway to continue operating safely...9/4

Site Selection magazine names TVA among top power companies

(Knoxville News Sentinel) TVA is $2 billion over budget on a nuclear plant project and faces more than $1 billion in costs associated with a 2008 coal ash spill, but it's still one of the nation's top utilities, according to Site Selection magazine...9/6

energy & science policy

Farm Use of Antibiotics Defies Scrutiny

(NY Times) The numbers released quietly by the federal government this year were alarming. A ferocious germ resistant to many types of antibiotics had increased tenfold on chicken breasts, the most commonly eaten meat on the nation’s dinner tables...9/3

science & technology

New DNA encyclopedia shows complex inner workings

(AP) A colossal international effort has yielded the first comprehensive look at how our DNA works, an encyclopedia of information that will rewrite the textbooks and offer new insights into the biology of disease...9/5

Databases fight funding cuts

(Nature) In the era of ‘big data’, it is a bitter blow for scientists to lose access to the online tools they use to analyse and share terabytes of information. Yet funding cuts by the US National Library of Medicine (NLM) are threatening five widely used biological databases, and user communities are now rallying to save them...9/5

Researchers Create World Record Laser Pulse

(Science Daily) A University of Central Florida research team has created the world's shortest laser pulse and in the process may have given scientists a new tool to watch quantum mechanics in action -- something that has been hidden from view until now...9/4

Monorail-Riding Robots Could Continually Rearrange Solar Panels to Follow the Sun

(Popular Science) Fleets of battery-powered robots could zip along monorails installed in solar arrays, tweaking individual panels’ angles so they follow the sun across the sky. This could be cheaper than installing actuators on every solar panel so they track the sun, according to a new robotics startup...9/5

Other Stories

Web index: Weighing up the web’s global impact

(BBC News) The first attempt to rank countries by how much benefit their citizens get from the web has been unveiled. But what does it really mean for a country to come top or bottom of the web index?...9/5

Russia warns against attacking Iran over nuclear fears

(Reuters) Russia has starkly warned Israel and the United States against attacking Iran, saying Moscow sees no evidence that Tehran's nuclear program is aimed at developing weapons...9/6