Thursday, September 15, 2011
ORNL in the News

ORNL Director Thom Mason reported to be candidate for Livermore job

(Knoxville News Sentinel) Oak Ridge National Laboratory Director Thom Mason wouldn't confirm a report that he's a candidate for director of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. But he didn't deny it either....9/14

At last, ORNL hot site gets its due

(Knoxville News Sentinel) The Department of Energy's cleanup contractors on a $37.7 million project have begun to excavate an old tank and the highly radioactive soils surrounding it....9/14

ORNL Patents Computational Method that Predicts Protein Folding

(HPC Wire) Pratul Agarwal of the lab's Computer Science and Mathematics Division has invented a method able to quickly predict the three-dimensional structure of protein, which could have huge implications for drug discovery and human health....9/14


Energy Department Announces $1.2 Billion Loan Guarantee to Support California Concentrating Solar Power Plant

(DOE Press Release) U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu has announced the Energy Department finalized a $1.2 billion loan guarantee to Mojave Solar LLC for the development of the Mojave Solar Project....9/13

Y-12 hires ex-STRATCOM deputy

(Knoxville News Sentinel) B&W Y-12 on Wednesday announced the hiring of a retired three-star admiral to oversee some of the core missions — including nuclear weapons programs — at the Y-12 National Security Complex....9/14


Mortgage Default Warnings Surged In August

(NPR) Banks have stepped up their actions against homeowners who have fallen behind on their mortgage payments, setting the stage for a fresh wave of foreclosures....9/15

State & Regional

Haslam confident that TN will keep its AAA bond rating

(Tennessean) The three Wall Street agencies that rate the state's debt responded "very positively" to Tennessee's preparations for expected cuts in federal spending, Gov. Bill Haslam said Wednesday....9/15

Other Stories

WHO warns of growing epidemic of premature death from 'noncommunicable diseases'

(Washington Post) The world is facing a growing avalanche of death from heart attack, stroke, cancer, emphysema and diabetes, with many of the victims working-age people in poor countries, the World Health Organization warns....9/14


energy & science policy

Obama green-tech program that backed Solyndra struggles to create jobs

(Washington Post) A $38.6 billion loan guarantee program that the Obama administration promised would create or save 65,000 jobs has created just a few thousand jobs two years after it began, government records show....9/14

Majority of blame for Gulf oil spill lies with BP, two US agencies find

(Christian Science Monitor) The US agencies' exhaustive report on the Gulf oil spill said complacency and cost-cutting led BP to make a series of decisions that complicated operations and added risk before the rig exploded....9/14

Inside Energy Extra

9/14 A daily report on U.S. energy policy
[ORNL users only]
** Repubs: Solyndra aid 'crony capitalism'
** GOP to probe other DOE loan guarantees
** Probe spreads blame for gulf disaster
** FERC pressed on grid reliability
** Lab boosts hydrokinetic technologies

science & technology

'No substitute' for virgin forest

(BBC) The crucial role that virgin forests play in conserving nature is confirmed in a study that spans the tropics. An international team of researchers analysed more than 100 existing studies comparing wildlife in forests that had been modified and those that had not....9/15

Arctic sea ice melting faster than predicted

(Reuters) [Video] Sea-ice coverage across the Arctic Ocean has dwindled to its second-lowest level since satellite records started in 1979, according to the National Snow and Ice Data Center....9/14

Hitchhiking Snails Fly from Ocean to Ocean

(Science Daily) Smithsonian scientists and colleagues report that snails successfully crossed Central America, long considered an impenetrable barrier to marine organisms, twice in the past million years....9/15

World's First 'Blue' Rose Soon Available in U.S.

(Wired) Long a symbol of the unattainable, blue roses will be for sale this fall in the United States and Canada. Named "Applause," the rose is genetically modified to synthesize delphinidin, a pigment found in most blue flowers....9/15