Friday, September 16, 2011
ORNL in the News

ORNL may reduce work force by at least 350

(Oak Ridger) Oak Ridge National Laboratory officials may cut at least 350 positions by Dec. 31, as they try to anticipate the domino effect of federal actions aimed at reducing the U.S. budget deficit and stabilizing the national debt...9/15

No longer a Recovery Act project

(Knoxville News Sentinel) Dennis Hill, a spokesman for UCOR (URS/CH2M Oak Ridge), confirmed today that the cleanup of a hot site at Oak Ridge National Laboratory is no longer a Recovery Act-funded project. The excavation of Tank W-1A and the radioactive soils is now being funded with EM operations money allotted to the Department of Energy contractor...9/15

ORNL invention unravels mystery of protein folding

(Innovations Report) An Oak Ridge National Laboratory invention able to quickly predict three-dimensional structure of protein could have huge implications for drug discovery and human health...9/15

A trip to Alaska in search of the future of climate change

(R&D Magazine) Last month (August, 2011), scientists from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) and several other U.S. Department of Energy national laboratories traveled to two small Alaskan towns...Berkeley Lab scientists contribute to many aspects of the proposed project, which is led by Oak Ridge National Laboratory's Stan Wullschleger...9/15

DOE

Order shutting Yucca licensing board addresses concerns: US NRC

(Platts) The US Nuclear Regulatory Commission order September 9 to shut the licensing board reviewing the application for a nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, addresses some of the points made by petitioners suing the agency, according to a senior NRC attorney...9/16

U.S. Can’t Track Tons of Weapons-Grade Uranium, Plutonium

(Wired) President Obama has repeatedly said his top counterterrorism goal is to prevent terrorists from acquiring the building blocks to make nuclear or “dirty” bombs. In April of 2009, Obama announced a new international effort to “secure all vulnerable nuclear material around the world within four years.”...9/16

State & Regional

TVA official answers questions about changes to dams

(WBIR) New proposals from TVA could mean changes at several East Tennessee dams and some utility customers worry they will foot the bill....9/15

National

Declining Birthrates, Expanded Bureaucracy: Is U.S. Going European?

(Forbes) To President Barack Obama and many other Democrats, Europe continues to exercise something of a fatal attraction...9/15

Opposition growing to Obama jobs plan

(USA Today) A week after laying out his $447 billion jobs plan, President Obama is getting more push back from Republicans and Democrats alike.

East Tennessee

TDOT approved taxpayer dollars for financially troubled company

(WATE) Why was the operator of the bankrupt TR Truck Stop in Dandridge awarded a six-figure grant through the federal stimulus package? The truck stop is just off Interstate 40 at exit 412...9/15

TVA ash spill court cases begin Monday

(Knoxville News Sentinel) Lawyers for TVA and about 230 plaintiffs suing the federal utility over the 2008 Kingston coal fly ash spill met in federal court Thursday to work out ground rules for the long-awaited trial that will determine damages and begins Monday. The trial is expected to last several weeks....9/15

energy & science policy

First Information: FY 2012 Senate Appropriations Bill for NASA, NIST, NSF

(AIP) In describing the FY 2012 funding bill her subcommittee approved yesterday, Senator Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), chair of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, and Science explained, “In a spending bill that has less to spend, we naturally focus on the cuts and the things we can’t do...9/15

Department of Energy Releases New Roadmap to Guide Public-Private Cybersecurity Initiatives

(DOE) As part of the Obama Administration’s goals to enhance the security and reliability of the nation’s energy infrastructure, the U.S. Department of Energy today released the 2011 Roadmap to Achieve Energy Delivery Systems Cybersecurity...9/15

science & technology

'Tatooine' gives first direct proof of 2-sun planet

(CNN) Luke Skywalker looks out over a desert dominated by two setting suns in an iconic scene from "Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope." But this isn’t just the stuff of fiction. Now, astronomers have confirmed the first direct evidence that planets with two suns do exist...9/15

Tree ResinTree Resin Captures Evolution of Feathers On Dinosaurs and Birds

(Science Daily) Secrets from the age of the dinosaurs are usually revealed by fossilized bones, but a University of Alberta research team has turned up a treasure trove of Cretaceous feathers trapped in tree resin...9/15

Earthquake in L'AquilaScientists on trial: At fault?

(Nature News) In 2009, an earthquake devastated the Italian city of L'Aquila and killed more than 300 people. Now, scientists are on trial for manslaughter.