Tuesday, September 21, 2010
ORNL in the News

New Tennessee Homes Are Laboratories for Energy Efficiency

(Science Daily) ...A ribbon-cutting ceremony held Sept. 20 celebrated the opening of all four homes as laboratories, a major milestone of the first ZEBRAlliance project. ZEBRAlliance, a public-private partnership founded by the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory and Schaad Companies, is both a research project and a multi-faceted energy-efficiency education campaign...9/20

Fisk's crystals, an advance in radiation detection, could elevate terror fight

(Tennessean) Fisk University researchers have just made it easier for Homeland Security agents to tell the difference between a dirty bomb and a banana...In November, Fisk and its research partners at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratories, Oak Ridge National Laboratories, Radiation Monitoring Devices Inc. and the Department of Homeland Security will be honored with an R&D 100 award, given to the 100 cleverest inventions of the year. The new detector — or "high-performance strontium iodide scintillator for gamma-ray spectroscopy" — could go into production next year...9/21

Magnetic attraction for fish, crabs? Study examines whether magnetic fields from aquatic power sources affect animals

(Science Daily) Super-sized electromagnetic coils are helping explain how aquatic life might be affected by renewable energy devices being considered for placement along America's coastal waters and in the nation's rivers....As part of the project, scientists at Oak Ridge National Laboratory are also examining how electromagnetic fields created by hydrokinetic devices, which generate power from free-flowing water in rivers and streams, might affect freshwater animals...9/20

ORNL Strengthens DOE-Funded Clean Vehicles Team

(Pollution Online) As a member of the recently announced clean vehicles consortium, part of the U.S.-China Clean Energy Research Center, Oak Ridge National Laboratory researchers are focusing on a suite of technologies to put more electric and hybrid vehicles on the road...9/21

Mason speaks at energy gathering

(Knoxville News Sentinel) Oak Ridge National Laboratory Director Thom Mason was among the speakers at last week's annual meeting of the Southern States Energy Board. The meeting, a 50th anniversary celebration of the board (founded in 1960), was held at the Greenbrier Resort in West Virginia. According to info from the lab, Mason emphasized how advances in science and technology are being used to address the challenges of climate, energy and national security...9/20

Scientists Reveal Battery Behavior At The Nanoscale

(Energy Daily) As industries and consumers increasingly seek improved battery power sources, cutting-edge microscopy performed at the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory is providing an unprecedented perspective on how lithium-ion batteries function...9/21

Dr. Yi Guo synchronizes semiconductor laser arrays at Stevens with NSF grant

(GEN) The National Science Foundation has announced funding for Dr. Yi Guo's research at Stevens Institute of Technology into a rigorous mathematical approach to the analysis and control of coupled semiconductor laser systems. Dr. Guo, from the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, will partner with Dr. Leonid Bunimovich at Georgia Institute of Technology, Dr. Yehuda Braiman of Oak Ridge National Laboratory, and graduate students at Stevens, Georgia Tech, and the University of Tennessee-Knoxville...9/20


Y-12 to find ways to operate more like a business

(Knoxville News Sentinel) The Y-12 National Security Complex is moving forward with plans to adopt some practices — and standards — from commercial industry. The multi-year project is supposed to eliminate some of the burdensome and apparently unnecessary rules and regulations that the federal government has applied to some of the lower risk activities at Y-12...9/20

Secretary Chu Addresses the International Atomic Energy Agency General Conference

(DOE Press Release) U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu addressed the International Atomic Energy Agency's 54th General Conference today in Vienna...9/20


Recession Over, but Weakness Remains

(Wall Street Journal) The organization responsible for dating changes in the U.S. business cycle said the U.S. recession that started in December 2007 ended in June of last year, but a new report highlighted the weaknesses still facing the U.S. economy...9/20


State & Regional

GM to invest $483 million in Tennessee engine plant

(WBIR.com) General Motors made it official Friday: It will invest an additional $483 million in its Spring Hill manufacturing complex to create 483 new jobs making the company's increasingly popular, fuel-efficient Ecotec four- cylinder engines...9/18

energy & science policy

“A Shared Vision”: Astronomy and Astrophysics Decadal Survey

(AIP) “The survey covers what has been learned, what could be learned, and what it will take to sustain the current revolution in understanding.” So states the recently-released report entitled “New Worlds, New Horizons in Astronomy and Astrophysics,” produced by the Committee for a Decadal Survey of Astronomy and Astrophysics of the National Research Council of the National Academies...9/20

Inside Energy Extra

9/20 A daily report on U.S. energy policy
[ORNL users only]
- Bingaman, others plan renewables bill
- DOE seeks cheap offshore wind energy
- Chu calls on IAEA to approve fuel bank
- China action said key to US clean energy
- Government agency defines 'green jobs'

science & technology

Gas From Raw Sewage to Power Rockets

(Discovery News) Anaerobic bacteria could be used to break down sewage, producing laughing gas, which would then be used for rocket fuel...9/20

New Compass Uses Light Beams to Detect Magnetic Field

(Wired Science) A compass made of light promises to be more sensitive than anything in a Boy Scout’s wildest dreams. A light beam shot through a blob of rubidium atoms can directly and reliably measure the size and orientation of a magnetic field, a team of physicists reports...9/20

Arctic Microbes Sleep for 100 Million Years

(Discovery News) Heat-loving bugs at the bottom of the Arctic Ocean may spend a hundred million years waiting for things to warm up, according to a new study...9/20

Other Stories

Gene-Altered Fish Closer to Approval

(Wall Street Journal) The U.S. has moved closer to approving a laboratory-tweaked salmon that grows twice as fast as conventional farmed fish and would become the first genetically modified animal to appear on American dinner plates...9/21

How 12/25/09 Changed U.S. Counterterrorism

(Popular Mechanics) December 25, 2009 was a pivotal day for U.S. counterterrorism. Although the airline bombing failed, the reverberations from the attempt are still being felt. Here’s how this incident changed U.S. counterterrorism policy, as told by Mike Leiter, the director of the National Counterterrorism Center...9/20

For the Unemployed Over 50, Fears of Never Working Again

(NY Times) ...Of the 14.9 million unemployed, more than 2.2 million are 55 or older. Nearly half of them have been unemployed six months or longer, according to the Labor Department. The unemployment rate in the group — 7.3 percent — is at a record, more than double what it was at the beginning of the latest recession...9/19