Monday, September 22, 2014
ORNL in the News

DOE to replace failed Biomass Steam Plant at ORNL; contractor agrees to install natural gas system

(The Knoxville News Sentinel) The U.S. Department of Energy has reached agreement with its energy-savings contractor to replace the failed Biomass Steam Plant at Oak Ridge National Laboratory with a new high-efficiency unit fueled by natural gas...9/18

Mild Weather Hurting EPB Bottom Line; Oak Ridge May Partner With EPB On Analyzing Smart Grid

(The Chattanoogan) EPB officials said mild weather is hurting its bottom line...Joe Ferguson, board chairman, said the Oak Ridge National Laboratory wants to work with EPB "to develop the electrical system of the future." He said the Oak Ridge facility has the capability to extract and analyze the massive data accumulated by EPB on its successful fiber optic grid...9/19

Underwater camera may help find leak in reactor pool

(The Knoxville News Sentinel) Workers will use an underwater camera this weekend to help locate a leak in the reactor pool at one of Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s old research reactors...9/19

nanothreadsSmallest possible diamonds form ultra-thin nanothreads

(Nanowerk) For the first time, scientists have discovered how to produce ultra-thin "diamond nanothreads" that promise extraordinary properties, including strength and stiffness greater than that of today's strongest nanotubes and polymers..."We used the large high-pressure Paris-Edinburgh device at Oak Ridge National Laboratory to compress a 6-millimeter-wide amount of benzene -- a gigantic amount compared with previous experiments," said Malcolm Guthrie of the Carnegie Institution for Science...9/21

Science and Technology

Time TrialsSpecial relativity aces time trial

(Nature News) Physicists have verified a key prediction of Albert Einstein’s special theory of relativity with unprecedented accuracy. Experiments at a particle accelerator in Germany confirm that time moves slower for a moving clock than for a stationary one....9/19

Solar CellsMagnetic fields make the excitons go 'round: New way to improve efficiency of solar cells

(Science Daily) A major limitation in the performance of solar cells happens within the photovoltaic material itself: When photons strike the molecules of a solar cell, they transfer their energy, producing quasi-particles called excitons -- an energized state of molecules...9/21

Energy and Science Policy

NASA Breaks with the Past: Commercial Crew Transportation Contractors Announced

(AIP) “Today, with the selection of Boeing and SpaceX to be the first American companies to launch our astronauts to the International Space Station, NASA has set the stage for what promises to be the most ambitious and exciting chapter in the history of human space flight.” ...9/17

To Get More Out of Science, Show the Rejected Research

(The New York Times) In 2013, the federal government spent over $30 billion to support basic scientific research. These funds help create knowledge and stimulate greater productivity and commercial activity, but could we get an even better return on our investment? The problem is that the research conducted using federal funds is driven — and distorted — by the academic publishing model...9/18


New Deputy Secretary for the Department of Energy

(Energy Global) On 18 September 2014, the Senate confirmed Elizabeth Sherwood-Randall as the US Department of Energy's Deputy Secretary. "Liz's confirmation comes at a historic time in our nation's energy evolution," said Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz. She joins us with deep expertise in the Department’s nuclear security mission, including both nuclear weapons and countering proliferation....9/18

US Department of Energy expands Clean Energy Manufacturing Initiative

(Renewable Energy Focus) The Department of Energy today announced expansions of its Clean Energy Manufacturing Initiative in support of the American manufacturing sector and a new initiative to support President Obama’s goal of doubling energy productivity by 2030...9/19

Energy Secretary Moniz showcases national labs on the Hill

(Oak Ridge Today) U.S. Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz last week joined Senator Dick Durbin, an Illinois Democrat, and Senator Jim Risch, an Idaho Republican, for National Lab Day on the Hill. The event highlighted several notable research projects from across the national laboratory system...9/21

Labs transferring cybersecurity to industry

(Albuquerque Journal) Through the Department of Homeland Security’s Transition to Practice (TTP) program, cybersecurity technologies developed at Sandia National Laboratories – and at other federal labs – now stand a better chance of finding their way into the real world....9/22

Local and State

UT Engineers Team Up to Move Analog Brain Closer to Reality

(Tennessee Today) Machine learning, the science that makes it possible for devices to "think" on their own, is taking the next step forward thanks to UT College of Engineering professors Jeremy Holleman and Itamar Arel, both of whom are assistant professors in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science...9/19

Technology Key to Knoxville’s Improving Economy

(The Memphis Daily News) Multiple industry sectors have always been a strength for the Knoxville job market, and that deep bench is helping the area once again as state and national economies improve...9/20

Small earthquake reported in Sweetwater

(WBIR) Monroe County residents likely didn't feel it, but the U.S. Geological Survey said there was an earthquake Saturday night. The USGS reported a 2.5 magnitude earthquake hit 5 kilometers northeast of Sweetwater around 8 p.m. An earthquake at that low of a magnitude is considered minor...9/21