Wednesday, September 25, 2013
ORNL in the News

Butch Jones and Thom MasonORNL United Way campaign tops $900,000 level

(ORNL Press Release) After a kick off with football coach Butch Jones, fund-raising events throughout the summer, and a campaign that added three dozen Leadership givers, UT-Battelle announced that its 2013 United Way campaign raised $901,048 at Oak Ridge National Laboratory...9/24

Uranium diet: US nuclear power industry could face fuel shortage

(RT.com) ...The US Atomic Energy Act forbids NASA from manufacturing plutonium-238 on its own, so starting from 2001 the space agency has been pressing the US authorities to restore Pu-238 production...The program would imply using two reactors, the High Flux Isotope Reactor at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee and the Advanced Test Reactor west of Idaho Falls, and is supposed to deliver 1.5-2kg of plutonium annually starting from 2017...9/24

DOE

POGO: It would be ‘ludicrous’ to ignore cost-saving alternatives to UPF; cites work that could be done at Pantex

(The Knoxville News Sentinel) A government watchdog group wants to scrap plans for a multibillion-dollar Uranium Processing Facility at the Y-12 nuclear weapons plant in Oak Ridge, arguing there are alternatives that cost far less and make more sense...9/24

State & Regional

Domestic violence crimes falling in Tennessee, TBI reports

(Chattanooga Times-Free Press) Reported cases of domestic violence crimes fell 3.4 percent from 2010 through 2012, according a Tennessee Bureau of Investigation study released today...9/24

Tennessee's Public Infrastructure Needs Stand At $37.1 Billion Report Says

(The Chattanoogan) Tennessee needs at least $37.1 billion of public infrastructure improvements to be in some stage of development during the five-year period of 2011-2016 according to a new report by the Tennessee Advisory Commission on Intergovernmental Relations (TACIR)...9/24

National

Barack ObamaObama Challenges UN to Confront Chemical, Nuclear Weapons

(ABC News) A new round of diplomatic outreach with Iran will be among President Obama's top second-term priorities, he told the United Nations today, though voicing cautious skepticism that any talks will lead to a dramatic change in relations...9/24

Pakistan earthquake: Hundreds dead in Balochistan

(BBC News) A powerful earthquake has killed at least 250 people in Pakistan's remote south-west province of Balochistan. The 7.7-magnitude quake struck on Tuesday afternoon at a depth of 20km (13 miles) north-east of Awaran, the US Geological Survey said. Many houses were flattened and thousands of people have spent the night in the open...9/25

East Tennessee

Adfac HouseUT-Battelle builds second home for ADFAC

(Oak Ridge Today) Volunteers from UT-Battelle have completed their second home in two years for ADFAC, a nonprofit agency that helps low-income residents...9/24

energy & science policy

Time to Rethink Misguided Policies That Promote Biofuels to Protect Climate, Experts Say

(Science Daily) Policymakers need to rethink the idea of promoting biofuels to protect the climate because the methods used to justify such policies are inherently flawed, according to a University of Michigan energy researcher...9/24

Spring Creek MineE.P.A. Rules on Emissions at Existing Coal Plants Might Give States Leeway

(The New York Times) Four years ago, Congress rejected the idea of a cap-and-trade system to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by putting a price on them. But the plan announced by the Environmental Protection Agency on Friday to regulate emissions from existing coal-fired power plants could foster creation of such a system...9/23

science & technology

Budget sequester squeezes scientific research

(The Washington Post) A year ago, Yuntao Wu was on a roll. The George Mason University researcher had just published a study hailed by the scientific press as “groundbreaking” that reveals why HIV targets only a specific kind of T-cell and, separately, found that a compound in soybeans seemed to have promise for inhibiting infection...9/24

Solar CellsIncredible Technology: How Solar Sails Could Propel the First Starships

(Yahoo News) Sail ships might be the spacecraft that first take human technology to distant stars. Giant sails propelled by the sun's or a laser's energy could be the most viable option for in the not-too-distant future, James Benford, a physicist associated with Icarus Interstellar, a non-profit group devoted to finding a way to travel to another star system...9/23

Large soil carbon stores trigger rethink

(PhysOrg) WA researchers will soon examine if carbon stocks found metres down in soil is inert or active after a study found significantly more carbon stored than previously thought...9/24

Other Stories

Lower Health Insurance Premiums to Come at Cost of Fewer Choices

(The New York Times) Federal officials often say that health insurance will cost consumers less than expected under President Obama's health care law. But they rarely mention one big reason: many insurers are significantly limiting the choices of doctors and hospitals available to consumers...9/22