Wednesday, September 29, 2010
ORNL in the News

Sneaking spies into a cell's nucleus

(EurekAlert) While at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee, Tuan Vo-Dinh and colleagues were among the first to demonstrate that surface-enhanced Raman scattering could be put into practical use to detect chemicals, including carcinogens, environmental pollutants and early markers of disease. "Our ultimate goal is to develop a nanoscale delivery system that can drop off its payload – in this case nanoparticles with other agents attached -- into a cell to enhance the effectiveness of a drug treatment," Vo-Dinh said....9/28

ORNL's full steam ahead with wireless help

(Knoxville News Sentinel) Oak Ridge National Laboratory hopes to save up to $675K annually, thanks to upgrades on the lab's 12 miles of steam lines and new wireless sensors to detect problems. The lab, in conjunction with Johnson Controls, is replacing faculty steam traps,and the sensors are supposed to provide an early-warning system....9/27


Department of Energy Formally Commits $1 Billion in Recovery Act Funding to FutureGen 2.0

(DOE Press Release) The FutureGen 2.0 project will help to position the United States as a leader in innovative technologies for reducing carbon emissions from existing coal-fired power plants....9/28

Y-12's uranium stockpile has plenty of horsepower

(Knoxville News Sentinel) Y-12 processes and provides material to select customers for a number of uses - including fuel for nuclear-powered submarines, research reactors and others things -- and those stocks of uranium may vary significantly according to their enrichment and their purity....9/29

IG report substantiates 'pre-selection' in hiring senior official; finds other troubling issues

(Knoxville News Sentinel) A "special inquiry" report released this week by the Dept. of Energy's Office of Inspector General found evidence to substantiate some of the allegations and concerns raised by agency employees regarding hiring practices in DOE's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy....9/29



Obama: 'We need to make clear to people that the cancer is in Pakistan'

(Washington Post) The reason to create a secure, self-governing Afghanistan, President Obama told his aides last year, was "so the cancer doesn't spread there."...9/29 [Registration Required]

North Korea succession: Analysts see turbulent period ahead

(Christian Science Monitor) Amid signs that North Korea's Kim Jong-il is paving the way for his Swiss-educated son to assume power, analysts caution that his youth, and need to prove himself, could pose risks for the US....9/29

State & Regional

TVA rated 'fair' on clean air, renewable energy

(Tennessean) TVA was rated "fair" when it comes to clean air and renewable energy in an environmental performance report by its Office of Inspector General. The public power producer might have done more poorly, except for its hydroelectric production....9/29

East Tennessee

Knoxville's AMS gets $5.3M grant

(Knoxville News Sentinel) A Knoxville-based nuclear services company scored big in a Department of Energy competition for small businesses, winning support for two technology-commercialization projects and receiving $5.3 million in federal subsidies - almost 10 percent of the total amount awarded nationally....9/29



energy & science policy

Court: Stem Cell Funds Can Continue For Now

(NPR) The Obama administration can continue funding embryonic stem cell research for now, a federal appeals court ruled....9/28

Inside Energy Extra

9/28 A daily report on U.S. energy policy
[ORNL users only]
** DOE completes $1B FutureGen award
** Obama taps Jackson for new gulf role
** Senate Democrats nix bid to delay EPA
** DOE plans new refrigerator standards
** DOE said slow to apply IG findings

science & technology

Ancient Italian Town Now Has Wind at Its Back

(New York Times) Faced with high electricity rates, small communities across Italy, a country not known for environmental citizenship, are making renewable energy....9/29

Old Trees May Soon Meet Their Match

(New York Times) Bristlecone pines, which live in extreme conditions about two miles above sea level, are being challenged by a fungus and the native pine bark beetle. For millenniums, the twisted, wind-scoured bristlecone pines that grow at the roof of western North America have survived everything nature could throw at them, from bitter cold to lightning to increased solar radiation....9/28

One-fifth of world's plants at risk of extinction

(BBC) One-fifth of the world's plants - the foundation of life on Earth - are at risk of extinction, a study concludes. Researchers have sampled almost 4,000 species, and conclude that 22% should be classified as "threatened" - the same alarming rate as for mammals....9/29

Chilled-Out Buildings Save Energy, Money

(NPR) A facility in Baltimore uses a high-tech version of old-fashioned ice to provide efficient, thrifty cooling to local buildings. Water is frozen at night when electricity is cheapest, then chills water circulated to buildings. Customers save about 10 percent on their energy costs....9/29

Tiny Plankton Could Steer Giant Hurricanes

(Wired) Phytoplankton is as common in the oceans as grass is on land, and blooms when cold, nutrient-rich water upwells from the depths. That bloom turns the ocean surface from a deep dark blue to a murky turquoise, henceforth known as murkquoise....9/29