Thursday, September 29, 2011
ORNL in the News

'Low tech' light in neutron beam illuminates photosynthesis in bacteria

(R&D Magazine) Researchers at the Bio-SANS instrument at the High Flux Isotope Reactor are getting a leg up in their research from a "low tech" lighting tool that can be fixed to their samples and then pushed directly into the neutron beam, to illuminate the response of layers of cyanobacteria to changes in light...9/28

Studies unclear about future of electric cars

(The Vancouver Sun) Studies about the impact of electric vehicles are all over the map according to an assessment commissioned this year by the U.S. Department of Energy...9/28

Why Is Carbon Fibre So Expensive?

(Gizmodo) When carbon fibre was first trotted out in solid-rocket motor cases and tanks in the 1960s, it was poised to not only take on fibreglass, but also a whole host of other materials... See, to get the carbon part of carbon fibre, half of the starting material’s acrylic needs to be kicked away. “The final product will cost double what you started with because half burns off”, explains Bob Norris of Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s polymer matrix composites group...9/27


One-day-a-week jobs (for retirees) at Y-12

(Knoxville News Sentinel) Retiring workers at the Y-12 nuclear weapons plant will now have the option of working one day a week under a new program called PReP (Post Retirement Program)...9/28


Mass. man accused of plotting to hit Pentagon and Capitol with drone aircraft

(Washington Post) A 26-year-old physics graduate and model hobbyist from Massachusetts was arrested Wednesday in an FBI undercover operation and accused of planning to build small, explosive-laden drones to attack the Pentagon and the Capitol, according to an FBI affidavit and law enforcement officials...9/28

State & Regional

Expert says TVA coal ash dike not built as planned

(Knoxville News Sentinel) The initial dike at TVA's Kingston Fossil Plant coal ash impoundment area was not built as planned, compounding problems as TVA built additional stages of the facility, a dam construction expert testified in U.S. District Court on Wednesday...9/28

East Tennessee

Body Farm founder honored by UT with new building

(Tennessean) The University of Tennessee is honoring Dr. William M. Bass, who founded the Body Farm research center, with a new building that bears his name...9/28

Knoxville airport to get full-body scanner

(Knoxville News Sentinel) McGhee Tyson Airport soon will have full-body imaging equipment to screen passengers...9/27

2011 Secret City Film Festival — a huge success

(Oak Ridger) ...A first-of-a-kind documentary film series was shown. It represents a departure from standard film making and from standard documentary films as well as demonstrates a new and unique approach to capturing oral histories...9/27

energy & science policy

U.S. Backs New Loans for Projects on Energy

(NY Times) As the federal fiscal year ends, and with it the part of the stimulus program that finances some energy loans, the Energy Department issued $1.07 billion in loan guarantees on Wednesday afternoon, for two solar energy production plants, and on Thursday it plans to announce $156 million in grants for high-risk but potentially high-reward research projects...9/28

Inside Energy Extra

9/28 A daily report on U.S. energy policy
[ORNL users only]
- DOE finalizes two more solar loans
- Solyndra auction set for Oct. 27
- EPA review of GHGs called inadequate
- USDA awards $136M to biofuels
- Republicans target global climate funds

science & technology

Can Wireless Electricity Kill People?

(Popular Science) ...In 1899, Serbian engineer Nikola Tesla built a 142-foot-tall, 12-million-volt electric coil in Colorado Springs and transmitted electricity wirelessly across 25 miles, illuminating 200 lamps with the charge...9/28

Speedy neutrinos challenge physicists

(Nature) Experiment under scrutiny as teams prepare to test claim that particles can beat light speed...9/27

Other Stories

Shanghai Struggles to Save Itself from the Sea

(Scientific American) The global financial capital may face flooding from rising sea levels as a result of climate change...9/27

Tesla's business plan: Riding on fumes

(CNN) Even with a government loan and backing from major automakers, Tesla's business model defies all business logic...9/28

The Next Russian Revolution

(The Atlantic) Outside Moscow, the Kremlin is laying plans to turn a forlorn patch of farmland into a new Silicon Valley, and Russia into a major technological power...9/28