Friday, October 5, 2012
ORNL in the News

ORNL creates super waterproofing technology

(WBIR-TV) Car windshields, boats, and clothing are just some of the items that could benefit from new technology created here in East Tennessee...Called "super hydrophobic" technology or "S.H.", scientist John Simpson said the material, in both liquid and powder form, can repel water from any surface...The decades-long project was created at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory. It is created by certain types of sand that creates a barrier between an object's surface and water...10/4

ORNL gets 'Sustainability Award' from DOE

(Knoxville News Sentinel) Oak Ridge National Laboratory has received a Sustainability Award from the U.S. Dept. of Energy for water conservation, according to info released by the lab. "ORNL's water conservation program reduced water usage and the associated waste water generation by more than 288 million gallons per year in FY 2011 with an associated annual cost avoidance of more than $388,000," the lab said...10/5

Researchers seek to transfer water-wise traits to biofuel crops

(Ethanol Producer Magazine) ...A five-year, multi-institutional $14.3 million U.S. DOE grant to explore the genetic mechanisms of crassulacean acid metabolism (CAM) and drought tolerance in desert-adapted plants was awarded to a team of researchers including John Cushman, a biochemistry professor at UN-R; Xiaohan Yang at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory; James Hartwell at the University of Liverpool, U.K.; and Anne Borland at Newcastle University, U.K. and ORNL...10/4

National

Iran Offers Plan, Dismissed by U.S., on Nuclear Crisis

(NY Times) With harsh economic sanctions contributing to the first major protests in Iran in three years, Iranian officials have begun to describe what they call a “nine-step plan” to defuse the nuclear crisis with the West by gradually suspending the production of the uranium that would be easiest for them to convert into a nuclear weapon...10/4

DOE

Plowshares protesters vow not to plea-bargain; recommend putting Y-12 under UN control

(Knoxville News Sentinel) The three Transform Now Plowshares protesters who broke into the Y-12 nuclear weapons plant July 28 and face multiple federal charges have vowed not to plea-bargain in the case...10/4

East Tennessee

Developer has plans for Oak Ridge's Alexander Inn

(WBIR-TV) After coming close to condemnation, developers have a plan for Oak Ridge's historic Alexander Inn. Family Pride Corporation has applied to convert the building, also known as the "Guest House" into an assisted living center for seniors. Historic preservation agencies have been trying to raise the funding to save the building since 2002...10/1

State and Regional

TVA proposes earthen berms and concrete flood walls to protect dams

(Knoxville News Sentinel) ...The dams involved are Fort Loudoun, Cherokee, Tellico and Watts Bar. Three alternatives for safeguarding the dams were considered. TVA's preference involves earthen berms and concrete flood walls, said Susan Jacks, senior manager of TVA's River Forecast Center...10/5

energy & science policy

Vital U.S. energy data held hostage by budget fight: EIA

(Chicago Tribune) The U.S. federal budget fight might prevent a timely study of the country's new energy bonanza, a senior official said, and stands in the way of data that could help ease volatility that is costly to energy companies and traders alike...10/4

science & technology

The chestnut resurrection

(Nature) ...Until a century ago, the American chestnut was the cornerstone tree species of eastern North America. With long, straight trunks and bushy crowns, it carpeted the forest floor each autumn with prickly brown nuts. But the arrival of chestnut blight from Asia wiped out almost all the stately trees, leaving only a few, isolated stands...10/3

Diss Information: Is There a Way to Stop Popular Falsehoods from Morphing into "Facts"?

(Scientific American) False information is pervasive and difficult to eradicate, but scientists are developing new strategies such as "de-biasing," a method that focuses on facts, to help spread the truth...10/4

Who Will Win a Nobel Prize?

(Slate) Everything you need to know about the contenders, rivalries, scandals, and politics of the famous awards...10/3

The Forgotten Mapmaker: Nokia Has Better Maps Than Apple and Maybe Even Google

(The Atlantic) Apple's maps are bad. Even Tim Cook knows this and apologized for them. Google's maps are good, thanks to years of work, massive computing resources, and thousands of people handcorrecting map data. But there are more than two horses in the race to create an index of the physical world...10/3

Other Stories

Troubled Calif. Nuke Plant Aims to Restart Reactor

(AP) The operator of California‘s troubled San Onofre nuclear power plant on Thursday proposed to restart one of its twin reactors, more than eight months after the seaside facility was shut down following a break in a tube carrying radioactive water...10/4