Friday, October 8, 2010
ORNL in the News

Federal Stimulus Boosts Carbon Composite Hopes

(Design News) Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee is finishing construction of a pilot plant that will be able to produce up to 25 tons per year of carbon fiber from low-cost lignin and other feedstocks. Successful startup of the technology could pave the way for much wider use of carbon-fiber composites in cars, wind turbines and other industrial applications. "Through its investment in the Carbon Fiber Technology Facility,, the federal government is facilitating the commercialization of a full-scale manufacturing process for carbon fiber that is cheap enough to be purchased by auto and wind turbine companies," says Fred Baker, a scientist in the Materials Science and Technology Div.'s (MSTD) Carbon Materials Technology group....10/6

New Energy Efficiency Center at Berkeley Lab Approved

(Softpedia) Officials at Berkeley Lab announce that their facility has been selected to lead an international consortium that will manage the creation of a US-China Clean Energy Research Center (CERC) on Building Energy Efficiency at the Lab. The consortium in charge of CERC includes the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, the Beijing branch of the Natural Resources Defense Council, and the Beijing branch of ICF International....10/8

ORNL Has Key Roles in DOE Cybersecurity for Energy Effort

(Newswise) With the transition to a smart grid comes new opportunities for hackers, but researchers at the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory are working to stay at least one step ahead. ORNL recently won DOE solicitations worth about $7 million over the next three years and will be developing systems to guard against power outages caused by man or nature....10/7

Sharing wheels at ORNL

(Knoxville News Sentinel) As part of its green transportation initiative begun two years ago, Oak Ridge National Lab's successful bike-sharing program is based on a Copenhagen model. Here's the strategy, as described by Joan Lawson of the lab's Wellness Program: "Ride shared bike from one end of the ORNL campus to the other, leave it while in a meeting, and it may be there when you come out or use another bike. No reserving bikes."...10/7


DOE Announces Winners of 2010 Federal Energy and Water Management Awards

(DOE Press Release) The U.S. Department of Energy today announced that more than 30 individuals, teams and organizations across the Federal Government were selected to receive Federal Energy and Water Management Awards for outstanding and innovative efforts to implement sustainable strategies that improve energy, water, and vehicle fleet efficiency....10/7

State & Regional

TVA board picks sworn in

(Knoxville News Sentinel) The members who are new to the board are Democratic nominees Barbara Haskew of Chattanooga, Marilyn Brown of Atlanta and Neil McBride of Oak Ridge. The fourth nominee, Republican Bill Sansom of Knoxville, was reappointed after serving on the board from 2006 to 2009....10/8



U.S. Contractors Employed Taliban

(Wall Street Journal) A yearlong investigation by a Senate panel has found evidence that the mostly Afghan force of private security guards the U.S. military depends on to protect supply convoys and bases in Afghanistan is rife with criminals, drug users and insurgents....10/8

Nobel Peace Prize Given to Jailed Chinese Dissident

(New York Times) Liu Xiaobo, an impassioned literary critic, political essayist and democracy advocate repeatedly jailed by the Chinese government for his writings, won the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize on Friday in recognition of "his long and nonviolent struggle for fundamental human rights in China."...10/8



energy & science policy

White House 'Asian Carp Czar' Outlines His Strategy For Eradicating Species

(NPR) Almost a month ago, the Obama administration appointed an "Asian carp czar." John Goss, who reports to an office in the White House, to oversee the government-led effort to eradicate the species....10/7

Doubts Raised About BP Study

(Wall Street Journal) BP PLC's lawyers helped prepare its internal investigation into its Gulf of Mexico drilling disaster, according to the report's lead author, raising questions about the study's impartiality....10/8

science & technology

Chile establishes 58,000-square-mile marine reserve near Easter Island

(Washington Post) Chile established an enormous marine reserve near Easter Island on Wednesday that will be off-limits to fishing and other extractive activities, providing a haven for vulnerable species such as sharks and lobsters....10/6 [Registration Required]

'Express lanes' for ions: By aligning carbon nanotubes in electrodes, researchers boost performance

(PhysOrg) By aligning carbon nanotubes inside polymer composites, Wardle and his colleagues designed electrodes that allow ions to travel more quickly between the tiny cylinders....10/8

Best of a New Trove of Mind-Blowing Space Photos

(Wired) The European Southern Observatory is a veritable factory of mind-blowing space photos, and now they've compiled their top 100 images ever all in one place. ESO comprises a constellation of telescopes high in the mountains of Chile, including the Very Large Telescope, VISTA, APEX, the La Silla Paranal Observatory, and ALMA...10/8

Tube-Nosed Bat, More Rare Species Found

(National Geographic) The tube-nosed fruit bat is just one of the roughly 200 species encountered during two scientific expeditions to Papua New Guinea in 2009—including a katydid that "aims for the eyes" and a frog that does a mean cricket impression...10/7

Footprint Fossils Offer Earliest Evidence of Dinosaurs' Ancestors

(New York Times) The oldest known relatives of dinosaurs were the size of a house cat, walked on four legs and left footprints in the quarries in Poland about 250 million years ago, researchers report....10/7