Wednesday, October 12, 2011
ORNL in the News

Have Politics Battered Climate Change Talk?

(AOL Energy) Climate change solutions were battered by the recession and political shifts have pushed the issue to the sidelines of the US energy debate, while international climate talks remain mired in the same arguments that have derailed consensus for years. David Greene said the public is being led to believe that there is no scientific consensus on climate change....10/11

ORNL reactor returns to work after 44-day outage

(Knoxville News Sentinel) The High Flux Isotope Reactor, one of the world's most powerful research reactors, returned to action Monday morning following its annual fall outage....10/11

Cray's Titan Supercomputer for ORNL Could Be World's Fastest

(PC Magazine) "All areas of science can benefit from this substantial increase in computing power, opening the doors for new discoveries that so far have been out of reach," said Jeff Nichols, associate laboratory director for Computing and Computational Sciences at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. "Titan will be used for a variety of important research projects, including the development of more commercially viable biofuels, cleaner burning engines, safer nuclear energy, and more efficient solar power." ...10/11


DOE and FERC Joint Public Statement on Back Stop Siting

(DOE Press Release) U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu has announced that the Department will work more closely with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in reviewing proposed electric transmission projects under section 216 of the Federal Power Act, as an alternative to delegating additional authority to FERC....10/11

Ex-NNSA chief says, 'I screwed up personally'

(Knoxville News Sentinel) The Highly Enriched Uranium Materials Facility, the high-security facility at Y-12 that houses the nation's primary stockpile of bomb-grade uranium, underwent multiple design changes and cost growth during its construction, which was completed in 2009....10/11


Iran behind alleged terrorist plot, U.S. says

(Washington Post) U.S. officials on Tuesday accused elements of the Iranian government of plotting to assassinate the Saudi ambassador to Washington, allegations that aggravated the tense relationship between the United States and the Islamic Republic....10/12

East Tennessee

Revitalization of Jackson Square in the hands of TDOT

(WBIR-TV) Some business owners, shoppers, the city mayor and the Oak Ridge Chamber of Commerce are backing a Tennessee Department of Transportation Enhancement Grant proposal for the shopping district....10/10

energy & science policy

Council Calls for Action on Clean Energy Agenda

(AIP Bulletin) Some of America's most prominent business executives have called on Congress and the Administration to "improve the effectiveness of the U.S. energy innovation program." Among their recommendations are a significant increase in funding for ARPA-E, and support for the Department of Energy's Innovation Hubs....10/11

Inside Energy Extra

10/11 A daily report on U.S. energy policy
[ORNL users only]
** 5 offshore wind leases in year: Salazar
** DOE keeps grid-designation authority
** $1M prize goes to new oil skimmer
** Cray to upgrade DOE supercomputer
** ICF cuts estimate of lost coal capacity

science & technology

Chemical analysis of a comet's ice gives a clue to source of water on Earth

(Washington Post) Astronomers have found the first comet with oceanlike water, giving a major boost to the theory that celestial bodies were a significant source of water for a thirsty early Earth....10/10

Tiny fossil teeth re-write rodent record

(BBC) Rodent fossils found in Peru are at least 41 million years old - South America's oldest - and indicate an African origin....10/12

Kraken monster ruled ancient seas? Scientists wary of new theory.

(Christian Science Monitor) Kraken skeptics say a new theory proposing the existence of a real-life 200-million-year-old Kraken sea monster involves too much inference and guesswork to be serious science....10/11

Liquid Can Turn Into Solid Under High Electric Field, Physicists Show in Simulations

(Science Daily) Physicists have demonstrated in simulations that under the influence of sufficiently high electric fields, liquid droplets of certain materials will undergo solidification, forming crystallites at temperature and pressure conditions that correspond to liquid droplets at field-free conditions....10/10

Computational Model of Peace Predicts Social Violence, Harmony

(Wired) Though tests of the model, developed by network theorists at the New England Complex Systems Institute, are still in early stages they raise the alluring possibility that propensities to social violence can be formally quantified, predicted and even prevented....10/12