Wednesday, October 13, 2010
ORNL in the News

Build 'Em and They'll Come

(New York Times) [Opinion] Oak Ridge National Laboratory will lead a team to model new nuclear reactors, and the California Institute of Technology and the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory will work on revolutionary ways to generate fuels from sunlight....10/13

Billions of Pieces, Billions of Questions

(R & D Magazine) Eager to capitalize on the promise of nanotechnology, businesses are finding the barriers to large-scale nanomanufacturing are anything but small. "My feeling is that there is very little [manufacturing] as far as the SPM (scanning probe microscopy) business is concerned, says Sergei V. Kalinin, a researcher at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, Tenn., who is a frequent user of nanoscale imaging tools as co-theme leader for functional imaging on the nanoscale at The Center for Nanophase Materials Sciences and the Oak Ridge Lab's Materials Sciences and Technology Division. "Most companies," he says, "primarily sell to R&D in academia, labs or industry, not manufacturing."...10/12

Has ORNL outsmarted other national labs?

(Knoxville News Sentinel) Oak Ridge National Laboratory Director Thom Mason made some intriguing comments about ORNL's success, basically embracing suggestions that the Oak Ridge lab may have had an "unfair advantage" in dramatically growing its research programs over the past decade. ''If you look at the budget growth over the last several years, since 2000 . . . we've gone from being about $650 million a year in 2000 to this year (FY 2010) we'll be close to $1.6 billion. That's money we spent. So, almost a billion dollars in growth over 10 years. That is not typical within the DOE complex. That's unusual. I mean, some labs have been going up and some have been going down and so forth, but I don't think there have been too many that have gone up from $650 million to $1.6 billion...."10/13



Hauling HEU out of Poland

(Knoxville News Sentinel) The National Nuclear Security Administration announced it had removed -- and sent back to Russia for safekeeping -- more than 1,000 pounds of highly enriched uranium from nuclear research reactors in Poland. The Russian-origin HEU was reportedly enough to make 18 atomic bombs....10/12

Getting STARTed at Y-12

(Knoxville News Sentinel) The employee newsletter at the Y-12 National Security Complex has a cover story on the New START Treaty and its ramifications at the Oak Ridge warhead facility....10/12

State & Regional

Interviews of top five candidates for UT president underway

(WBIR-TV) The first three of the top five candidates for the next president of the University of Tennessee spent the day on the Knoxville campus Tuesday for a series of interviews and forums....10/12


Judge ends military's 'don't ask' ban on gays

(Washington Post) A federal judge ordered an immediate end Tuesday to the Pentagon's enforcement of its ban on openly gay service members, rejecting the Obama administration's argument that an injunction to stop the "don't ask, don't tell" policy might harm military readiness....10/13 [Registration Required]

A Climate Proposal Beyond Cap and Trade

(New York Times) The death of cap and trade doesn't have to mean the death of climate policy. The alternative revolves around much more, and much better organized, financing for clean energy research. It's an idea with a growing list of supporters, a list that even includes conservatives — most of whom opposed cap and trade....10/13

Despite End Of Drilling Ban, Uncertainty Remains

(NPR) The Obama administration on Tuesday lifted a deep-water drilling moratorium that it imposed last May after the BP oil well explosion, but drilling isn't expected to resume immediately and rig workers remain in limbo....10/13



energy & science policy

Five Years After "Rising Storm" Report, Outlook for American Competitiveness Has Deteriorated

(AIP Bulletin) A very sobering report has been released by the committee that first issued "Rising Above the Gathering Storm." While finding that progress has been made in some areas, the committee, chaired by Norman Augustine, warns in a new report that "in spite of the efforts of both those in government and the private sector, the outlook for America to compete for quality jobs has further deteriorated over the past five years. The Gathering Storm increasingly appears to be a Category 5."...10/12

Inside Energy Extra

10/12 A daily report on U.S. energy policy
[ORNL users only]
** Salazar lifts deepwater drilling ban
** Interior wants real-time rig data
** Hurdles seen for new transmission line
** Reprocessing comments irk Domenici
** Durbin urges DOE to OK Chrysler loan

science & technology

Many organisms rely on bioluminescence to breed, feed and evade predators

(Washington Post) Jack-o'-lantern mushrooms, flashlight fish and fireflies are among the multitude of organisms that bioluminesce. And scientists are still finding more....10/11 [Registration Required]

Plan B Turns Out to Be Fastest Path for Rescue

(New York Times) In the end, it took only about six weeks to do what mine safety experts say is a job with little precedent: drilling a precision shaft, wide enough to accommodate a man, to a spot more than 2,000 feet — almost half a mile — underground....10/13

World's Most Powerful Laser on Target for Awesome Science

(Wired) Scientists recently pulled together the pieces of the world's most powerful laser and, in a first-ever complete dry run, pulled the trigger on a peppercorn-sized pellet of nuclear fuel. The energy crushed the capsule instantly, causing it to spew a shower of neutrons. In short: It worked....10/12

Humpback whale swims a quarter of the world

(BBC) In a record-breaking journey, a female humpback whale has travelled across a quarter of the globe, a distance of at least 10,000km. The event, reported in the Royal Society journal Biology Letters, is the longest documented movement by a mammal....10/12

Other Stories

Moonlighting as a Conjurer of Chemicals

(New York Times) Sir Isaac Newton was a towering genius in the history of science, he knew he was a genius, and he didn't like wasting his time. Born on Dec. 25, 1642, the great English physicist and mathematician rarely socialized or traveled far from home. He didn't play sports or a musical instrument, gamble at whist or gambol on a horse....10/12

'Ig Nobel' awards praise research into slime, snot and swearing

(Washington Post) This year marks the 21st anniversary of the Ig Nobel Prizes, an event organized by the humor journal Annals of Improbable Research to promote the public appreciation of science. Past winners have included everything from magnetic resonance imaging studies of humans having sex to investigations of the physics of the hula hoop....10/11 [Registration Required]