Thursday, October 15, 2015
ORNL in the News

coastal wetlandsField Widens for Environments, Microbes that Produce Toxic Form of Mercury

(Lab Manager) Thawing permafrost and contaminated sediment in marine coastal areas pose some of the greatest risks for the production of highly toxic methylmercury, according to findings published in the journal Science Advances...“We looked for genes that we know are involved in microbial mercury methylation – from deep in the ocean to Arctic permafrost to the human gut,” said corresponding author Dwayne Elias of ORNL’s Biosciences Division...10/13

ORNL researcher proposes solution for online optimization of power management in HEVs/PHEVs and for different drivers

(Green Car Congress) Dr. Andreas Malikopoulos at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) has developed a solution for the online optimization of power management in parallel HEVs/PHEVs and for any different driver (i.e., for different driving styles)...10/12

Rise of Trion Quasiparticles Revealed

(Electronics Industry News) Quasiparticles --excitations that behave collectively like particles—are central to energy applications but can be difficult to detect. Recently, however, researchers have seen evidence of quasiparticles called negative trions forming and fading in a layer of semiconducting material that is 100,000 times thinner than a human hair. Scientists at the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory used ultrafast laser spectroscopy at the Center for Nanophase Materials Sciences (CNMS) to demystify the dynamics of the negative trions...10/12

UT, ORNL host academic-industry meeting on national lab partnerships

(Oak Ridge Today) The University of Tennessee and Oak Ridge National Laboratory will host more than 200 university leaders and heads of industry this week at the 21st General Meeting of the University-Industry Demonstration Partnership. UIDP21 will be held October 13-16 at the Hilton Downtown Knoxville and the ORNL campus...10/12

Science and Technology

Flexible ElectronicsNew research could revolutionize flexible electronics, solar cells

(PhysOrg) Binghamton University researchers have demonstrated an eco-friendly process that enables unprecedented spatial control over the electrical properties of graphene oxide. This two-dimensional nanomaterial has the potential to revolutionize flexible electronics, solar cells and biomedical instruments...10/14

Biodiversity stabilizes ecosystems during climate extremes

(Science Daily) Can biodiversity help protect ecosystems from extreme conditions? A study of 46 grasslands in North America and Europe points to a promising answer: increasing plant diversity decreases the extent to which extremely wet or dry conditions disrupt grassland productivity...10/14

Energy and Science Policy

Update: Conference Travel Restrictions and Academic Regulatory Reform

(AIP) The science and academic communities have expressed concerns about restrictions put in place in recent years on federal scientists attending conferences and the increase in regulations regarding academic research, as they affect the conduct of research and development. Two recent developments are of note...10/14

Almost a quarter of Americans aren't sure that science should play a role in public policy

(Tech Insider) Americans have some interesting views about how science and politics should relate, according to a new poll conducted by Zogby Analytics on behalf of Research!America and ScienceDebate.org. A full 87% of Americans think it's either very or somewhat important for presidential candidates and members of Congress to have at least "a basic understanding of the science informing public policy issues," which seems like a reasonable requirement...109

DOE

DOE Prepared for Implementation of Oak Ridge Transuranic Waste Processing Center Services

(World News Report) The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) awarded a contract on June 18, 2015 to North Wind Solutions, LLC for support services at the Oak Ridge Transuranic Waste Processing Center (TWPC) in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. The total potential period of performance is 5-years, with a 3-year base period and one, 2-year option period. The total dollar value of this award is $123.9 Million (including all options)...10/9

New Nuclear ProjectsHorizon crowded with Y-12 projects

(The Knoxville News Sentinel) As reported in recent times, there are multiple projects in development stages at Y-12 to meet future production needs or to support those plans. Among them are the electrorefining project to replace the uranium purification work that’s current done in the old 9212 complex...10/13

U.S.-Mexico Wind FarmFirst U.S.-Mexico Wind Energy Project Sees Legal Challenge

(KPBS) A historic wind farm in Mexico started sending electricity across the border into San Diego County this summer, but some residents are still fighting it in federal court. Energía Sierra Juárez, a subsidiary of Sempra Energy, is the first cross-border wind generation project between the U.S. and Mexico...10/13

No word yet on Centrus jobs in Oak Ridge

(The Knoxville News Sentinel) There have been multiple reports about potential cutbacks in the Centrus Energy workforce in Oak Ridge, as the Department of Energy pulls back its funding for American Centrifuge. Even before the funding cuts came into focus, Centrus had sent notices to 145 workers in Oak Ridge warning of possible layoffs and even more to employees in Ohio...10/14

Local and State

Feds Feed Families

(The Knoxville News Sentinel) Employees with the National Nuclear Security Administration’s Production Office, which oversees operations at Y-12 and Pantex, more than doubled their goal for the annual Feds Feed Families food drive...The donations support the High Plains Food Bank at Amarillo and the Second Harvest Food Bank of East Tennessee.

Tennessee tax collections beat projections by $117M

(WATE) Tennessee's general fund tax collections have beaten projections by $117 million through the first two months of the budget year. The state's collections in September were driven by corporate franchise and excise taxes that came in at $71 million above expectations, and by sales tax revenues that beat estimates by $24 million. The better-than-expected tax collections follow a more than $550 million surplus the state accumulated during the last budget year...10/15