Thursday, October 22, 2015
ORNL in the News

Molecular Accordion Promotes Energy Sustainability

(CE Magazine) Engines, laptops, and power plants generate waste heat. Thermoelectric materials, which convert temperature gradients to electricity and vice versa, can recover some of that heat and improve energy efficiency. A team of scientists at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory explored the fundamental physics of the world’s best thermoelectric material — tin selenide — using neutron scattering and computer simulations...10/20

NREL names Martin Keller new laboratory director 

(Innovation News) The Alliance for Sustainable Energy announced the appointment of Dr. Martin Keller as the new director of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory and president of the Alliance, which manages the lab for the U.S. Department of Energy...10/21

Solvents save steps in solar cell manufacturing

(PhysOrg) Advances in ultrathin films have made solar panels and semiconductor devices more efficient and less costly, and researchers at the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory say they've found a way to manufacture the films more easily, too...10/19

TerraPower Quietly Explores New Nuclear Reactor Strategy

(MIT Review) ...Last week, at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee, the company revealed that it is now pursuing a different advanced reactor concept: a molten chloride reactor that uses a liquid as both the coolant, which transfers energy in the form of heat, and the fuel in which the nuclear reactions occur...10/21

Science and Technology

New Species of Galápagos Tortoise Is Identified

(NY Times) For the first time in more than a century, scientists have identified a new species of Galápagos tortoise, the grand giants of the Pacific archipelago that helped inspired Darwin’s theory of evolution...10/21

Shining more light on solar panels

(PhysOrg) Solar panels are the beacon of renewable energy, yet they are not getting as much light as they could be. Joshua Pearce from Michigan Technological University and a team from Queen's University in Canada have found a way to get more sun to shine on the panels and crank up the output by 30 percent or more...10/22

Energy and Science Policy

How U.N. Climate Negotiations Are Like Splitting A Bar Tab

(NPR) ...The United Nations is trying to get nearly 200 countries to agree on a plan for how to fight global warming. This week negotiators are in Bonn, Germany, for their last meeting before the final summit starts Nov. 30 in Paris...10/21

New report on energy-efficient computing 

(NSF Press Release) A report that resulted from a workshop jointly funded by the Semiconductor Research Corporation and National Science Foundation outlines key factors limiting progress in computing--particularly related to energy consumption--and novel research that could overcome these barriers. The findings and recommendations in the report are in alignment with the nanotechnology-inspired Grand Challenge for Future Computing announced today by the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy...10/20


NY firm reported mistake on U-235 shipment from Y-12

(Knoxville News Sentinel) An executive with Mirion Technologies Corp., which earlier this year received a greater-than-expected load of highly enriched uranium from Y-12, says the company followed proper protocols in reporting the error and did not break any laws or regulations...10/21

Local and State

City exceeds goal to lower greenhouse gas

(Oak Ridger) Oak Ridge has exceeded the goals set in 2004 to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 2015 the City Council learned during a special report at Monday night’s meeting...10/15

Tennessee Aquarium to build $4.5M freshwater institute 

(WVLY-TV) The Tennessee Aquarium has announced plans for a $4.5 million structure near the campus of Baylor School that will house the Tennessee Aquarium Freshwater Conservation Institute...10/21

Nashville airport turns to geothermal plates for cool water 

(The Tennessean) The former Hoover Quarry is a 43-acre lake located next to the Nashville International Airport that holds stormwater runoff. By next summer, it will provide water for the airport’s cooling and irrigation systems with the use of geothermal plates, the largest project of its kind in North America..10/21

Eastman Engineers Help Get Unit Ops Lab Running

(Tennessee Today) ...A team of engineers from Eastman has come from Kingsport to help install equipment and experiments in the Eastman Unit Ops Laboratory in the Nathan W. Dougherty Engineering Building. In the lab, students can see what it is like to work on various processes that they would encounter in a working chemical plant environment...10/21