Thursday, October 28, 2010
ORNL in the News

ORNL's Zinkle honored

(Knoxville News Sentinel) Oak Ridge National Laboratory's Steven Zinkle has received the inaugural Robert Cahn Award for his work with nuclear materials and ability to communicate that work. Zinkle received the award from Elsevier, Ltd., during the Nuclear Materials 2010 conference in Karlsruhe, Germany...10/27

Trees unreliable carbon sinks

(Science Alert) The capacity of trees to counter rising carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere may not be as great as previously thought, according to a new study with significant implications for predicting future climate change...The study, led by Dr Richard Norby of the Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Tennessee, included Professor Ross McMurtrie of the UNSW School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences...10/28

The Day of Reckoning Has Arrived”: Appropriators to Decide on Key Isotope For Space Probes

(NewDesignWorld) When Congress returns to Washington later this month appropriators must make a critical decision about the future of U.S. planetary robotic missions. The Obama Administration has requested –for the second time - $30 million to initiate the production of Plutonium-238 (Pu-238) which has been used in radioisotope power systems on 26 space missions...the House Appropriations Committee reports that only one-third of the $30 million request be funded...The report explained that Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s High Flux Isotope Reactor and Idaho National Laboratory’s Advanced Test Reactor would be capable of producing up to two kilograms of Pu-238 every year...10/27

The next carbon capture tool could be new, improved grass

(Checkbiotech) In addition to offsetting fossil-fuel emissions, a potential bioenergy plant such as the grass Miscanthus could also snare carbon from the atmosphere and trap it in the soil for millennia. Sounds promising. But should scientists genetically engineer bioenergy crops to be better at ridding the atmosphere of the greenhouse gas?...These questions are framed in a new analysis by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory scientist Christer Jansson and researchers from Oak Ridge National Laboratory...10/27


Chrysler Requests $10 Billion in Department of Energy

(Automobile Magazine) An Automotive News report has found that Chrysler has applied for around $10 billion in loans from the Department of Energy. AN sources say the funding will help with plant retooling and free up some cash flow to allow the Auburn Hills-based automaker to dedicate extra payment to its current outstanding loans drawn from the United States Treasury...10/27

The Promise of Fusion Power

(Environmental News Network) It has been called the holy grail of energy technology; a perfectly clean source with an unlimited supply. Nuclear fusion has been demonstrated to be possible, but converting it to a viable energy source remains technically elusive. However, research on making fusion energy reality is in progress, and there are some who are convinced that there will be a day when this free and abundant source will arrive...10/27


Obama Set to Offer Stricter Nuclear Deal to Iran

(NY Times) The Obama administration and its European allies are preparing a new offer for negotiations with Iran on its nuclear program, senior administration officials say, but the conditions on Tehran would be even more onerous than a deal that the country’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, rejected last year...10/27

State & Regional

EPA gathers public input at hearing on coal ash disposal

(Knoxville News Sentinel) More than 200 people spoke during the 12-hour public hearing on coal ash disposal at the Knoxville Marriott, added as the eighth and last session on the subject by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency...10/28


energy & science policy

Inside Energy Extra

10/27 A daily report on U.S. energy policy
[ORNL users only]
- NRC IG to review Yucca Mt. decision
- India signs nuclear liability accord
- Wyoming governor expects gridlock
- Gas pipelines largely aid Republicans
- DOE to fine N.M. lab over mishap

science & technology

Biodiversity study sounds an extinction alert (for things with spines)

(CS Monitor) Biodiversity researchers warn that 20 percent of vertebrate species are threatened with extinction, largely because of human damage to habitats. But conservation efforts, they say, are effective...10/27

Physicists Vote to Run Tevatron for 3 More Years

(Wired Science) A group of high-energy particle physicists decided this week to recommend extending the life of the Tevatron, the second-most-powerful particle collider in the world, for 3 years...10/27

The Great Shale Gas Rush

(National Geographic News) Along the narrow two-lane roads that wind through Washington County in southwestern Pennsylvania, there is little sign that the surrounding pastures and hay bales, barns, homes, and children’s swing sets all are sitting on one of the largest reservoirs of natural gas in the world...10/13

Other Stories

Chinese Supercomputer Wrests Title From U.S.

(NY Times) A Chinese scientific research center has built the fastest supercomputer ever made, replacing the United States as maker of the swiftest machine, and giving China bragging rights as a technology superpower...10/28

Gilbert Grosvenor steps down as National Geographic Society chairman after 23 years

(Washington Post) The Grosvenors, a storied Washington family and heirs to Alexander Graham Bell, will conclude 122 consecutive years of stewardship over the National Geographic Society at the end of the year when Gilbert M. Grosvenor retires as chairman of the board of trustees...10/27