Wednesday, October 30, 2013
ORNL in the News

Safer Nuclear Fuels

(PhysOrg) Exploratory research on revolutionary new types of nuclear fuel pellets that would be safer in the event of a nuclear disaster has yielded promising results, according to a team of scientists from the University of Tennessee and Oak Ridge National Laboratory...10/30

Neutron ScatteringNeutron Scattering Technique Reveals Structure of Fuel Deposits

(Laboratory Equipment) Gas and oil deposits in shale have no place to hide from an Oak Ridge National Laboratory technique that provides an inside look at pores and reveals structural information potentially vital to the nation's energy needs...10/29

Expanding research communities and collaborations

(PhysOrg) From the depths of ocean dead zones, to wide swaths of forests, and rising up to the troposphere, where most weather changes occur, the U.S. Department of Energy Joint Genome Institute (DOE JGI) 2014 Community Science Program portfolio seeks to parse functional information extracted from complex ecosystems to address urgent energy and environmental challenges...For example, Jay Chen from Oak Ridge National Laboratory will investigate gene expression in poplar populations...10/29

DOE

NNSA to make Y-12/Pantex decision ‘in early November’

(The Knoxville News Sentinel) The National Nuclear Security Administration today confirmed that it has notified bidders on the Y-12/Pantex contract that a selection decision will be made “in early November.”...10/28

State & Regional

THP steps up enforcement against texting and driving

(WATE) The Tennessee Highway Patrol is stepping up enforcement this week over the hot button issue of texting and driving. Special patrols were out Tuesday in Knox County on the lookout for violators. On day one of the two day sweep, they ticketed dozens of drivers...10/29

Tenn. senators to review school textbook selection

(WBIR) Tennessee lawmakers are planning a hearing on the panel that vets textbooks for use in public schools. The Senate's education and government operations committees are scheduled to hold two days of joint hearings on the Tennessee Textbook Commission...10/29

National

Dow, S&P 500 close at record highs

(CNN) The Dow Jones industrial average jumped more than 100 points, to finish at a record closing high. The Dow is still slightly below its all-time intraday high though. The S&P 500 also gained and closed at a record high for a third straight day, while the Nasdaq finished at its highest level since September 2000...10/29

East Tennessee

TVA says new reactor construction on schedule at Watts Bar

(Chattanooga Times-Free Press) The Tennessee Valley Authority says work on a second reactor to the Watts Bar Nuclear Plant remains on schedule following a revision of completion estimates...10/30

Knoxville to host forum on downtown redevelopment

(WATE) The City of Knoxville wants to hear from the public about the future of downtown Knoxville redevelopment and provide updates on downtown revitalization...10/30

energy & science policy

Need for Building and Retrofitting Critical Pipelines in the U.S.

(Science Daily) Four years ago, America's energy infrastructure system earned a "D+" and the water infrastructure system earned a "D" on its report card, issued by the American Society of Civil Engineers. Unfortunately, not much has changed. The professional society gave energy and water infrastructure a D+ for 2013....10/28

science & technology

Root of maths genius sought

(Nature News) He founded two genetic-sequencing companies and sold them for hundreds of millions of dollars. He helped to sequence the genomes of a Neanderthal man and James Watson, who co-discovered DNA’s double helix. Now, entrepreneur Jonathan Rothberg has set his sights on another milestone: finding the genes that underlie mathematical genius...10/29

Early EarthPaleontologist presents origin of life theory

(PhysOrg) It has baffled humans for millennia: how did life begin on planet Earth? Now, new research from a Texas Tech University paleontologist suggests it may have rained from the skies and started in the bowels of hell...10/29

Local Communities Produce High-Quality Forest Monitoring Data, Rivals That of Professional Foresters

(Science Daily) As global forest and climate experts gather at the Oslo REDD Exchange 2013 to ramp up international efforts to protect carbon-storing forests in the developing world, a recent study by researchers at the Nairobi-based World Agroforestry Centre (ICRAF) and European and Southeast Asian institutions finds that local communities -- using simple tools like ropes and sticks -- can produce forest carbon data on par with results by professional foresters using high-tech devices...10/29

Other Stories

Social Connection Makes a Better Brain

(The Atlantic) Recent trends show that people increasingly value material goods over relationships—but neuroscience and evolution say this goes against our nature...10/29

Self-driving carWill Self-Driving Cars Mean The End Of Highway Fatalities?

(Popular Science) Autonomous cars are coming, slowly but surely. Over the past several years, automakers (and Google, of course) have unveiled an array of self-driving technologies, with some promising to deliver partially self-driving vehicles by the "mid-2010s"...10/29