Thursday, November 10, 2011
ORNL in the News

Oak Ridge National Laboratory's facility tests several water heaters at one time. Because of ORNL's accelerated durability testing, they estimate that 10 months of constant operation in its testing facility is comparable to 10 years of service life in a typical residential setting.

Technology Partnerships Are Yielding Reliable, Cost-Saving Appliances

(DOE Press Release) ...For 35 years, the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy’s (EERE) Building Technologies Program has spearheaded research and development activities resulting in more energy-efficient residential water heaters. Technology advances such as electric heat pump water heaters (HPWH) are making it easier and cheaper for manufacturers to design and produce reasonably priced, reliable, efficient  water heaters for homes across the country...11/9

New technology to bring manufacturing jobs back to U.S.

(WVLT-TV) American manufacturing has been on the decline for years. Furniture builders, automotive workers, electronics makers and thousands of other workers have watched their jobs go overseas. That's why engineers at Oak Ridge National Laboratories are developing new technology to bring manufacturing jobs back home. "We're going to help mature this technology to take it from prototyping to manufacturing. And number two, we can take existing companies that are interested in being more competitive and introduce them to the technology, so that they can make new products," said Lonnie Love, Group Leader for ORNL's Automation and Robotics Manufacturing Group...11/9

Plutonium-238: Chronic Supply Risks for the US’ Most Strategic Metallic Isotope

(Metal Miner) Funding for domestic production of the fuel has spurred debate between Congress, the DOE and NASA....Evidently, only the Idaho National Laboratory in Idaho Falls and the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, which employ specific reactors that support fabrication, irradiation and recovery of neptunium-237 or americium targets, are capable of producing Pu-238 in the United States...11/9

DOE

Better Buildings Challenge Partners Pledge 20 Percent Energy Drop By 2020

(DOE Press Release) ...the Energy Department is working with public and private sector partners like cities or companies that commit to being leaders in energy efficiency. These partners will implement energy savings practices that reduce energy waste and energy bills, showcasing effective strategies and the results of their efforts...11/8

Y-12 restarting uranium vacuum cleaner; system shut down since 2006

(Knoxville News Sentinel) Y-12 is in the process of restarting a "dry vacuum system" at the 9212 production complex, where highly enriched uranium is processed...11/9

Russian Billionaire Awarded Controversial Energy Dept. Loan

(Forbes) Just two months after the bankruptcy filing for publicly-financed solar-panel manufacturer Solyndra, controversy swirls around the latest questionable loan coming from the U.S. Department of Energy...11/9

National

Border Surveillance Plan Stumbles as Two-Thirds of Mexico Declared Unsafe

(Wired News) The Department of Homeland Security’s new attempt to build a mobile, virtual “fence” along the southern border is starting to show some of the same troubling characteristics of their last try...11/9

East Tennessee

Oak Ridge High students win regional finals

(Oak Ridger) Oak Ridge High School seniors Ziyuan Liu and Cassee Cain won the team category contest in last weekend's regional finals for the Siemens Competition in Math, Science & Technology...11/9

State & Regional

Tennessee tax revenues rose again in October

(Tennessean) ...The state collected nearly $791.5 million in October, an increase of 8 percent from a year ago. State budgeters projected collections of $755 million in October...11/10

energy & science policy

Inside Energy Extra

11/9 A daily report on U.S. energy policy
[ORNL users only]
- Commerce to probe Chinese solar dumping
- Bills aim at Repsol drilling off Cuba
- DOE probes Idaho lab radiation exposure
- DOE Undersecretary Koonin to resign
- EPA agrees to schedule on haze plans

science & technology

'Power For The Planet'? Company Bets Big On Fusion

(NPR) Michel Laberge, on his 40th birthday, quit his job in what he calls a midlife crisis, took the pile of money he'd earned at his old company, and decided to try something really revolutionary. With his Ph.D. in fusion energy, he thought he'd try to beat the big boys in the fusion field...11/9

Have scientists finally solved the mystery of the magnetic moon?

(CS Monitor) Why did the moon once have a magnetic field? A new proposal might hold the answer to a mystery that has baffled scientists for decades...11/9

The Wind in Spain Stays Mainly on the Plain: What Spain’s Energy Dilemma Should Teach Us

(National Geographic News) Spain has been a renewable energy leader, especially in wind power and has been praised by groups like the World Wildlife Fund for its progress in this area. They’re certainly ahead of the United States...11/11

A struggle for power

(Nature News) Brazil is developing the last great untapped reserve of hydroelectricity, the Amazon basin...11/9

Other Stories

Climate Change Evaporates Part of China's Hydropower

(Scientific American) China has set ambitious goals for itself to develop hydropower to help mitigate the risks of climate change, but increasing extreme weather events likely rooted in climate change are now sabotaging the goals' foundations...11/8

IMF chief warns of a 'lost decade' for global economy

(BBC) The head of the International Monetary Fund, Christine Lagarde, has warned that the global economy is at risk of being plunged into a "lost decade"...11/9

Plasmonic device converts light into electricity

(Physorg.com) While the most common device for converting light into electricity may be photovoltaic (PV) solar cells, a variety of other devices can perform the same light-to-electricity conversion, such as solar-thermal collectors and rectennas...11/9