Friday, November 15, 2013
ORNL in the News

ORNL uses neutron scattering, supercomputing to study biofuel production

(Oak Ridge Today) Researchers studying more effective ways to convert woody plant matter into biofuels at Oak Ridge National Laboratory have identified fundamental forces that change plant structures during pretreatment processes used in the production of bioenergy...11/14

Smart smoke alarm goal at Oak Ridge National Laboratory

(Oak Ridger) ...Bruce Warmack, a researcher in Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s measurement sciences and systems engineering division, is spearheading a project to develop a smart smoke detector. The goal is to enable the device to distinguish among types of smoke, ignoring smoke from a nuisance and responding to smoke from burning grease, smoldering and flaming fires...11/14

DOE

Cook: Govt shutdown cost NNSA’s defense programs $330M

(Knoxville News Sentinel) Don Cook, the National Nuclear Security Administrator’s deputy administrator for defense programs, said the government shutdown this fall cost the agency $330 million...11/14

PNNL’s Lab Homes Run Energy-Efficient Technologies Through the Paces

(Energy.gov) At first glance, the two modular homes on the south end of the Energy Department’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) campus in Richland, Washington, look like traditional family homes. But on closer inspection, visitors can see they are part of a project to change how Americans use and save energy at home...11/14

East Tennessee

B&W seeks investors on program to build small nuclear reactors in Oak Ridge

(Oak Ridge Today) The Babcock and Wilcox Co. has already invested more than $360 million in a project that could result in a small nuclear reactor in west Oak Ridge, and now the North Carolina company is looking for investors and possibly majority owners...11/14

National

White House: Obama would veto Republican healthcare bill

(Reuters) President Barack Obama would veto a bill sponsored by a Republican congressman that would allow insurers to offer healthcare plans slated to be canceled because they do not meet the new U.S. healthcare law's standards, the White House said on Thursday...11/15

State & Regional

TVA to close 8 coal-powered units in Ala. and Ky.

(AP) The Tennessee Valley Authority's board has voted to close six coal-powered units in Alabama and replace two others in Kentucky with a natural gas plant...11/14

Tennessee Data Center Releases New Census Housing Figures for the State

(Tennessee Today) Since the recession of 2007-2009, Tennessee home values have increased but the percentage of the population who owns a home has declined, according to new US Census Bureau data released today...11/14

 

energy & science policy

Senate Committee Holds Hearing on Reauthorization of America COMPETES Legislation

(AIP) Last week’s two-hour hearing of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation revealed much support for federal funding of basic research but few details about the committee’s plans to reauthorize the America COMPETES Act...11/14

House Hearing Skates Over Big Disagreements on NSF Reauthorization

(Science Magazine) Congressional hearings can sometimes hide more than they reveal. So it was yesterday, when the research panel of the U.S. House of Representatives science committee held its first public airing of a bill that would make some controversial changes to peer review at the National Science Foundation...11/14

science & technology

A Rancher And A Conservationist Forge An Unlikely Alliance

(NPR) ...Western trout may be in trouble. The climate is changing and biologists are headed to trout country to find out the effect on this iconic fish...11/15

Dengue Fever Makes Inroads into the U.S.

(Scientific American) Most Americans lose little sleep over dengue fever. The mosquito-borne infection is a leading killer in the tropics and subtropics, but it’s been a long-held belief that ubiquitous air-conditioning, few open windows and limited time outdoors protects us from dengue...11/15

South Korea reveals Moon-lander plans

(Nature) South Korea has unveiled designs for its planned Moon lander, a key part of President Park Geun-hye’s pledge to revitalize the country’s aerospace industry and space programme...11/13

Other Stories

Typhoon Haiyan: Is an era of super storms upon us?

(CS Monitor) Both the number and intensity of tropical cyclones are likely to rise by the end of the century, as global warming continues to produce fundamental changes in the atmosphere...11/14

China announces major economic and social reforms

(Reuters) China released a raft of detailed reform plans on Friday, promising sweeping changes to the economy and the country's social fabric as it seeks to unleash new sources of growth after three decades of breakneck expansion show signs of faltering...11/15