Tuesday, November 27, 2012
ORNL in the News

The ORNL and NOAA relationship

(Knoxville News Sentinel) ...ORNL scientific computing chief Jeff Nichols noted that the lab was able to use money from the $75 million agreement reached a few years ago with NOAA (under which the Oak Ridge lab provides resources to NOAA's climate research programs)...11/26

Tech 20/20 Announces Plans To Form Council For Additive Manufacturing

(The Chattanoogan) ...Tech 20/20 has been awarded a $2.4M Jobs and Innovation Accelerator award from multiple Federal agencies, where it partnered with Pellissippi State Community College, the University of Tennessee’s Center for Industrial Services, and the Oak Ridge National Laboratory. The Council for Additive Manufacturing will compliment these efforts by serving as a platform to advance additive manufacturing technology and support the competitiveness of US industry...11/27

26 million curies

(Knoxville News Sentinel) In a number of recent Environmental Management presentations outlining Oak Ridge cleanup plans, it' been noted there's about 26 million curies of radioactive material awaiting disposal at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. This does not include the many tons of waste in the ORNL burial grounds (known as Solid Waste Storage Areas) or the tanks of waste waiting to be processed at the Department of Energy's Transuranic Waste Processing Center...11/26



Small nuclear reactors eyed for Oak Ridge site

(Oak Ridger) The former Clinch River Breeder Reactor site in Oak Ridge may become the home for four small modular nuclear reactors that could be operational by 2022...11/25

Nuclear industry looks toward smaller reactors

(USA Today) What energy technology is portable, powerful and prefabricated? Small modular reactors are generating buzz as federal officials co-fund a project that could transform the U.S. nuclear industry...11/26

Breakthrough could help optimize capture of sugars for biofuels

(PhysOrg) Scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and the BioEnergy Science Center (BESC) combined different microscopic imaging methods to gain a greater understanding of the relationships between biomass cell wall structure and enzyme digestibility, a breakthrough that could lead to optimizing sugar yields and lowering the costs of making biofuels...11/27



On ‘fiscal cliff,’ both sides lay groundwork for debate’s next phase

(Washington Post) Private talks between President Obama and top congressional leaders in search of a deal to avoid the year-end “fiscal cliff” are accelerating, officials said Monday, even as the president began ramping up pressure on Republicans to extend tax cuts for the middle class...11/26

What Happens If the Mississippi Runs Dry?

(Discovery News) America's main aquatic artery may soon be too shallow for barge shipping -- that may choke trade but benefit wildlife...11/26

East Tennessee

Refuge renewal: 68 acres of critical habitat added to Hiwassee Wildlife Refuge

(Knoxville News Sentinel) A 68-acre tract in Meigs County that was slated for a treatment plant and high-density development is now included in one of the most important wintering rest stops for sandhill cranes in the eastern U.S...11/26

L&N STEM Academy to accept non-Knox County students

(Knoxville News Sentinel) Just two years after opening its doors, Knox County Schools' L&N STEM Academy is broadening its regional scope and allowing incoming freshmen from eight surrounding counties to apply for entry into the math- and science- focused school...11/27

energy & science policy

Renewables poised to thrive, despite Washington gridlock

(Fierce Energy) In the wake of the presidential election, the energy industry is beginning to piece together the potential implications of a second Obama term on energy policy and standards, which could have big impacts on the future of electricity generation and grid operation in the United States...11/26

science & technology

As Shortage Worsens, We Visit the Federal Helium Reserve

(Popular Mechanics) This summer we reported on the growing shortage of helium around the world. This fall we went to America’s helium capital on the dusty plains of Texas to get a firsthand look...11/24

Researchers show that relatively simple physical systems could yield powerful quantum computers

(PhysOrg) Quantum computers are devices—still largely theoretical—that could perform certain types of computations much faster than classical computers; one way they might do that is by exploiting "spin," a property of tiny particles of matter...11/27

Researchers make flexible, low-voltage circuits using nanocrystals

(PhysOrg) Now a team of researchers from the University of Pennsylvania has shown that nanoscale particles, or nanocrystals, of the semiconductor cadmium selenide can be "printed" or "coated" on flexible plastics to form high-performance electronics...11/26

Looking to Cities, in Search of Global Warming’s Silver Lining

(NY Times) Heat, carbon dioxide and air pollution are already having significant effects on trees, plants and crops, and for most plant scientists, the debate over climate change ended long before the arrival of extreme weather like Hurricane Sandy...11/26

Experiments That Keep Going And Going And Going

(NPR) A biologist who has been watching a dozen bottles of bacteria evolve for nearly a quarter of a century is hoping he can find someone to keep his lab experiment going long after he dies...11/23

Other Stories

Kill the 401(k)?

(Slate) The accounts cost the government billions—and they might not be helping us save...11/16

NASA Employees Have Highest Job Satisfaction In Federal Government

(Popular Science) Working for the famously bureaucratic federal government can feel like a major drag--unless, that is, you work for NASA. The US Office of Personnel Management conducted the Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey, a yearly questionnaire for employees of federal government agencies, and NASA workers reported having the highest job satisfaction...11/26