Thursday, November 29, 2012
ORNL in the News

After two target failures, user research resumes at SNS this morning

(Oak Ridge Today) Its mercury targets have failed twice in the past two months, but the Spallation Neutron Source at Oak Ridge National Laboratory is available for user research again. The program resumed at 8 a.m. Wednesday. The $1.4 billion research facility is used to help scientists study material structures and properties...11/28

DOE receives reimbursable work totaling $442 million

(Oak Ridge Today) The U.S. Department of Energy Oak Ridge Office said last week it had received funding for reimbursable work totaling $442 million during the last fiscal year, which ended in September. The Oak Ridge National Laboratory performed about $232 million of the work, a press release said. The remaining $210 million of the work was conducted at the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education...11/26

Agencies sharing resources helped boost Titan to No. 1

(Knoxville News Sentinel) Oak Ridge National Laboratory's partnership with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration paid dividends in helping ORNL's Titan debut as the world's fastest supercomputer, and ORNL Director Thom Mason cited the relationship between federal entities as a way to make the best of things during tough economic times...11/28

Upgrade to visualization and analysis system eases path for beginning supercomputer users

(PhysOrg) Nautilus, the supercomputer at the heart of the University of Tennessee's Remote Data Analysis and Visualization Center, has recently been upgraded...Funded by the National Science Foundation, Nautilus is housed on the campus of the Oak Ridge National Laboratory and is used by researchers all over the United States for visualizing and analyzing data sets in ways that are not possible on smaller systems...11/28

DOE

ARPA-E Awards $130 Million for 66 Transformational Energy Technology Projects

(Energy.gov) Today, Energy Secretary Steven Chu announced 66 cutting-edge research projects selected by the Energy Department’s Advanced Research Projects Agency – Energy (ARPA-E) to receive a total of $130 million in funding through its “OPEN 2012” program...11/28

A Short Fuse For Fusion As Ignition Misses Deadline

(NPR) The National Ignition Facility in Livermore, Calif., has been called a modern-day moonshot, a project of "revolutionary science," and "the mother of all boondoggles." NIF, as it's called, is a $5 billion, taxpayer-funded superlaser project whose goal is to create nuclear fusion — basically a tiny star inside a laboratory. But so far, that hasn't happened...11/28

State & Regional

Mississippi River levels to take toll on prices, profits in Middle TN

(The Tennessean) After a drought-stricken summer when low river levels forced many river transport companies to lighten their cargo loads, the potential closure of a vital 200-mile section of the Mississippi River could have major economic effects that ripple through Middle Tennessee and beyond...11/29

National

Costliest Jet, Years in Making, Sees the Enemy: Budget Cuts

(NY Times) ...With a record price tag — potentially in the hundreds of billions of dollars — the jet is likely to become a target for budget cutters. Reining in military spending is on the table as President Obama and Republican leaders in Congress look for ways to avert a fiscal crisis...11/28

East Tennessee

Parkway’s future on path of uncertainty

(Knoxville News Sentinel) Local officials envision South Knoxville as an outdoor recreational mecca drawing hikers, bikers and joggers from adjoining states. A $104 million, four-lane ribbon of asphalt called the James White Parkway extension is not part of that plan...11/29

UT MBA program among best in country

(Knoxville News Sentinel) ...UT's program is No. 60 overall and No. 26 among U.S. public universities that offer full-time MBA programs. Last year UT did not make the rankings...11/28

energy & science policy

BP faces temporary ban from new US contracts

(BBC News) BP has been temporarily suspended from new contracts with the US government, the Environmental Protection Agency has said...11/28

science & technology

Past 5,000 years prolific for changes to human genome

(Nature) The human genome has been busy over the past 5,000 years. Human populations have grown exponentially, and new genetic mutations arise with each generation. Humans now have a vast abundance of rare genetic variants in the protein-encoding sections of the genome. A study published today in Nature now helps to clarify when many of those rare variants arose...11/28

Spain Expands Renewables With Wave-Powered Electricity Plant

(NPR) Waves constantly thrash the fishing village of Mutriku on Spain's northern coast. Records from the 13th century describe the dangerous surf and shipwrecks here. Until recently, water occasionally hurled debris through windows of homes, before the local government built a cement breakwater to shelter the harbor...11/26

As Nations Haggle at Climate Talks, Global Carbon Cut Targets Get Impossibly Deep

(Reuters) As the nations of the world struggle in Doha to agree even modest targets to tackle global warming, the cuts needed in rising greenhouse gas emissions grow ever deeper, more costly and less likely to be achieved...11/28

Major Breakthrough in Deciphering Bread Wheat's Genetic Code

(Science Daily) Scientists, including Professor Keith Edwards and Dr Gary Barker from the University of Bristol, have unlocked key components of the genetic code of one of the world's most important crops...11/28

What If NASA Could Figure Out the Math of a Workable Warp Drive?

(The Atlantic) A new line of research hopes to drastically reduce the amount of energy required for warping space-time, and get us to Alpha Centauri in just two weeks time...11/28

Other Stories

BlackRock's new bond plan

(Fortune) The giant asset manager has a new approach that is paying off for buyers and sellers...11/28

France's love affair with nuclear cools

(Reuters) For decades, the elite engineers turned out by Paris's grand Corps des Mines academy were faithful followers of the pro-atomic creed that transformed their country into the most nuclear-reliant nation in the world...11/29