Tuesday, November 30, 2010
ORNL in the News

Jaguar helps develop new nuclear power capabilities

(Scientific Computing) While the Jaguar supercomputer at the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory recently ceded its rank as the world's most powerful supercomputer - dropping to No. 2 - it is still performing world-class science. Jaguar is virtually paving the way toward the development of a new generation of nuclear power reactors. "We're building what we call a virtual reactor," said Jeff Nichols, ORNL's associate laboratory director for computing and computational sciences...11/30

Oak Ridge High School students know how to create success in elite science-competition

(Knoxville News Sentinel) Five seniors - a team of three, Yajit Jain, Carlos del-Castillo-Negrete and Scotty Chung, and a team of two, Yiwei Li and Mattie Lloyd - were named regional finalists in the Siemens Competition in Math, Science & Technology, while three other seniors were regional semifinalists - Sam Worley, Sam Snodgrass and Patrick Tae..."We worked on the SNS (Spallation Neutron Source) accelerator," Chung said, where his team developed an automated method to minimize beam loss...Karl Flatau credits the mentors at ORNL. "They commit a lot of their time mentoring these students," he said. "The program wouldn't happen without them." Del-Castillo-Negrete agreed, "It's a really well set up program. It's a recipe for success."...11/30

ORNL’s Leal and Snead Named American Nuclear Society Fellows

(Newswise) Luiz Leal and Lance Snead from the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory have been elected to the American Nuclear Society’s Class of 2010 Fellows. The awards, presented by the ANS executive director at the society’s winter meeting, are in recognition of the fellows’ significant contributions and achievements to nuclear science and technology...11/29

Phase changes in vanadium dioxide

(Daily Beacon) A systematic study of phase changes in vanadium dioxide has solved a mystery that has puzzled scientists for decades, according to a UT researcher working at the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory...Alexander Tselev, a research assistant professor in physics working with ORNL's Center for Nanophase Materials Sciences, in collaboration with Igor Luk'yanchuk from the University of Picardy in France, used a condensed matter physics theory to explain the observed phase behaviors of vanadium dioxide, a material of significant technological interest for optics and electronics...11/29 [Need to scroll]


Secretary Chu: China's Clean Energy Successes Represent a New "Sputnik Moment" for America

(DOE Press Release) In a speech at the National Press Club, U.S Energy Secretary Steven Chu said that the success of China and other countries in clean energy industries represents a new "Sputnik Moment" for the United States, and requires a similar mobilization of America's innovation machine so that we can compete in the global race for the jobs of the future...11/29

Scientist talks US exascale supercomputer plan

(Computerworld) There is an international race to build an exascale supercomputer, and one of the people leading it is Peter Beckman, a top computer scientist at the U.S. Department of Energy's Argonne National Laboratory...11/25

Jamey Kennedy named ORAU's VP for business development

(Knoxville News Sentinel) Jamey Kennedy has been named vice president of business development at Oak Ridge Associated Universities. Kennedy most recently served as ORAU's director of business development...11/29


U.S. and South Korea Balk at Talks With North

(NY Times) The United States, South Korea and Japan are all balking at China’s request for emergency talks with North Korea over the crisis on the Korean Peninsula, as high-profile military exercises between South Korea and the United States in the Yellow Sea continued on Monday in a show of force...11/30


Federal pay freeze: why Obama is following path trod by states, businesses now

(CS Monitor) Obama's proposed federal pay freeze is an idea whose time has come to a sector whose turn has come. It's also a nod to the GOP and recognition that deficit-cutting is a priority for the public...11/29

East Tennessee

‘Rails to Trails' — Oak Ridge wants to convert railroad into paved trail

(Oak Ridger) City officials call it "rails to trails." It's a "perfect slice" through Oak Ridge, said Community Development Director Kathryn Baldwin. "It goes to one of our biggest employers," she said, referring to Y-12, a large U.S. Department of Energy site...11/29

State & Regional

New Madrid earthquake threat worries Tennessee

(Knoxville News Sentinel) ...Seismologists estimate a 25 percent to 40 percent probability of a major quake within the next 50 years in the New Madrid Seismic Zone, which stretches from Memphis to southern Illinois...11/30

energy & science policy

Officials Aim For Small Wins In Cancun Climate Talks

(NPR) At this year's United Nations climate-treaty talks in Cancun, diplomats are taking a less ambitious approach and hoping for incremental progress...11/30

Inside Energy Extra

11/29 A daily report on U.S. energy policy
[ORNL users only]
- US support of energy R&D vital; Chu
- 'Quadrennial Energy Review' urged
- Jackson defends clean-air reforms
- Clinton denounces leak of documents

science & technology

Climate Change Talks Hinge on “Green Growth,” says De Boer

(National Geographic News) With a new round of climate negotiations set to begin in Cancun, Mexico, National Geographic talked with the man who for four years was the public face of the arduous effort to forge an international accord on greenhouse gas emissions—Yvo de Boer...11/26

What Would Happen If Every Element On The Periodic Table Came Into Contact Simultaneously?

(Popular Science) There are two ways to go about testing this, neither of which are practical. One requires the energy of dozens of Large Hadron Colliders. The other could yield a cauldron-full of flaming plutonium. Both, however, would probably create carbon monoxide and a pile of rust and salts rather than a cool Frankenstein element...11/29

Santa's sleigh stuffed with science

(USA Today) Santa only arrives once every year, but popular science books land in our mailbag all year round...11/28

Other Stories

Counting The Reasons Why Deficits Keep Growing

(NPR) How did the world's most powerful government end up with deficits so threatening and large? The financial crisis is partly to blame for the federal red ink, but so are the promises made to American retirees...11/29

Iran: Computer Malware Sabotaged Uranium Centrifuges

(Wired News) In what appears to be the first confirmation that the Stuxnet malware hit Iran’s Natanz nuclear facility, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Monday that malicious computer code launched by “enemies” of the state had sabotaged centrifuges used in Iran’s nuclear-enrichment program...11/29

For the World's Rural Poor, Solar Innovations Offer Hope

(Wall Street Journal) Innovations in solar energy have the potential to bring electricity to much of the rural poor in developing countries...11/28