Wednesday, December 1, 2010
ORNL in the News

Could 135,000 Laptops Help Solve the Energy Challenge?

(DOE Press Release) The Department is awarding time on two of the world's fastest and most powerful supercomputers — the Cray XT5 ("Jaguar") at Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the IBM Blue Gene/P ("Intrepid") at Argonne National Laboratory. Jaguar's computational capacity is roughly equivalent to 109,000 laptops all working together to solve the same problem. Intrepid is roughly equivalent to 26,000 laptops....11/30

Kazakhstan nuke project a decade in the making

(Knoxville News Sentinel) Randy Snipes, a 57-year-old engineer in Oak Ridge National Laboratory's global security organization, estimates that he's traveled to Russia and/or Kazakhstan about 60 times over the past decade....12/1

ORNL scientists using magnets to recharge electric cars

(WBIR-TV) Scientists at Oak Ridge National Lab are applying basics of magnets and electricity helping to recharge electric vehicles. Inductive Power Transfer Stations created at ORNL use off the shelf components and a standard household power source. If the magnets were mounted to the bottom of your car, you could park over the charging pad in a parking lot. "Our demonstration unit here is mounted vertically, ultimately it would be laying flat on the floor, explained ORNL researcher Matt Scudiere....11/30

East Tennessee

EnergySolutions asks to import radioactive waste to Oak Ridge

(Knoxville News Sentinel) EnergySolutions has applied for a license from the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission to import up to 1,000 tons of radioactive waste from Germany, with plans to burn the waste at the company's Oak Ridge incinerator....12/1

State & Regional

Cracker Barrel restaurants in TN to install charging stations for electric cars

(Tennessean) Cracker Barrel, modeled to represent a slower time of rocking chairs on old wooden porches, soon will feature a very modern technology — electric vehicle chargers. Cracker Barrel Old Country Store Inc. has launched a pilot project in which it will install Blink electric vehicle chargers, provided by Ecotality Inc., at 24 restaurants across Tennessee....12/1

National

Republicans warming to Russian arms treaty

(Boston Globe) Republican opposition to an arms pact with Russia appeared to be thawing yesterday, as a few key Republicans, including Arizona Senator John McCain, said they would be open to voting on the treaty during the lame-duck session....12/1

Belarus Will Eliminate Its Uranium Stockpile

(NPR) The former Soviet republic of Belarus announced Wednesday that it will give up its stockpile of material used to make nuclear weapons by 2012....12/1

energy & science policy

TVA unaware of proposed power surcharge under review by deficit commission

(Knoxville News Sentinel) The bipartisan National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform was charged by President Barack Obama with creating proposals for cutting the federal deficit, and one idea is to require TVA to impose a transmission surcharge on the electric power that it sells....12/1

House passes nuclear R&D bill

(Knoxville News Sentinel) The House passed the Nuclear Energy Research and Development Act of 2010 and, according to info from the Science and Technology Committee, it passed with bipartisan support by voice vote....11/30

Inside Energy Extra

11/30 A daily report on U.S. energy policy
[ORNL users only]
** Energy not a lame-duck priority
** Lewis vows to cut funds for GHG regs
** Four make cases for House energy gavel
** Cobell settlement headed to Obama

science & technology

Smartphone use makes cellular networks' collapse a real possibility

(Washington Post) Data-gobbling smartphones are, of course, the source of the problem, as they overload networks with requests for Web pages, e-mail and video streaming 24/7....11/30 [Registration Required]

Ball lightning 'may explain UFOs'

(BBC News) Some UFO sightings could be explained by ball lightning and other atmospheric phenomena, says an Australian astrophysicist who studied a fireball event over Brisbane....12/1

Overeating, Like Drug Use, Rewards And Alters Brain

(NPR) If you've ever wondered why it's hard to stay on a diet, consider this observation from Ralph DiLeone, a brain scientist at Yale University: "The motivation to take cocaine in the case of a drug addict is probably engaging similar circuits that the motivation to eat is in a hungry person."...12/1

Other Stories

An Odyssey Through the Brain, Illuminated by a Rainbow

(New York Times) the last few decades have produced an explosion of new techniques for probing the blobby, unprepossessing brain in search of the thinking, feeling, suffering, scheming mind....11/30