Thursday, December 1, 2011
ORNL in the News

250 ORNL workers opt for early out

(Oak Ridger) Oak Ridge National Laboratory Director Thom Mason announced in September that the lab may cut as many as 350 positions by Dec. 31 because of federal actions aimed at reducing the U.S. budget deficit. On Wednesday, according to The Associated Press, Lab officials said "almost" 250 employees applied for the Voluntary Separation Program...11/30

Why Nvidia's chips can power supercomputers

(CNET News) Nvidia chips are now in three of the five fastest supercomputers in the world. How did Nvidia get there so fast? ...The U.S. Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory, probably the premier U.S. supercomputing site, will use Tesla processors in its next supercomputer, Titan...11/29



Feds appeal new discharge permit at Y-12, fight mercury requirements

(Knoxville News Sentinel) The National Nuclear Security Administration has filed an appeal on the new discharge permit for the Y-12 nuclear weapons plant, arguing against the state's use of the permit to enforce mercury-cleanup projects at the federal site...11/30

Producing Clean, Renewable Diesel from Biomass

(DOE Press Release) After a rigorous testing process, Energy Department project partners at ThermoChem Recovery International (TRI) have validated a process that converts wood waste and forest residue into clean, renewable fuel...11/30

State & Regional

TVA renewable energy changes prompt 'grid parity' debate

(Knoxville News Sentinel) A recently approved makeover of TVA's renewable energy program is aimed at developing green power while keeping prices down for its customers, officials with the public utility say...11/30



Stocks Soar, But How Strong Is The Economy?

(NPR) The U.S. economy is experiencing its strongest across-the-board growth of the year, as private companies hire more people, some manufacturers expand and the stock market surges on a plan to ease Europe's financial crisis. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 490 points Wednesday, an increase of more than 4 percent...11/30

Packing and patrolling, U.S. troops roll out of Iraq

(Reuters) One of the last seven U.S. military bases in Iraq, Echo is in rapid handover to Iraqi hands as American soldiers there pack up and complete their final task - protecting the last few departing troops heading home south across the Kuwaiti border...11/30

East Tennessee

Y-12 makes Thanksgiving donation to Appalachian families

(Oak Ridger) More than 80 families in rural Appalachia enjoyed Thanksgiving meals thanks to employees in the Facilities, Infrastructure and Services (FI&S) organization at the Y-12 National Security Complex...11/30


energy & science policy

Obama Gives Government Agencies Four Months To Make Digital Plan

(Popular Science)...Within four months, the heads of each federal agencies must submit a report to the federal archivist’s office explaining how the agencies will improve their current records management processes. This extends to every type of electronic record...11/30

Senate Passes Medical Isotope Production Bill

(AIP) Approximately 41,000 medical diagnostic imaging procedures are performed every day in the United States using a radioisotope produced by reactors in Canada and the Netherlands.  Recent Senate passage of a bill has moved the U.S. a step closer to the domestic production of this vital material...11/30

Inside Energy Extra

11/30 A daily report on U.S. energy policy
[ORNL users only]
- Repubs seek to speed oil pipeline
- EPA, Interior funding still in limbo
- Bingaman's plan said cheap until 2022
- EPA urged to delay fracking rule
- DOE grilled over stimulus spending

science & technology

How a collapsing scientific hypothesis led to a lawsuit and arrest

(ARS Technica) In 2006, scientists announced a provocative finding: a retrovirus called XMRV, closely related to a known virus from mice, was associated with cases of prostate cancer. But other labs, using different sets of patients, found no evidence of a viral infection...11/30

New Twist in the Search for Dark Matter

(Wired Science) ...New research using observations from dwarf galaxies has set a lower limit on the mass of dark matter particles. But the results contradict findings from several previous experiments, which observed dark-matter particles with masses below this threshold...11/30

Battery Fires Reveal Risks of Storing Large Amounts of Energy

(Scientific American) ...Last week, after a series of additional side-impact crash tests on the Volt battery, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) launched what it called a "safety defect investigation" into the risk of fire in a Chevy Volt that has been involved in a serious accident...11/30

European Commission announces €80-billion plan for research

(Nature) Excellent research should receive €24.6 billion (US$33 billion) in the European Union’s next research funding programme, the European Commission has proposed today. The Horizon 2020 funding scheme will run from 2014 to 2020...11/30