Monday, December 5, 2011
ORNL in the News

'State of Creek' set for Dec. 6

(Knoxville News Sentinel) The annual 'State of the Creek' presentation will be held at 5:30 p.m. Dec. 6 at Y-12's New Hope Center. Mark Peterson, an environmental scientist at ORNL who heads the Biological Monitoring and Abatement Program, will talk about the health of East Fork Poplar Creek, a creek historically polluted by discharges from the Y-12 nuclear weapons plant...12/2

Could small nukes be the energy answer?

Small Nuclear Reactor

(Newport News Daily Press) Scrambling to shrink their carbon footprints, federal agencies in Hampton Roads and beyond are eyeing a proven yet controversial source of energy: nuclear power....Among the supporters of small reactors is the Energy Department, which inked a deal with Babcock & Wilcox Co. subsidiary mPower to install up to six near its Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee...12/4

ORNL Receives Inaugural East Tennessee Green Light Award

(Lab Manager Magazine) The Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory has received the inaugural East Tennessee Green Light Award from the U.S. Green Building Council East Tennessee Chapter for "exemplary contributions to sustainability in the built environment."...12/2

What motivates spending on energy efficiency studied

Amy Wolfe(Knoxville News Sentinel) Utilities are launching incentive programs, companies are hawking products from LED light bulbs to Energy Star-rated HVAC systems, the government has poured millions of dollars into ad campaigns — all designed to encourage customers to become more energy efficient. So what makes them bite? That's what Amy Wolfe, researcher at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, is working to find out...12/5


Energy Dept. finds stricter EPA rules won’t threaten electric reliability

(Fuel Mix) A Department of Energy analysis of how the electricity system would respond to far more stringent versions of future air-emission regulations found the rules won’t threaten electric reliability...12/2

The Department of Energy (DOE) finalizes Regional Standards

(MailWire) On Oct. 25, the Department of energy confirmed that it adopted new residential appliance standards for central air conditioners, furnaces, and heat pumps...12/4

State & Regional

Tennessee prepares for more budget cuts

(Tennessean) A steadier economy is easing pressure on Tennessee's finances, but officials are nonetheless initiating another round of cuts...12/2

Cleaning lady pleads guilty to exploiting reclusive millionaire

Willa Blanc( When Willa Blanc was arrested in March 2009 after Walter Sartory’s body was found in an Indiana field, she favored flashy designer clothes and drove a red Corvette...Sartory, a scientist who had retired from the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee, was worth millions of dollars, according to court records.


Russia's Voters Have Spoken: Anybody But Putin

(Forbes) According to exit polls, Vladimir Putin’s United Russia lost its majority in the Russian parliament in Sunday’s voting. United Russia fell from a two third majority to under fifty percent...12/5

Postal Cuts to Slow Delivery of First-Class Mail

(ABC News) Facing bankruptcy, the U.S. Postal Service is pushing ahead with unprecedented cuts to first-class mail next spring that will slow delivery and, for the first time in 40 years, eliminate the chance for stamped letters to arrive the next day...12/4

East Tennessee

Christian, Newsom families see more trials, tears ahead

The families sat through every trial. They trusted the judge. They did as he asked. That faith disappeared Thursday. "He's taken four years of our lives away," said Chris Newsom's mother, Mary. "I never imagined anything like this. Yes, I'm angry. He should have known better. He should have stepped down."...12/2

energy & science policy

House Committee Passes Bill Requiring Disclosure of Peer Reviewers

(AIP) The House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform has passed a bill requiring the disclosure of peer reviewers.  H.R. 3433, the “Grant Reform and New Transparency Act of 2011” or the GRANT Act was introduced by Rep. James Lankford (R-OK) on November 16, and was passed by the committee the next day...12/2

Inside Energy Extra

12/2 A daily report on U.S. energy policy
[ORNL users only]

  • DOE says EPA rules will not stress grid
  • House bill seeks to transfer Keystone XL permit to FERC
  • Republicans want more WH Solyndra documents
  • US delays decision on whether to protect lizard in Texas, New Mexico
  • US to feel EU airplane pollution tax: analyst

science & technology


Sam I Am(Astrobiology Magazine) The Mars Science Laboratory is on its way to the red planet, and its rover Curiosity should touch down next summer. If the mission hits paydirt and comes across organic material, then one instrument in particular has the chemical tools for studying these building blocks of life. The instrument is called Sample Analysis at Mars, or SAM (or "Samantha" to those who built her).

Drop in Carbon Dioxide Levels Led to Polar Ice Sheet, Study Finds

(Science Daily) A drop in carbon dioxide appears to be the driving force that led to the Antarctic ice sheet's formation, according to a recent study led by scientists at Yale and Purdue universities of molecules from ancient algae found in deep-sea core samples...12/1

Names Proposed for 2 New Elements on Periodic Table

(New York Times) Add two names to the periodic table of elements, although you may want to write them in pencil for now. The International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry — the scientific body that is the keeper of the list of elements — unveiled Thursday the proposed names for elements 114 and 116: flerovium (atomic symbol Fl) and livermorium (atomic symbol Lv)...12/1

Other Stories

Why The Drop In U.S. Unemployment Is Only 'Half-Right'

(Forbes) November's nonfarm payrolls report is out Friday, and the big news of a dip in the unemployment rate to 8.6% is splashing across the headlines. Critics, and those planted firmly in the "double-dip" camp, argued that the chief reason for the drop was that 315,000 people left the workforce...12/2

Google mulling online retail move: report

Google(PhysOrg) Internet powerhouse Google is in talks with major retailers about an online shopping service that would deliver purchases to buyers within 24 hours, The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday...12/2

After Duty, Dogs Suffer Like Soldiers

Dog and Soldier(New York Times) The call came into the behavior specialists here from a doctor in Afghanistan. His patient had just been through a firefight and now was cowering under a cot, refusing to come out. Apparently even the chew toys hadn't worked...12/1

Out there

Japanese Scientists Make A Crab Transparent

Transparent Crab

(Popular Science) In the latest issue of Soft Matter, a team of biochemists from Kyoto University show off their latest creation: a crab shell that came from a normal crab, but which has been made as clear as glass...12/1