Thursday, December 6, 2012
ORNL in the News

Nuclear energy: Radical reactors

(Nature) For decades, one design has dominated nuclear reactors while potentially better options were left by the wayside. Now, the alternatives might finally have their day... molten-salt technology had been demonstrated some three decades earlier at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee — and that the fluid uranium- or thorium-containing fuel offered major advantages...12/5

Local students make it to national finals of Siemens Competition

(WBIR-TV) The Siemens Competition was launched in 1998 to recognize America's best and brightest science, technology, engineering and math students. Entries are judged at the regional level by esteemed scientists at six leading research universities and winners from there advance onto the National Finals...The team's mentor on their project was Chris Symons, Oak Ridge National Laboratory...12/4


Y-12 vandalism suspects charged with sabotage

(WBIR-TV) Three defendants previously charged with trespassing and vandalism of the Y-12 Security Complex are now facing additional charges of injuring national defense premises, also known as sabotage...12/5

Energy Department Issues Tribal Renewable Energy Purchase Guidance and Project Development Resources

( At the White House Tribal Nations Conference today, the Energy Department announced two new initiatives aimed at driving increased energy production and sustainable economic development in Indian Country...12/5

State & Regional

Mississippi River barges travel ever so warily

(AP) A revised Mississippi River forecast offered a bit of a reprieve for shippers Wednesday, showing the water level isn’t dropping as quickly as feared. Still, at least two large barge companies — including Nashville-based Ingram Barge — already are reducing their loads over concerns about the river’s depth...12/6


What Should The U.S. Learn From Europe's Woes?

(NPR) As President Obama and Capitol Hill lawmakers assess the need for spending cuts and tax increases against the risk of triggering a new recession, they might look across the Atlantic for insights from those who have already grappled with those budgetary questions...12/6

East Tennessee

Millions a day: Rockwood firm rolls out glassware for research

(Knoxville News Sentinel) The company, the county's largest manufacturing employer, makes disposable glass vials, test tubes — technically called culture tubes — and pipettes. About five million of them roll off assembly lines each workday...12/5

UT researchers find a fungus that could battle cancer

(WBIR-TV) University of Tennessee researchers said they discovered that a fungus has potential cancer-fighting power. Arthrobotrys oligospora is a fungus that produces nanoparticles. Nanoparticles are tiny particles, which could stimulate the immune system and kill tumors...12/4

energy & science policy

At Climate Talks, a Struggle Over Aid for Poorer Nations

(NY Times) The United Nations climate conference here has settled into its typical doldrums, with most major questions unresolved as a Friday evening deadline for concluding the talks approaches. One of the thorniest issues is money, which has often bedeviled these affairs...12/5

science & technology


Physicists Bummed That Physics Is Pretty Much What They Expected

(The Atlantic) ...The discovery of the Higgs means that an entire era of physics -- in which the so-called Standard Model of particles was theorized and then proven -- has come to an end. And the LHC is not creating any new mysteries to investigate. Physics is following the predictions too closely...12/4

3D-Printable Gun Part Fails on Sixth Shot

(Scientific American) An AR-15 assault rifle containing just one 3D printed part broke during resilience tests, impeding any early plans to build a working gun made entirely of printed material...12/5

Researchers find a common angle and tipping point of branching valley networks

(PhysOrg) Over the course of decades or even centuries, Earth's landscape can appear relatively static, with mountains and valleys seemingly anchored firmly in place. Viewed over a longer timescale, however—on the order of hundreds of thousands of years—the Earth's topography becomes a rippling, shifting, changing tableau...12/6

The Transporter: Cloud Banks Carry Mercury

(National Geographic News) The towering redwood forests along California's coast are known for the clammy fog that rolls in from the ocean almost every night. Now scientists have discovered an unwelcome stowaway in these cloud banks: mercury...12/4

Other Stories

Expect A Mild Winter, But Not Like Last Year

(Discovery News) Much of the United States enjoyed a warm start to December, but meteorologists agree there is little probability of another winter as balmy as last year's...12/5