Monday, December 20, 2010
ORNL in the News

ORNL-created technology on the move

(Knoxville News Sentinel) A company created with technology developed at Oak Ridge National Laboratory appears headed to Ohio after a $1 million investment from Cincinnati venture capitalists.  NanoDection Detection is receiving a $250,000 investment from CincyTech, an investment partnership with both state and private funds, $100,000 from Southern Ohio Creates Companies and funds from a private investor. The an additional $1 million is being sought to complete the round of investment...12/20

4 ORNL scientists named American Physical Society Fellows

(Eurekalert) Four researchers from the Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory have been elected to fellowship in the American Physical Society.   David Christen, David Geohegan, Xun-Li Wang and William Weber were named APS fellows in recognition of their outstanding contributions to physics. APS fellowship is limited to no more than one half of one percent of the society's membership...12/17


Government contractor wages will be frozen for two years, will affect thousands locally

(WBIR) Contracted workers at several local Department of Energy sites will be seeing a freeze in pay for the next two years.  Following federal employee pay freezes nationwide announced last month, U.S. Secretary of Energy Steven Chu said contracted workers at 28 Department of Energy sites and laboratories will also see salary freezes. This includes workers at Y-12, ORNL and ORAU...12/17


(Cypress Times) Energy Secretary Steven Chu announced Thursday the Department of Energy's intent to fund up to $50 million to test and demonstrate innovative technologies that will lead to cost-competitive solar energy technologies...12/18

East Tennessee

Rules for coal ash unclear: Enforcement will depend on whether EPA classifies waste as hazardous

(Knoxville News Sentinel) Two years after the disastrous coal ash spill in Kingston, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is on the verge of enacting the first federal standards for the disposal of ash from coal-fired power plants...12/19


Payrolls Drop in 28 U.S. States, Joblessness Rises in 21 in Labor Setback

(Bloomberg) Payrolls decreased in 28 U.S. states and the unemployment rate climbed in 21, showing most parts of the world’s largest economy took part in the November labor- market setback...12/17

Democrats Scramble to Save Votes to Ratify Nuclear Pact

(New York Times) The top two Senate Republicans declared Sunday that they would vote against President Obama’s nuclear treaty with Russia as the bipartisan spirit of last week’s tax-cut deal devolved into a sharp battle over national security in the waning days of the session...12/19

'Don't ask, don't tell' is repealed by Senate; bill awaits Obama's signing

(Washington Post) The U.S. military will for the first time in history allow gays to serve openly after the Senate voted Saturday to repeal "don't ask, don't tell," the policy that has required such troops to hide their sexual identity or risk being expelled from the services...12/19

State and Regional

Mission of Hope grows to help thousands in poorest Appalachia

(Knoxville News Sentinel) In a time of economic crisis and high unemployment rates, Emmette Thompson, executive director of the Mission of Hope, hopes someday to join the ranks of the unemployed.  "I'd love to tell people that I speak to that we're working ourselves out of a job," Thompson said, "but that would be a bold-faced lie."...12/19


energy & science policy

Inside Energy Extra

12/17 A daily report on U.S. energy policy
[ORNL users only]

  • Agencies propose solar-energy zones
  • EIA report reflects shale-gas surge
  • US solar installations rise 38% in Q3
  • Upton picks committee lieutenants
  • DOE offers $184M for vehicle R&D

science & technology

Missing Black Holes Cause Trouble for String Theory

(Wired) The results continue to pour out of the Large Hadron Collider’s first production run. This week, the folks behind the CMS, or compact muon solenoid, detector have announced the submission of a paper to Physics Letters that describes a test of some forms of string theory...12/17

Scientists decipher 3 billion-year-old genomic fossils

(Phys.Org) About 580 million years ago, life on Earth began a rapid period of change called the Cambrian Explosion, a period defined by the birth of new life forms over many millions of years that ultimately helped bring about the modern diversity of animals...12/19

Other Stories

Beam Me Up: 'Teleportation' Is Year's Biggest Breakthrough

(Foxnews)  A strange discovery by quantum physicists at the University of California Santa Barbara means that an object you can see in front of you may exist simultaneously in a parallel universe -- a multi-state condition that has scientists theorizing that teleportation or even time travel may be much more than just the plaything of science fiction writers...12/17

Solstice-eclipse overlap first in 456 years

(Ottawa Gazette)  This year's winter solstice — an event that will occur next Tuesday — will coincide with a full lunar eclipse in a union that hasn't been seen in 456 years.

PHOTOS: 2010 a Watershed Year for Floods, Droughts?

(National Geographic)  A huge sinkhole in Guatemala City (map), Guatemala, crashed into being this May, reportedly swallowing a three-story building.  The sinkhole was likely weeks or even years in the making until floodwaters from tropical storm Agatha caused the sinkhole to finally collapse, scientists say...12/16