Wednesday, December 21, 2011
ORNL in the News

NOAA's petascale computer for climate research coming together at Oak Ridge lab

(Knoxville News Sentinel) Cray recently delivered the final 26 cabinets of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Gaea climate research supercomputer, which is housed at Oak Ridge National Laboratory...According to Jeff Nichols, an associate lab director at ORNL who heads the computational science director, the Gaea system is still in two pieces. The first piece is the original 14-cabinet system with a peak capability of 260 teraflops, Nichols said. The second piece is the new 26-cabinet system with a capability of 720 teraflops, he said...12/20

Data-driven tools cast geographical patterns of rainfall extremes in new light

(Innovations Report) Using statistical analysis methods to examine rainfall extremes in India, a team of researchers has made a discovery that resolves an ongoing debate in published findings and offers new insights...The study, initiated by Auroop Ganguly and colleagues at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, reports no evidence for uniformly increasing trends in rainfall extremes averaged over the entire Indian region...12/20

ORNL research could advance understanding of mercury, Y-12 impacts

(Knoxville News Sentinel) Oak Ridge National Laboratory is engaged in a multiyear, multimillion-dollar research effort to better understand how mercury behaves — and sometimes devilishly transforms itself — in the environment....12/20


Sherry leaving government, not Oak Ridge

(Knoxville News Sentinel) Ted Sherry is leaving federal service, but he's not leaving Oak Ridge. Sherry, the National Nuclear Security Administration's manager at the Y-12 nuclear weapons plant for the past five years, is apparently considering multiple job offers at the moment...12/21

DOE must continue to fund OR mercury cleanup

(Knoxville News Sentinel) Mercury has been oozing into East Fork Poplar Creek in Oak Ridge for decades. The metal also known as quicksilver was used to enrich lithium for use in hydrogen bombs built during the Cold War to intimidate — or, if necessary, destroy — the Soviet Union...12/21

State & Regional

TVA says elevated levels of tritium at Sequoyah

(AP) The Tennessee Valley Authority has reported finding elevated levels of radioactive tritium in a groundwater sample from a new onsite monitoring well at the Sequoyah Nuclear Plant near Chattanooga...12/20


U.S. and South Korea Cautiously Reach Out to North Korea

(NY Times) The United States and South Korea made cautious overtures toward North Korea on Wednesday as Kim Jong-un, thrust into the international spotlight following the death of his father moved swiftly to tighten internal security and rally support from the hard-line military...12/21

East Tennessee

Knoxville rises in national job growth ranking

(Knoxville News Sentinel) Knoxville is showing some positive momentum when it comes to job growth, according to a new study from a national think tank...12/20


energy & science policy

FY 2012 Appropriation for Department of Energy – National Nuclear Security Administration

(AIP) Congress and the President have agreed on a final FY 2012 appropriations bill...12/20

FY 2012 Appropriation for Department of Energy – Office of Science, ARPA-E

(AIP) Congress and the President have agreed on a final FY 2012 appropriations bill...12/20


Inside Energy Extra

12/20 A daily report on U.S. energy policy
[ORNL users only]
- EPA mecury rule seen Wednesday
- Interior eyes offshore grid approval
- FutureGen 2.0 reports favorable data
- House reaffirms Keystone XL backing
- EPA methane study needs fix: Chamber

science & technology

U.S. Says Details Of Flu Experiments Should Stay Secret

(NPR) A committee that advises the government says that details of two controversial experiments on bird flu virus should not be made public, because of fears that the work could provide a recipe for a bioweapon...12/20

Nano-Engineered Bioconstructs Perform Photosynthesis Faster Than Nature Does

(Popular Science) Scientists have been trying for a while now to recreate the process of photosynthesis, using sunlight and water to spark chemical reactions. Now a team from Penn State University has done one better, producing an engineered biological system that can produce a hydrogen biofuel twice as fast as nature...12/20

Prototype device measures absolute optical power in fiber at nanowatt levels

( Researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) have demonstrated a prototype device capable of absolute measurements of optical power delivered through an optical fiber...12/21

Other Stories

China Hackers Hit U.S. Chamber

(Wall Street Journal) A group of hackers in China breached the computer defenses of America's top business-lobbying group and gained access to everything stored on its systems, including information about its three million members, according to several people familiar with the matter...12/21

U.S. Holds On to Biometrics Database of 3 Million Iraqis

(Wired) The troops have come home, the flag has been been lowered, and the Iraq War is officially in the past for the U.S. military. But the military is holding on to a major souvenir of the war: a massive database packed with retinal scans, thumb prints and other biometric data identifying millions of Iraqis. It will be a tool for counterterrorism long after the Iraq War becomes a fading memory...12/21