Friday, December 21, 2012
ORNL in the News


ORNL scientists working to ensure future power sources don't harm wildlife

(WBIR-TV) The Department of Energy is pushing hydro-power turbines as one way to create renewable energy. They have tasked scientists at Oak Ridge National Laboratory to solve the problems that come from the new, underwater technologies. Senior Scientist Dr. Mark Bevelhimer, is heading up the studies...12/20

The New Fastest Supercomputer In The Country Is Designing Better Nuclear Power

(Scientific American) The new supercomputer Titan can zip through simulations of a nuclear reaction in a fraction of the time it used to take. It's much safer than testing new ideas for nuclear power in the real world...Titan is 3.5 times faster than Jaguar, its predecessor at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, when it comes to locating the millions of particles bouncing around in a simulated nuclear reaction: A task that took Jaguar 60 hours to do, Titan will crush in just 13...November 2012


DOE's incinerator now in 'safe shutdown'

(Knoxville News Sentinel) The TSCA Incinerator, which ceased operations three years ago after burning more than 35 million pounds of hazardous and radioactive wastes, has now been placed in "safe shutdown" mode, the Department of Energy's environmental contractor announced today...12/20

State & Regional

EPA rejects appeal, says too much ozone

(AP) Environmental Protection Agency has rejected appeals from state officials over air quality listings....12/20

TN unemployment rate drops below national levels

(WBIR-TV) ...The Tennessee Department of Labor & Workforce Development said Thursday that the state's unemployment rate for November decreased to 7.6 percent, down from the October revised rate of 8.2 percent...12/20


Is The Border Secure Enough To Tackle The Immigration System?

(NPR) Since the mid-1980s, the U.S. Border Patrol has quintupled in size — growing from about 4,000 to more than 20,000 agents...So here's the question: Is the Southwest border secure?...12/20

East Tennessee

Bell expanding helicopter production in upper East Tenn.

(Knoxville News Sentinel) Bell Helicopter Inc. will add a second manufacturing plant in Piney Flats. Gov. Bill Haslam and other state officials announced Thursday that the $10.1 million investment in Sullivan County is expected to create 125 new jobs...12/20

Company begins construction on first U.S.-German solar project in Oak Ridge

(Oak Ridger) Tennessee solar energy developer Vis Solis LLC began construction on a 50-kilowatt solar photovoltaic installation at the Oak Ridge Heritage Center on Monday...12/20

energy & science policy

Climate change on world stage: Expert discusses prospects for adopting a plan to confront it

(PhysOrg) International climate talks wrapped up last week in Qatar. Harvard Professor Robert Stavins attended and characterized the gathering as a qualified success, representing another step in a long process of reaching a workable international agreement...12/20

science & technology

Chicago's Field Museum Cuts Back on Science

(Scientific American) Previous expansion projects force the natural history center to address shortfalls with $3 million in cuts to its annual budget for science operations. Zoology, botany, geology and anthropology departments will be dissolved...12/20

Scientists Engineer Algae To Produce New Targeted Cancer Therapy

(Popular Science) If traditional cancer therapies like chemotherapy are the WMDs of medicine--powerful, indiscriminate killers--targeted drug therapies are the assassins, trained to seek out and destroy enemy cancer cells, one at a time...12/20

Hawaiian Islands are dissolving, study says

(PhysOrg) Someday, Oahu's Koolau and Waianae mountains will be reduced to nothing more than a flat, low-lying island like Midway. But erosion isn't the biggest culprit. Instead, scientists say, the mountains of Oahu are actually dissolving from within.

Why Some Kids Have An Inflated Sense Of Their Science Skills

(NPR) A massive analysis of some 350,000 students at nearly 14,000 schools in 53 countries has uncovered a paradox: Students in many countries that are mediocre at science have an inflated sense of how good they are...12/20

Wallace's century-old map of natural world updated

(PhysOrg) Until today, Alfred Russell Wallace's century old map from 1876 has been the backbone for our understanding of global biodiversity...12/20

Other Stories

Unbreathable: Air Pollution Becomes a Major Global Killer

(Time) ...Thanks to new cars and power plants, air pollution is bad and getting worse in much of the world—and it’s taking a major toll on global health...12/20