Thursday, December 27, 2012
ORNL in the News

ORNL expanding carbon fiber technology

(WBIR-TV) In August 2011, Oak Ridge National Lab brought together a group of scientists, businesses and manufactures to expand the use of carbon fiber. Next month, ORNL will move that research to a new full scale production facility...The research facility cost $35 million. Full-scale production is scheduled to start on January 7, 2013...12/26

Zooming in: UT's $3.5M microscopes boon for researchers, students

(Knoxville News Sentinel) The wow factor may even trump the hefty $3.5 million price tag of the University of Tennessee's two new out-of-this-world electron microscopes...The practical applications of the instrument are almost unlimited, according to Joint Institute for Advanced Materials lead scientist Gerd Duscher and facility manager John Dunlap....Duscher said the microscopes will "strengthen the collaboration" between ongoing joint research between UT and Oak Ridge National Laboratory...12/26

DOE

Helmets Designed by Supercomputers Help Warfighters at Home

(Energy.gov) Improved body armor and other military technologies are helping warfighters survive battlefield wounds from shrapnel and bullets, but there’s still little that can be done to protect them from the blast waves produced by explosions that cause traumatic brain injury (TBI)...12/26

State & Regional

Environmental groups plan suit against TVA over fish nursery

(The Tennessean) Several environmental advocacy groups are preparing a federal lawsuit against the Tennessee Valley Authority for announcing that a pollution control facility will replace an endangered fish nursery at the Gallatin Fossil Plant...12/26

National

U.S. will hit debt limit on Dec. 31, Treasury Department says

(Washington Post) The U.S. government will hit the $16.4 trillion federal debt limit Monday and turn to “extraordinary measures” to continue borrowing, the Treasury Department said Wednesday, beginning a countdown until Congress either passes legislation to allow for more borrowing or the government defaults on its debt...12/26

East Tennessee

Oak Ridge to host Rotary International peace forum

(Oak Ridger) The Rotary International District 6780 will hold a Peace Forum on Saturday, March 9, 2013, in Oak Ridge. This event will mark the first time in many years that a Rotary International president has visited The Secret City...12/26

science & technology

Is safe, green thorium power finally ready for prime time?

(Extreme Tech) If you’ve not been tracking the thorium hype, you might be interested to learn that the benefits liquid fluoride thorium reactors (LFTRs) have over light water uranium reactors (LWRs) are compelling. Alvin Weinberg, who invented both, favored the LFTR for civilian power since its failures (when they happened) were considerably less dramatic...12/18

Which Computer Is Smarter, Watson Or Deep Blue?

(Popular Science) And if we combined the two, what extraordinary intelligence would they be capable of?...12/26

Scientists challenge current theories about natural habitats and species diversity

(PhysOrg) For over 50 years, conventional ecological theories have predicted that the number of species that can coexist in a given area increases with the heterogeneity of the environmental conditions in the habitat...12/27

New Report Finds That West Antarctica Is Warming at an Alarming Rate

(The Atlantic) In a region where melting could contribute 10 feet of global sea-level rise, new measurements show temperatures ticking up twice as fast as previously thought...12/24

Other Stories

Peru promises science spending

(Nature) Peru’s Prime Minister Juan Jimenez last week launched a US$100 million programme to boost scientific research, technological development and innovation...12/26