Monday, December 31, 2012
ORNL in the News

Update on plutonium project at ORNL

(Knoxville News Sentinel) A pilot project to demonstrate the a capability to produce plutonium-238 at Oak Ridge National Laboratory is still in its early stages, but there is some progress to report in the development efforts...12/29

High-security uranium shipments could begin in early '13

(Knoxville News Sentinel) The U.S. Department of Energy could begin shipping stocks of hotly radioactive and fissionable uranium to Nevada in early 2013, although the exact dates apparently will be kept secret for safety and security reasons...12/31

ORNL braces for budget uncertainty as 'fiscal cliff' talks continue

(Knoxville News Sentinel) The "fiscal cliff" is hanging ominously over plans for 2013, but Oak Ridge National Laboratory Director Thom Mason said the lab has been preparing for tough times for a couple of years and has done everything it reasonably can do to deal with the situation before knowing the budget details...12/31


Record set in solar cell efficiency - with the light of a thousand suns

(NBC News) Scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy have created a solar cell that can convert 44 percent of sunlight hitting it into electrical energy, setting a new record for solar cell efficiency. But it was only achieved by multiplying the power of the sun by nearly 1,000...12/29


After Fruitless Weekend, Congress Still Seeks Fiscal Deal

(NPR) It is almost unimaginable that both the House and Senate would be in session on a Sunday evening on the penultimate day of the year. And yet, they both were, with lawmakers hoping it was not merely a big waste of time and effort...12/31

State & Regional

TN sees value in fatalities tally on highway signs though deaths up

(Tennessean) Throughout 2012, they acted as a daily, deadly scorecard on the dangers of driving on Tennessee’s roads. But as the year closes out today, state transportation officials have yet to decide whether they’ll keep using 151 electronic highway signs across Tennessee to show a daily count of traffic fatalities in 2013...12/31

Corker, Alexander offer plan to cut Medicare, up debt ceiling

(Knoxville News Sentinel) U.S. senators Lamar Alexander and Bob Corker said Friday taxes will not increase for most Americans and insisted "fiscal cliff" negotiations will either address pending hikes before Monday's deadline or through retroactive legislation in the new year...12/29

energy & science policy

California’s climate-change experiment

(Washington Post) Starting on Jan. 1, California will begin the nation’s most ambitious experiment yet in fighting climate change, and it will do it more or less alone. For environmentalists depressed by years of the United States’ unproductive “debate” on global warming, this moment is heady — and perilous...12/30

science & technology

ORNL Highlights 2012 Supercomputing Achievements

(HPC Wire) The Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory regained the lead in high-performance computing, enjoyed record-setting recognition for its research and became a showpiece for renewable energy technology during 2012...12/28

SUGAR Volt: Boeing puts vision to work in hybrid electric aircraft

Boeing plane(Phys Org) Boeing has been working on a project that signifies the future of commercial air transportation. As the story goes, about five years ago at a conference on advanced aircraft technologies, posing questions on what the future of aircraft would look like, somebody stood up and said, "What about an electric airplane?" Almost everyone laughed. Boeing personnel did not laugh.

Science publishing: Open access must enable open use

(Nature) Those wishing to maximize the benefits of public research must require more than free access, says Cameron Neylon — they must facilitate reuse...12/20

Wireless Power May Cut the Cord for Plug-In Devices, Including Cars

Devices charging(National Geographic) A mobile phone that charges in your pocket, a flat-screen TV that needs no power cord, a car fueled by a cordless panel in the floor: In a nondescript building just outside Boston, these and other applications of wireless electricity signal a future with fewer snaking cables...12/28

Other Stories

Teenagers Without Internet Access at Home Are Educationally Disadvantaged, UK Study Suggests

(Science Daily) A major in-depth study examining how teenagers in the UK are using the internet and other mobile devices says the benefits of using such technologies far outweigh any perceived risks...12/30