- Number 372 |
- September 24, 2012
When hurricanes blow over ocean regions swamped with fresh water, the storm can unexpectedly intensify. According to a new study led by researchers at DOE’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Early Edition, the probability that hurricanes will hit these conditions is small—about 10 to 23 percent—the rate at which they intensify can be higher when they do, by as much as 50 percent on average."Sixty percent of the world's population lives in areas affected by tropical cyclones," said Dr. Karthik Balaguru, lead author of the study and oceanographer at PNNL. "Cyclone Nargis killed more than 138,000 people in Burma in 2008. We can predict the paths cyclones take, but we need to predict their intensity better to protect people susceptible to their destructive power."
Hollywood’s finest tradition is to follow up a smash hit with a much-anticipated sequel, and so it will be with the Department of Energy’s Jefferson Lab and its Continuous Electron Beam Accelerator Facility (CEBAF). On May 18, CEBAF shut down after a long and highly successful 17-year run, during which scientists completed more than 175 experiments in the exploration of the nature of matter. The sequel will feature a return of CEBAF with double the energy and a host of other enhancements designed to delve even deeper into the structure of matter.
First proposed in detail in 2001, the upgrade is a $310 million project that will enhance the research capabilities of Jefferson Lab's CEBAF accelerator by doubling its energy from 6 to 12 billion electron volts, or GeV, along with other upgrades and additions. The CEBAF 12 GeV Upgrade will provide scientists with unprecedented precision and reach for studies of the particles and forces that build our visible universe.
Pioneering mass spectrometry methods developed at DOE’s Ames Laboratory are helping plant biologists get their first glimpses of never-before-seen plant tissue structures.
The new method opens up new realms of study, ones that might have long-ranging implications for biofuels research and crop genetics.
The laboratory’s team of researchers has developed a new more highly sensitive mass spectrometry technique to investigate metabolites, the small molecules that are the building blocks for plant biological processes.
Ames Laboratory scientist Young-Jin Lee has successfully demonstrated the use of matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization-mass spectrometry, or MALDI-MS, to map the lipids in cottonseed. The imaging technique can make maps of the locations of molecules in plant materials with resolution of 10 to 50 microns, less than a quarter the size of a human hair.
And, when Savannah River Nuclear Solutions Area Completions Projects personnel sealed the site’s massive P and R reactors, a suite of technologies and services from DOE's Savannah River National Laboratory (SRNL) was critical to a closure that DOE Site Manager Dave Moody called “a precedent-setting activity in the nuclear industry.”
The two reactors were decommissioned in situ, avoiding the potential hazards and costs associated with generating and disposing of an estimated 137,000 tons of contaminated debris per reactor. In situ decommissioning (ISD) entails a combination of modeling to ensure protectiveness of the end state; demolishing or dismantling unstable structures; filling spaces, vessels, and equipment with special grout; sealing the openings, and monitoring the facility.