Rigors of the road: ORNL invention will support licensing and transport of spent nuclear fuel
July 28, 2015 — Moving rods of spent nuclear fuel (SNF) to interim storage or a geologic repository requires road or rail travel. Although a heavy shielding cask protects the rods, long distance transportation subjects SNF to vibrations, sudden movements and other potentially agitating forces.
ORNL–Dow Evaluation of Advanced Energy-Saving Sealant for Buildings
July 01, 2015 — Drafty buildings are a thermostat’s worst enemy. Leaks around windows and a multitude of other breaches in the building envelope can cause heat and air-conditioning systems to run excessively, hogging energy as it continually warms — or cools and dehumidifies — the invading outside air.
The ‘why’ of models
May 27, 2015 — Predicting how forests will respond to increased levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide involves understanding the interplay among carbon dioxide, nutrients, water, plant and soil processes. This multitude of variables challenges scientists who are trying to gauge how future ecosystems will react in a changing climate.
May 20, 2015 — Not all plastics are created equal. Malleable thermoplastics can be easily melted and reused in products such as food containers. Other plastics, called thermosets, are essentially stuck in their final form because of cross-linking chemical bonds that give them their strength for applications such as golf balls and car tires.
One of HFIR’s Youngest Users Impresses Staff with School Research Project
May 15, 2015 — Cameron Roberts, a recent High Flux Isotope Reactor visiting research user, stands out from the usual queue of university academics, industry R&D staff, and DOE scientists—this user is a junior in high school.
May 13, 2015 — Supercomputing resources at the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory will support a new initiative designed to advance how scientists digitally reconstruct and analyze individual neurons in the human brain. Led by the Allen Institute for Brain Science, the BigNeuron project aims to create a common platform for analyzing the three-dimensional structure of neurons.
ORNL group leads calorimeter upgrade for Large Hadron Collider experiment
May 12, 2015 — Run-2 for the Large Hadron Collider (LHC)—the world’s largest and most powerful particle collider—began April 5 at CERN, the European Laboratory for Nuclear Research. In preparation, Thomas M.
April 27, 2015 — With more than 30 patents, James Klett is no stranger to success, but perhaps the Oak Ridge National Laboratory researcher’s most noteworthy achievement didn’t start out so hot – or so it seemed at the time.
“We had been making carbon-carbon composites, which are carbon fibers embedded in a carbon matrix,” said Klett, reflecting on the 1997 discovery.
April 27, 2015 — From the bluebird painting propped against her office wall and the deer she mentions seeing outside her office window, Linda Lewis might be mistaken for a wildlife biologist at first glance. But rather than trailing animal tracks, Lewis, a researcher at the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory, is more interested in marks left behind by humans.
NSF Students Gain Hands-on Experience in Neutron Sciences at ORNL
April 27, 2015 — OAK RIDGE, Tenn.—A group of 13 Ph.D. students from 3 partnering universities—the University of Missouri, Indiana University, and North Carolina State University—gathered at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in April for an intensive course in how to apply neutron scattering to their studies of materials science and biological systems.
ORNL showcases revolutionary, energy-efficient technologies for residential and commercial buildings markets
April 09, 2015 — The Department of Energy's Oak Ridge National Laboratory highlighted its cutting-edge innovations in building technologies, many in partnership with industry, that promise to revolutionize how efficiently people will refrigerate food, dry clothes and heat and cool their homes during a visit by David Danielson, DOE Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.
Mixing Up a Batch of Stronger Metals
April 08, 2015 — Just as a delicate balance of ingredients determines the tastiness of a cookie or cake, the specific ratio of metals in an alloy determines desirable qualities of the new metal, such as improved strength or lightness.
April 02, 2015 — Drivers trying to get to work or home in a hurry know traffic congestion wastes a lot of time, but it also wastes a lot of fuel. In 2011, congestion caused people in US urban areas to travel an extra 5.5 billion hours and purchase an extra 2.9 billion gallons of fuel costing $121 billion.
Collaborative vision, saving sight
March 27, 2015 — Nearly a decade ago, a meeting to explore research collaborations between the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the University of Tennessee set the foundation for a company that provides accessible and remote health screenings for patients concerned about diabetic related eye diseases.
March 25, 2015 — For living organisms proteins are an essential part of their body system and are needed to thrive. In recent years, a certain class of proteins has challenged researchers’ conventional notion that proteins have a static and well-defined structure.
Five more spring nature walks planned on Oak Ridge Reservation
March 24, 2015 — OAK RIDGE, Tenn., March 24, 2015 – Five more nature walks are planned this spring on the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge Reservation with themes of frog calls and bat monitoring, wildflowers and forest growth, bird watching, invasive plants, reptiles and amphibians.
The frog calls and bat monitoring walk is scheduled from 7 until 9 p.m.
March 23, 2015 — Rechargeable lithium-ion batteries are commonly found in portable electronics such as cell phones and notebook PCs. They’re also gaining popularity in electric vehicles, where their compact, lightweight build and high-energy storage potential offers a more efficient and environmentally safe alternative to nickel metal hydride and lead-acid batteries traditionally used in vehicles.
Best of both worlds
March 18, 2015 — As a kid in the south of France, Flora Meilleur spent her days on mountainous farmland near the High Alps.
PART II, Tackling Grand Challenges in Geochemistry: Q&A with Andrew Stack
March 17, 2015 — Andrew Stack, a geochemist at the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory, advances understanding of the dynamics of minerals underground.
PART I, The Making of a Geochemist: Q&A with Andrew Stack
March 04, 2015 — Scientists who bridge disciplines often take research in new directions. Andrew Stack of the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory calls on his expertise in geology, chemistry and computing to advance understanding of the dynamics of minerals underground.
Innovative, lower cost sensors and controls yield better energy efficiency
February 27, 2015 — Regulating comfort in small commercial buildings could become more efficient and less expensive thanks to an innovative low-cost wireless sensor technology being developed by researchers at the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory.
February 23, 2015 — Researchers at the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory have captured undistorted snapshots of refrigerants flowing through small heat exchangers, helping to further elucidate characteristics of heat transfer.
Sugar and splice
February 16, 2015 — Through drought and flood, winter freeze and summer heat, and the occasional deer nibble or beaver gnaw, trees stand sturdy. Partly, trees can thank genetic makeup, refined through millennia, for the ability to overcome much of what Mother Nature hurls their way.
Yonath discusses visualizing ribosomes and antibiotic resistance
February 11, 2015 — The early 1980s conventional wisdom was that almost everything was known about ribosomes, the cellular structures responsible for making proteins according to the genetic instructions. The decade was also the turning point in antibiotics development. Despite substantial increase in bacterial antibiotic resistance, hardly any new antibiotics were designed.
Flipping the switch
February 09, 2015 — Inadequate insulation is one of the largest causes of wasted energy, quickly allowing comfortable heating or cooling to disperse air outside.