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ORNL's Communications team works with news media seeking information about the laboratory. Media may use the resources listed below or send questions to news@ornl.gov.

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Balendra Sutharshan, deputy associate laboratory director for operational systems at DOE’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, has joined ORNL as associate laboratory director for the Isotope Science and Engineering Directorate.

ORNL researchers used the award-winning Amanzi-ATS model to simulate groundwater flow in Arctic ecosystems. As thawing permafrost sinks lower beneath the surface, groundwater flows deeper underground and, therefore, stays colder as it flow into streams. Credit: Michelle Lehman/ORNL, U.S. Dept. of Energy

A study by Oak Ridge National Laboratory, the University of Copenhagen, the National Park Service and the U.S. Geological Survey showed that hotter summers and permafrost loss are causing colder water to flow into Arctic streams, which could impact sensitive fish and other wildlife.

The Perseverance rover

On Feb. 18, the world will be watching as NASA’s Perseverance rover makes its final descent into Jezero Crater on the surface of Mars. Mars 2020 is the first NASA mission that uses plutonium-238 produced at the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

ORNL recognized the small businesses that have made a positive impact on ORNL’s operations at the virtual 2020 Small Business Awards. Credit: ORNL, U.S. Dept. of Energy

Thirty-two Oak Ridge National Laboratory employees were named among teams recognized by former DOE Secretary Dan Brouillette with Secretary’s Honor Awards as he completed his term. Four teams received new awards that reflect DOE responses to the coronavirus pandemic.

ORNL welder Devin Johnson uses a new orbital welder to seal a hollow target in a glovebox in the lab’s Radiochemical Engineering Development Center. The new welder makes a clean seam on the metal target, eliminating the need for hand-finishing afterward. Credit: Carlos Jones/ORNL, U.S. Dept. of Energy

A better way of welding targets for Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s plutonium-238 production has sped up the process and improved consistency and efficiency. This advancement will ultimately benefit the lab’s goal to make enough Pu-238 – the isotope that powers NASA’s deep space missions – to yield 1.5 kilograms of plutonium oxide annually by 2026.

The TRITON model provides a detailed visualization of the flooding that resulted when Hurricane Harvey stalled over Houston for four days in 2017. Credit: Mario Morales-Hernández/ORNL, U.S. Dept. of Energy

A new tool from Oak Ridge National Laboratory can help planners, emergency responders and scientists visualize how flood waters will spread for any scenario and terrain.

An international research team used scanning tunneling microscopy at ORNL to send and receive single molecules across a surface on an atomically precise track. Credit: Michelle Lehman/ORNL, U.S. Dept. of Energy

Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s Center for Nanophase Materials Sciences contributed to a groundbreaking experiment published in Science that tracks the real-time transport of individual molecules.

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Researchers at the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory are the first team to sequence the entire genome of the Clostridium autoethanogenum bacterium, which is used to sustainably produce fuel and chemicals from a range of raw materials, including gases derived from biomass and industrial wastes.