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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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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.

In situ monitoring to evaluate nickel-based superalloys as they are printing gave Mike Kirka, an ORNL materials scientist, the ability to see potential weaknesses that could lead to part failure. Credit: ORNL/U.S. Dept. of Energy

Growing up in the heart of the American automobile industry near Detroit, Oak Ridge National Laboratory materials scientist Mike Kirka was no stranger to manufacturing.

The researchers embedded a programmable model into a D-Wave quantum computer chip. Credit: D-Wave

Since the 1930s, scientists have been using particle accelerators to gain insights into the structure of matter and the laws of physics that govern our world.

Blue sky above ORNL campus.

ORNL and three partnering institutions have received $4.2 million over three years to apply artificial intelligence to the advancement of complex systems in which human decision making could be enhanced via technology.

Suman Debnath is using simulation algorithms to accelerate understanding of the modern power grid and enhance its reliability and resilience. Credit: Carlos Jones/ORNL, U.S. Dept. of Energy

Planning for a digitized, sustainable smart power grid is a challenge to which Suman Debnath is using not only his own applied mathematics expertise, but also the wider communal knowledge made possible by his revival of a local chapter of the IEEE professional society.

ORNL’s collaboration with Cincinati Children’s Hospital Medical Center will leverage the lab’s expertise in high-performance computing and safe, secure recordkeeping. Credit: Genevieve Martin/Oak Ridge National Laboratory, U.S. Dept. of Energy

There are more than 17 million veterans in the United States, and approximately half rely on the Department of Veterans Affairs for their healthcare.

U.S. Department of Energy Deputy Secretary Mark Menezes (right) tours the DemeTECH N95 filter material production area with Xin Sun, ORNL interim associate laboratory director (center) and Craig Blue, ORNL advanced manufacturing program manager. Credit: US Dept. of Energy

A collaboration between the ORNL and a Florida-based medical device manufacturer has led to the addition of 500 jobs in the Miami area to support the mass production of N95 respirator masks.

These fuel assembly brackets, manufactured by ORNL in partnership with Framatome and Tennessee Valley Authority, are the first 3D-printed safety-related components to be inserted into a nuclear power plant. Credit: Fred List/ORNL, U.S. Dept. of Energy

The Transformational Challenge Reactor, or TCR, a microreactor built using 3D printing and other new advanced technologies, could be operational by 2024.

Jianlin Li employs ORNL’s world-class battery research facility to validate the innovative safety technology.

Soteria Battery Innovation Group has exclusively licensed and optioned a technology developed by Oak Ridge National Laboratory designed to eliminate thermal runaway in lithium ion batteries due to mechanical damage.

Xunxiang Hu, a Eugene P. Wigner Fellow in ORNL’s Materials Science and Technology Division, designed this machine to produce large, crack-free pieces of yttrium hydride to be used as a moderator in the core of ORNL’s Transformational Challenge Reactor and other microreactors. Credit: Xunxiang Hu/ORNL, U.S. Dept. of Energy

About 60 years ago, scientists discovered that a certain rare earth metal-hydrogen mixture, yttrium, could be the ideal moderator to go inside small, gas-cooled nuclear reactors.