Deborah Frincke, one of the nation’s preeminent computer scientists and cybersecurity experts, serves as associate laboratory director of ORNL’s National Security Science Directorate. Credit: Carlos Jones/ORNL, U.S. Dept. of Energy
For years Brenda Smith found fulfillment working with nuclear batteries, a topic she’s been researching as a chemist at Oak Ridge National Laboratory.
Researchers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory have identified a statistical relationship between the growth of cities and the spread of paved surfaces like roads and sidewalks. These impervious surfaces impede the flow of water into the ground, affecting the water cycle and, by extension, the climate.
A new method developed at Oak Ridge National Laboratory proves one effort’s trash is another’s valuable isotope. One of the byproducts of the lab’s national plutonium-238 production program is promethium-147, a rare isotope used in nuclear batteries and to measure the thickness of materials.
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.
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.
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.
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.