Research Highlights

Seeing through concrete

When nuclear power plants in the United States were built, they were licensed for 40 years of operation. Today, most are either approaching that age or have already exceeded it.

“Several years ago, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission began to look at the safety implications of...

Advancing grid resiliency, security with a microgrid test bed: SI-GRID

A unique, low-voltage test bed established at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) is providing researchers a safe way to evaluate the operation and cybersecurity of equipment developed to support a growing number of microgrids—or local electric grids formed when residential or...

Fossil energy—Neutrons run deep

To improve models for drilling, hydraulic fracturing and underground storage of carbon dioxide, Oak Ridge National Laboratory scientists used neutrons to understand how water flows through fractured rock. Researchers used neutrons bouncing off the hydrogen in water molecules to see...

Cybersecurity - Guarding autonomous vehicles

A new Oak Ridge National Laboratory-developed method promises to protect connected and autonomous vehicles from possible network intrusion. Researchers built a prototype plug-in device designed to alert drivers of vehicle cyberattacks. The prototype is coded to learn regular timing of...

Energy - Homes get smart

Ways to give homeowners more centralized control over how much electricity their home uses—from the air conditioning unit to the heat pump water heater—are being developed by Oak Ridge National Laboratory. An ORNL team is working with Southern Company and Alabama Power on its Smart...

ORNL scientists apply imaging, computational expertise to St. Jude research

In the quest to better understand and cure childhood diseases, scientists at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital accumulate enormous amounts of data from powerful video microscopes. To help St. Jude scientists mine that trove of data, researchers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory have...

EESR researchers develop automated measurement system to enhance quality, worker safety in Pu-238 production

Under a collaborative partnership between the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the Department of Energy (DOE), a new automated measurement system developed at DOE’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) will ensure quality production of plutonium-238 while...

TTAC assesses first responder equipment under DHS SAVER program

When asked to assist with the evaluation of first responder equipment, Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s Technical Testing and Analysis Center (TTAC) brought in special weapons and tactics (SWAT) team members from across the country to assist in the project—a task that presented unique...

Moving molten salt: Engineers research instrumentation and controls for 700 degree Celsius environment

When it comes to a challenging application for embedded instrumentation and control, none quite beats an environment of molten salt at 700 degrees Celsius.

But that is just the application chosen by scientists at the US Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory to...

ORNL develops safer runway lighting

ORNL is developing a new airport and runway lighting technology to enhance visibility for pilots during takeoffs and landings.

According to Roger Kisner of the Electrical and Electronics Systems Research Division, researchers from his division and the Physical Sciences...

Exploring for opportunities: Technologist in Residence program kicks off with field visit

Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) researchers in multiple disciplines recently paid a field visit to exploration and production company Pioneer Natural Resources as part of a new Technologist in Residence (TIR) program.

The Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Energy...

Smart grid goals: ORNL, Chattanooga EPB test sensors to enhance electricity grid resiliency, security

With a fiber-optic network that provides Chattanooga residents and businesses with exceptional high-speed communications, the city’s Electric Power Board (EPB) provides the US Department of Energy’s (DOE) Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) with an ideal testbed for smart grid...

Electricity: Mini-grid to the max

Oak Ridge National Laboratory engineers have devised a testbed that lets them mimic high-voltage equipment in a safe, low-voltage setting. The Software-Defined Intelligent Grid Research Integration and Development platform, or SI-GRID, operates below 100 volts—less than a household...

Cutting through the noise with Singanallur Venkatakrishnan

Singanallur “Venkat” Venkatakrishnan is helping scientists get a better view of objects under study by some of Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s most powerful instruments by creating algorithms that turn data into 3D renderings with fewer images. The result is a better understanding of...