News

IACMI Celebrates Manufacturing Day 2018 with 150+ Students Across Two States

To celebrate Manufacturing Day 2018, IACMI showcased manufacturing advancements in the research and development innovation community by hosting students at both Local Motors in Knoxville, Tenn. and at the IACMI Scale-Up Research Facility (SURF) in a joint event with LIFT in Detroit, Mich. Students toured the IACMI SURF during Manufacturing Day 2018 IACMI partnered with the Knoxville Chamber of Commerce to host 50 high school students from Hardin Valley High School in Knoxville, Tenn. to bring the students to the Local Motors microfactory.

DOE NNSA Releases Annual Reports on Stockpile Management, Nuclear Threat Prevention

DOE's NNSA has posted updated reports highlighting the agency's strategy to manage and protect the country's nuclear stockpile. The "Fiscal Year 2019 Stockpile Stewardship and Management Plan"report features information on programs aiming to extend the lifespan of warheads, DOE said. The report also tackles the 2018 Nuclear Posture Review's imposed policies.

DOE Extends Contract with AECOM-Led Joint Venture to Manage Tank Operations at the Hanford Site

AECOM, a premier, fully integrated global infrastructure firm, announced recently that DOE has executed a 12-month contract extension to Washington River Protection Solutions (WRPS), an AECOM-led joint venture with Atkins Nuclear Secured, LLC, member of the SNC-Lavalin Group, for its management of the waste storage tanks at the Hanford Site in Washington state. The approximate US$700-million extension will run from October 1, 2018, to September 20, 2019.

Big Gains for Tiny Nuclear Reactors

As the hubbub of interest and activity surrounds development of small modular reactors (SMRs) hovering between 60 MW and 300 MW, and medium-sized nuclear reactors of under 700 MW, several nuclear technology vendors have quietly been developing micro-reactors—which are of 10 MW or less. According to the Nuclear Energy Institute (NEI), it’s highly possible that a first-of-its-kind micro-reactor could be successfully deployed at a domestic U.S. defense installation by the end of 2027.

EM, UCOR Keep Oak Ridge’s Growing Cleanup Workforce Safe

As crews near completion of the ETTP cleanup, OREM is preparing to begin major work at ORNL and Y-12 National Security Complex. Increased funding has allowed for accelerated cleanup across the site and the creation of 350 new jobs so far this year at Oak Ridge. Providing a boost to the local economy, the new workers join teams already removing risk and stabilizing some of the 220 excess contaminated facilities at these research and national security sites.

Department of Energy Announces Two Landmark Technology Transfer Initiatives

DOE announced recently the approval of two landmark technology transfer reform initiatives to enhance public and private sector engagement with DOE’s world class national laboratories and improve the transition of promising innovations to the marketplace.  These reforms reduce administrative access barriers to collaboration with DOE facilities and streamline approval of technology transfer agreements so DOE Labs can better move at the speed of business.  

ORNL’s Titans of Nuclear

Titans of Nuclear is a podcast featuring interviews with experts on nuclear energy.  Host, Bret Kugelmass, is a Stanford MS Mechanical Engineer, robotics entrepreneur, inventor of the internet-connected drone, and climate change thought leader. He has identified both a severe disconnect and steep learning curve between nuclear and tech adjacent communities as impediments to innovation, financing, and social acceptance. Seeking to bridge this gulf he is compiling an audio encyclopedia of the greatest minds in Nuclear Energy opening the field to environmental-minded technologists. 5 leading Oak Ridge National Laboratory scientists have been interviewed recently. Click below to listen to their featured podcasts

Here’s when all of America’s new nuclear warhead designs will be active — and how much they’ll cost

Estimates for the cost of America’s nuclear warheads have gone up in the last year, as the government prepares to develop and maintain as many as nine new systems in the next 25 years. The National Nuclear Security Administration’s fiscal 2019 Stockpile Stewardship and Management Plan, released Thursday lays out the investments that could be needed for the NNSA over the next two and a half decades.

Feeling the Need for Speed, Neutrons Study Fluid Flow for Hypersonic Flight

One of the grand challenges in aerospace engineering is the development of hypersonic vehicles capable of traveling at or above Mach 5—about 4,000 miles per hour or faster. However, liquid fuel combustion at those speeds and atmospheric conditions is not well understood. Searching for solutions to supersonic fluid flow behavior, researchers from the University of Tennessee–Knoxville, and the US Air Force are using neutron radiography at the Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL).

My Grandfather Thought He Solved a Cosmic Mystery

When my grandfather died last fall, it fell to my sisters and me to sort through the books and papers in his home in East Tennessee. My grandfather was a nuclear physicist, my grandmother a mathematician, and among their novels and magazines were reams of scientific publications. In the wood-paneled study, we passed around great sheaves of papers for sorting, filling the air with dust.