News

Academia, Industry Draw From Oak Ridge Expertise for Future Reactor Designs

As EM crews work to ensure the Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s (ORNL) Molten Salt Reactor Experiment (MSRE) remains safe until its decommissioning, they are also collaborating with academic and industry professionals interested in developing new molten salt reactors for nuclear power production. MSRE only operated from 1965 until 1969, but it earned an enduring legacy as an innovative technology concept. The reactor is shut down, but certain systems within the reactor building continue to operate to keep it safe and stable.

Battelle Looking for Partners on Reactor Project

The contractor that runs Idaho National Laboratory is looking for private partners to build the first new test reactor in the United States in decades. The Versatile Test Reactor will have dedicated “fast-neutron-spectrum” testing capability, creating the conditions necessary to see how fuels, materials and sensors endure when battered with radiation in the form of fast neutrons. Assistant Secretary of Nuclear Energy Rita Baranwal, who ran the Gateway for Accelerated Innovation in Nuclear before being named to her current job a year ago, made the announcement Monday at an American Nuclear Society meeting in Washington, D.C. The Gateway for Accelerated Innovation in Nuclear is managed by INL.

Knoxville Area Vistage Launches New Private Advisory Board for Chief Executives

Vistage Chair Kurt Greene recently launched a new chief executive board in the Knoxville market. The new Vistage members join a worldwide community of CEOs, executives, and business owners and will meet monthly to discuss business issues, share expertise and provide one another confidential help to achieve their goals. Greene is part of a community of more than 1,000 Chairs worldwide who lead local area boards, which total more than 23,000 members in 20 countries. The Knoxville area alone has 50 active and alumni members. Vistage is the oldest and largest peer advisor membership group.

DOE EM Appoints Director of EM Consolidated Business Center

DOE's Office of Environmental Management (EM) announced today the appointment of Jack Zimmerman as Director of the Environmental Management Consolidated Business Center (EMCBC), in Cincinnati, Ohio. Mr. Zimmerman is presently Manager of the Idaho Cleanup Project at the Idaho National Laboratory. For the past five years he has provided leadership in all aspects of the EM cleanup mission at the site, involving high level radioactive waste, low level and transuranic radioactive waste, spent nuclear fuel, and contaminated buildings, sites, and special nuclear material.

UniTech Services Group Hires Kevin Bumpus, Expands Service to Government Sector

UniTech Services Group announces the hiring of Kevin Bumpus as Business Development Manager for government accounts. The talent acquisition signals the company’s expanding commitment to serving U.S. Department of Energy National Laboratories, designated Department of Energy (DOE) facilities and projects, as well as U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) groups.

Tackling Turbulence on the Summit Supercomputer

Researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology have achieved world record performance on the Summit supercomputer using a new algorithm for turbulence simulation. Turbulence, the state of disorderly fluid motion, is a scientific puzzle of great complexity. Turbulence permeates many applications in science and engineering, including combustion, pollutant transport, weather forecasting, astrophysics, and more. One of the challenges facing scientists who simulate turbulence lies in the wide range of scales they must capture to accurately understand the phenomenon

Pellissippi State Business Students Awarded 1st Place in National Entrepreneurship Competition

A team of four business students from Pellissippi State Community College took home first place in a national entrepreneurship competition last month for a new app that would make tutoring accessible to struggling high school students regardless of their ability to pay. Catherine Taylor, Joe Bedford, Jameisha Robinson and Vanya Malmstead from Pellissippi State were awarded $1,000 by the National Association for Community College Entrepreneurship for their business idea, the East Tennessee Tutor Network. Meanwhile, a second Pellissippi State team – comprised of Jeannette Green, Angela Heaverlo, David Scott and Tabitha Uremovich – finished in the top 3 of the online competition for their business idea, Kids Tech, which would provide tablets with educational apps free of charge for students in first through third grades.

DOE Releases RFI for Nationwide Low-Level and Mixed Low-Level Waste Treatment Services Procurement

DOE issued a Request for Information (RFI)/Sources Sought for the Nationwide Low-Level and Mixed Low-Level Waste Treatment Services. The Office of Environmental Management (EM) is currently in the acquisition planning phase for the potential award for the continuation of Nationwide Waste Treatment Services. The services to be acquired will be performed at various sites nationwide.

EM Addresses Risks at ORNL Facilities, Prepares for Next Cleanup Phase

EM workers have successfully moved two former nuclear facilities at DOE’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) to the “cold and dark” stage in the deactivation process. The work marks the beginning of Oak Ridge’s next major cleanup phase at ORNL and the Y-12 National Security Complex as crews near completion of major cleanup at the East Tennessee Technology Park next year. Deactivating Buildings 3010 and 3026 paves the way for future demolition, removing a significant risk from the heart of ORNL while opening land for future research and science missions.

BWX Technologies Developing Microreactors With Military Customers In Mind

BWX Technologies is developing tractor trailer-sized micro nuclear reactors that could illuminate a small U.S. city, run a forward operating military base, power directed energy weapons or fuel deep-space missions. BWX Technologies – the prime contractor building the reactors on the U.S. Navy’s nuclear-powered submarines and aircraft carriers – has for years devoted a portion of its earnings to fund microreactor research and development funding, Rex Geveden, chief executive of BWX, said during a Tuesday morning conference call with analysts. Fiscal Year 2020 could be the year micro nuclear reactors move from proposal to reality.