News

Gov. Bill Lee Picks 3 More for Cabinet, Including Those Overseeing the Environment and Transportation

Gov.-elect Bill Lee announced three additional Cabinet members Tuesday, naming the heads of the the departments of transportation, environment and conservation and human resources. Clay Bright, who currently serves as vice president of general contractor Brasfield and Gorrie, will oversee the Department of Transportation.

‘Assertive’ Ideas for OR Center by 2030

Developer RealtyLink has stated it wants to close a route with a roundabout near Pet-Smart. But Phil Enquist, partner at the urban planning firm Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP, told Planning Commission Thursday night that route could be part of a new path through the center of Oak Ridge, connecting to Badger Avenue and all the way to South Illinois Avenue.

Volkswagen to Create 1,000 New Jobs In Chattanooga

Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam and ECD Commissioner Bob Rolfe along with Volkswagen AG announced today that Chattanooga will be home to the company’s first electric vehicle manufacturing facility in North America. The project represents an investment of $800 million by Volkswagen and the creation of 1,000 jobs in Hamilton County. Chattanooga will be the first manufacturing facility in North America that will produce vehicles using Volkswagen’s modular electric toolkit chassis, or MEB. The first Volkswagen electric vehicle will roll out in 2022.

NASA’s Deep-Space Nuclear-Power Crisis May Soon End, Thanks to a Clever New Robot in Tennessee

The US government says a new robot is poised to help it create a reliable, long-term supply chain of plutonium-238 (Pu-238): a radioactive material NASA requires to explore deep space. NASA uses Pu-238 to power its most epic space missions — among them New Horizons (now beyond Pluto), the Voyagers (now in interstellar space), and Cassini (now part of Saturn). As Pu-238 radioactively decays and generates heat, devices called radioisotope power sources convert some of that energy into electricity. Because Pu-238 takes centuries to cool down, the contraptions can keep a robot humming for decades. But Pu-238 is human-made and one of the rarest and most valuable materials on Earth. In fact, the last time anyone manufactured it in earnest was during Cold War-era nuclear weapons production. Today, NASA has perhaps three missions' worth of the stuff left before the supply runs out.

ORNL Adding Three-Story Office, Laboratory Building

Oak Ridge National Laboratory is adding a three-story office and laboratory building on its central campus. It would be the first time a building of this size has been added at ORNL since the Chemical and Materials Science building (Building 4100) was completed in 2011, spokesperson Morgan McCorkle said in a response to questions Thursday. She said the new building will be located in the central part of the main ORNL campus between buildings 3500 and 3525.

X-energy Support of ACO HALEU Production

X-energy supports and commends DOE's Nuclear Energy Oak Ridge Site Office's announcement of their intent to contract with American Centrifuge Operating LLC, a subsidiary of Centrus Energy Corp., for the demonstration of high assay low enriched uranium (HALEU) production. This HALEU Demonstration Program will culminate in the production of 19.75% enriched uranium using U.S.-designed and operated advanced centrifuge technology. To deploy Generation IV reactors, many of the designs require a stable and reliable source of fuel utilizing HALEU. X-energy's Xe-100, a high temperature gas-cooled pebble bed reactor employs 15.5% enriched uranium.

Story Tips from ORNL, January 2019

ORNL Story Tips - January 2019

ORAU Promotes Greg Moore to Group Manager of Facilities Management Services

Greg Moore, ORAU senior facilities engineer, has been promoted to group manager of facilities management and engineering.  In his new role, Moore will oversee ORAU facilities engineering, maintenance, custodial services, and building and improvement projects while ensuring regulatory compliance and sustainability goals are met through efficient operating procedures.

Oak Ridge Employee Achieves Highest Engineering Honor

When it comes to leadership roles in DOE projects, Harold Conner is something of a legend. Over the span of 50 years, his talent, knowledge, and expertise have led to a diverse career across the DOE complex. Now, he is using his vast experience to support the cleanup mission in Oak Ridge — where his career began. Conner has worked at the gaseous diffusion plants in Paducah, Kentucky and Portsmouth, Ohio as well as the Idaho National Laboratory, the Savannah River Site in South Carolina, and the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California.

Y-12 Manufactured Uranium Core for Space Power Experiment

The Y-12 National Security Complex in Oak Ridge manufactured the uranium reactor core for a federal experiment that tested whether a nuclear energy source could provide power for space exploration. The NNSA, which is part of DOE, worked with NASA ion the project. It’s nicknamed KRUSTY, an acronym for Kilowatt Reactor Using Stirling Technology.