The Biden administration is requesting a 6% budget increase for the Department of Energy Office of Science, even as the office shoulders an increasing cost burden from its construction portfolio and expands its work on special initiatives.
ITER Global Fusion Energy Project: After a Decade of Design and Fabrication, World’s Most Powerful Magnet Ready
After a decade of design and fabrication, General Atomics is ready to ship the first module of the Central Solenoid, the world’s most powerful magnet. It will become a central component of ITER, a machine that replicates the fusion power of the Sun. ITER is being built in southern France by 35 partner countries.
As the spread of COVID was ramping up in 2020, the Department of Energy launched the National Virtual Biotechnology Laboratory, or NVBL, program with funding from the U.S. government’s CARES Act and began shoring up teams from across DOE’s national laboratory system. The molecular design team took shape, bringing together experimental validation with computation. Within months, they offered five promising drug therapy approaches, each focusing on a unique aspect of the virus’s lifecycle. ORNL scientists contributed to this potential solution with computational data and experimentation. They also contributed to the design, synthesis and testing specific to the papain-like protease, a lesser studied but highly promising approach. The team also characterized the main protease through world-class crystallography and x-ray and neutron experiments by ORNL’s neutron scientists, plus performed inhibitor synthesis experiments at ORNL’s CNMS.
Centrus Energy Corp. announced that the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission approved the Company’s license amendment request to produce High-Assay, Low-Enriched Uranium at the Piketon, Ohio, enrichment facility. The Piketon plant is now the only U.S. facility licensed to enrich uranium up to 20 percent Uranium-235 and expects to begin demonstrating HALEU production early next year.
Developing a diverse workforce is vital to achieving Oak Ridge’s ambitious cleanup goals in the years ahead. EM cleanup contractor UCOR conducts college internships each year to attract and retain the next generation of talent. This year, the company is expanding its internship program by hosting interns from the Mentorship for Environmental Scholars (MES) Program for the first time. Looking to inspire interest among a diverse group of students, UCOR joins other DOE locations — including the Savannah River and Hanford sites and the Oak Ridge National Laboratory — to host MES interns.