UT’s Baker Center Plans Fall Events & Lectures

The Howard H. Baker Jr. Center for Public Policy is a nonpartisan public policy center, located on the campus of the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. The Center aims to provide policy makers, citizens, scholars, and students with the information and skills necessary to work effectively within our political system and to serve our local, state, national, and global communities. Below is their list of lectures for this fall. You can access their website here.

DOE Awards Contract for the Portsmouth/Paducah Project Office Technical Support Services Acquisition

DOE announced the award of a contract to Enterprise Technical Assistance Services, Inc. (E-TAS), of Oak Ridge, Tenn., for Portsmouth/Paducah Project Office (PPPO) Technical Support Services. The contract primarily includes a time and materials contract line item number (CLIN) with a firm-fixed-price CLIN for transition and an indefinite-delivery indefinite-quantity CLIN for firm-fixed price task orders. The total value of the contract is $136,629,181.00. The period of performance includes a Base Period of three years to include a 60-day transition, and Option Period 1 for two years, for a total period of performance of up to five years. E-TAS is a small business.

EM’s Ike White Recognizes Small Businesses During Oak Ridge Visit

Ike White recognized award-winning small businesses helping complete projects on schedule and advance the cleanup mission during his first visit to Oak Ridge in his role as head of EM. His visit began at the seventh annual Small Business Awards Breakfast — a program hosted by DOE Oak Ridge Office of Environmental Management (OREM) cleanup contractor UCOR designed to showcase the contributions of the company’s small business subcontractors. After the awards event, White met local federal and contractor leadership guiding Oak Ridge’s cleanup, and he toured projects across the site.

DOE Issues Small Business Research and Development Funding Opportunity Announcement

The DOE Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs issued its first Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) for Fiscal Year 2020.  The Phase I Release 1 FOA, with approximately $31.5 million in available funding, will allow small businesses to submit applications to establish the technical feasibility of new innovations that advance the mission of the Office of Science.  The following DOE program offices within the Office of Science are participating in this FOA: Office of Advanced Scientific Computing Research, Office of Basic Energy Sciences, Office of Biological and Environmental Research, and the Office of Nuclear Physics.

National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2020: House and Senate Proposals

Before the House and Senate departed for August recess, both chambers passed their respective versions of this year’s National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). The annual legislation updates policy for the Department of Defense and National Nuclear Security Administration and always includes numerous provisions bearing on R&D, the nuclear weapons complex, and other science-related matters. When lawmakers return to Washington in September, a conference committee will convene to reconcile the bills into a final version. Traditionally, the committee reaches a bipartisan compromise, which has enabled the enactment of an NDAA for 57 years in a row. Congress moved unusually quickly last year, completing its work well in advance of the new fiscal year, which starts on Oct. 1. However, things are unlikely to go quite so smoothly this time around.

Electronic Waste is Mined for Rare Earth Elements

Rare earth elements are the "secret sauce" of numerous advanced materials for energy, transportation, defense and communications applications. Their largest use for clean energy is in permanent magnets, which retain magnetic properties even in the absence of an inducing field or current. Now, U.S. Department of Energy researchers have invented a process to extract rare earth elements from the scrapped magnets of used hard drives and other sources. They have patented and scaled up the process in lab demonstrations and are working with ORNL's licensee Momentum Technologies of Dallas to scale the process further to produce commercial batches of rare earth oxides.

CANDLE Illuminates New Pathways in Fight Against Cancer

As part of the Department of Energy’s role in the fight against cancer, scientists are building tools that use supercomputers to solve problems in entirely new ways. Deep learning puts artificial intelligence (AI) to use to discover the complex, often unexpected, correlations hiding within big data. Cancer research provides a complex deep learning challenge that enables DOE to develop new supercomputing capabilities that will, in turn, help scientists address challenges in national security and science.

DOE Releases RFI/Sources Sought for the CBFO Technical Assistance Contract Project

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) today issued a Request for Information (RFI)/Sources Sought for its CBFO Technical Assistance Contract (CTAC) project under Solicitation number 89303319NEM000022. The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Environmental Management (EM) is currently in the acquisition planning stage for a new Technical Assistance Contract (TAC) to perform support services on behalf of DOE’s Carlsbad Field Office (CBFO) in southeastern New Mexico.

How Chattanooga Helped Oak Ridge get the World’s Fastest and Most Powerful Computer

When the Oak Ridge National Laboratory was competing with other U.S. labs a decade and a half ago to gain the world's fastest computer to catch up with the Japanese Earth Simulator supercomputer, Oak Ridge was not initially regarded as the favorite U.S. site. "One of our biggest challenges in being successful at that time was that we did not have very good high-speed connectivity to this laboratory here in East Tennessee," said Dr. Thomas Zacharia, the ORNL director who was heading the computing team at Oak Ridge at the time. 

Wildlife Now Roam Where US Once Forged its Deadliest Weapons

From a tiny Pacific island to a leafy Indiana forest, a handful of sites where the United States manufactured and tested some of the most lethal weapons known to humankind are now peaceful havens for wildlife. An astonishing array of animals and habitats flourished on six obsolete weapons complexes — mostly for nuclear or chemical arms — because the sites banned the public and other intrusions for decades. The military, the U.S. Department of Energy and private companies have spent more than $57 billion to clean up the six heavily polluted sites, according to figures gathered by The Associated Press from military and civil agencies.