Monthly Archives: June 2008

ORNL takes closer look at exploding stars

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These are snapshots from a “magnetohydrodynamic simulation” performed with ORNL’s astrophysical simulation code GenASiS. According to Eirik Endeve of the lab’s Physics Division, the purpose of the simulations is to “explore what effects an instability in the supernova shock wave has on the magnetic fields in stellar cores during core collapse supernova explosions.”

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Journal looks at NIOSH radiation dose reconstruction

The latest issue of Health Physics is dedicated entirely to the dose reconstruction program, which is used to determine if sick nuclear workers are eligible for compensation.
Here’s a link to the editorial, which was co-authored by Richard Toohey of Oak Ridge Associated Universities, and summaries of the articles in the journal. Here’s another link to the journal’s main page, with abstracts available on the different papers.

Gorilla research at Y-12?

Here’s a nugget quote found in the employee newsletter at the Y-12 nuclear weapons plant.
“Bring us your big hairy problem, and we’ll work with you to fix it.” That’s from Kevin Finney, senior director of the plant’s Applied Technologies group.

R&D awards

An announcement is expected today on the annual R&D 100 Awards, which recognize innovations and inventions. ORNL typically does well on these, but no word yet.

The power of Blue

blueblog.jpgCraig Blue, a materials scientist with a reputation for getting things done, has been named director of the new Energy Materials Program at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Blue has worked at Oak Ridge since 1995, soon after getting his Ph.D. in materials science and engineering from the University of Cincinnati. Most recently, he has been deputy director of the Materials Science and Technology Division.
According to lab statement, the new program will combine the previous Industrial Technologies and Fossil Energy programs. Its mission will be to “support fundamental and applied materials research for a variety of energy technologies, including energy efficiency, renewable energy, fossil energy and National Security materials opportunities.”

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Hot times on WIPP Road

truwaste.jpgYes, folks that’s true. The Oak Ridge Transuranic Waste Processing Center is located at 100 WIPP Rd., with a mailing address for Lenoir City. It’s on the far west side of the Dept. of Energy’s Oak Ridge reservation, near the boundary of Roane and Loudon Counties.
Tony Buhl, president of EnergyX and general manager of the Transuranic Waste Processing Facility, said today the plant had processed about 15 drums of remote-handled TRU waste.
“It’s going well,” he said. “We had some issues at the beginning. Some of the equipment that had been installed there for eight or nine years gave us some problem (including an elevator lift that takes casks up to the second floor).”

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Here comes No. 9

Yes, Oak Ridge Associated Universities is getting another extension on its NIOSH contract to do dose reconstruction — an integral part of the sick nuclear worker compensation program. Pam Bonee, an ORAU spokeswoman, said today papers have been signed for an extension that will take the current contract through July 31. “It’s in process,” she said.
As noted previously, NIOSH seems to be struggling with the decision on a new contract becasue the bids were submitted many months ago. This is the ninth extension of the existing contract held by ORAU, in partnership with MJW Corp. and Dade Moeller & Associates.

44 millirems

That’s the average annual radiation dose received by the group of nuclear workers in Y-12’s Beta-2 facility — scene of the March 2007 uranium chip fire that’s gotten attention because of the Price-Anderson fine recently levied on the Oak Ridge contractor.
According to Jim Barker, the radiological control chief at Y-12, the highest annual exposure for that group was 277 millirems (still well below the occupational limit of 5,000 mr). The worker doses typically fall in the range of 50 to 70 millirems, Barker said.

Students join DOE environmental board

ssabblog.jpgClaire Campbell and Miranda Clower have joined the department’s citizens advisory board in Oak Ridge. The board (officially the Site Specific Advisory Board) provides input and recommendations on environmental issues.
Campbell (left, in photo) will be senior at Oak Ridge High School this fall, and Clower will enter her final year at Roane County High School. The board’s meetings, which are open to the public, are held on the second Wednesday of each month — beginning at 6 p.m. — at the DOE Information Center, 475 Oak Ridge Turnpike.
For more info, here’s the llnk.