The K-27 uranium-enrichment facility, with K-25 in the background.
Work is just getting under way on a project that will prepare the K-27 building, a sister facility to the K-25 uranium-enrichment plant, for demolition. The Dept. of Energy paying for the project with money from the Recovery Act, and Bechtel Jacobs Co. — DOE’s environmental manager in Oak Ridge — is heading the effort.
ORNL will work with A123Systems on better processing techniques for materials associated with advanced lithium-ion batteries, according to information released today by the Dept. of Energy.
The $2.35 milliion project is supposed to help improve the techniques as scale-up continues in manufacturing of batteries for electric and hybrid vehicles.
An employee at Oak Ridge Associated Universities had a confirmed case of H1N1 flu earlier this month, but has since returned to work and is doing fine, an ORAU spokeswoman said today.
“We believe it’s an isolated case,” said Pam Bonee of ORAU. Nine or 10 other employees have reported having flu or flu-like symptons over the past month, but those employees have all returned to work and there were no other confirmed cases of swine flu, she said.
A “Clean Energy Dialogue” is being held this week in Washington, gathering input on energy issues from public and private officials from the United States and Canada. Energy Secretary Steven Chu spoke at today’s opening session.
As noted earlier in a blog post, Martin Keller has been named ORNL’s associate lab director for biological and environmental sciences. In today’s press release on the Keller appointment, the lab also noted that Gary Jacobs — who had served in the position on an interim basis after Reinhold Mann left — will return to his old job as director of the lab’s Environmental Sciences Division.
Larry Sparks has been named federal classification officer at the Dept. of Energy’s Oak Ridge office, where he administers the classification program and oversees classification activities at DOE contractors.
For the past decade, Sparks served as a general engineer and classification analyst in the Oak Ridge Office for Security and Emergency Management. Before that, he was a facility representative and environmental engineer in DOE’s Y-12 site office.
The Oak Ridge chapter of Blacks In Government (BIG) recently awarded $1,000 scholarships to five high school graduates in the area: David Hamilton and Felicia Rogers of Austin-East in Knoxville; Delonee McBride of Bearden in Knoxville; Imaobong Isang of Oak Ridge; and Sharlita Green of West in Knoxville.
There’s a ton of money available, fab scientific facilities and an urgent energy-research agenda that’s in the national and international spotlight. What Oak Ridge National Laboratory needs these days is the people to make things happen, and recruiting is a big-time priority.
Jim Roberto, the ORNL executive charged with carrying out the recruiting strategy, said the needs are significant, maybe pushing the lab to hire about 500 top folks — scientific staff, as well as technical support personnel — over an 18-month period. “Those are numbers we haven’t seen since the 1970s,” he said.
Tom Clements of Friends of the Earth is distributing a copy of the notice reportedly scheduled for Monday’s Federal Register, officially cancelling work on the Global Nuclear Energy Partnership’s Environmental Impact Statement.
“The decision to cancel the GNEP EIS process is a clear victory for the environment of South Carolina and taxpayers but a big setback to narrow special interests who had hoped to profit from a commercial reprocessing facility being built at the Savannah River Site (SRS),” Clements said in the statement. “The fight will continue to stop the location of a spent fuel dump or reprocessing facility at SRS or any other DOE site, as such facilities would only add to the massive nuclear waste burden that DOE is now struggling to deal with.”
Rep. Bart Gordon, D-Tenn., chairman of the House Science and Technology Committee, hailed the passage (narrow as it was) of the American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009 and said the final legislation included pieces approved by his committee.