Monthly Archives: August 2009

UT-Battelle gives $175K to Oak Ridge Playhouse

masonplayhouse.jpg
ORNL Director with Mrs. Robinson (Chevy Anz) and Benjamin (Nick Carter).
UT-Battelle, the managing contractor at ORNL, has donated $175,000 to help with restoration of the Oak Ridge Playhouse. According to info provided by the lab, ORNL Director Thom Mason announced the gift prior to Friday night’s production of “The Graduate” at the historic playhouse.

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This Y-12 project is (more or less) on hold

While Oak Ridge officials and their advocates in Washington push the multi-billion-dollar UPF for all it’s worth, another proposed production facility at Y-12 has been put on the back burner for the foreseeable future.
The would-be Y-12 project is called the Consolidated Manufacturing Complex, and apparently it’s been shunted aside because of the huge budget considerations associated with the top-priority Uranium Processing Facility at Y-12 and the Chemistry and Metallurgy Research Replacement Project at Los Alamos in New Mexico.

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UPF design changes and savings

As he emphasized last week during a visit to East Tennessee, NNSA Administrator Tom D’Agostino is a supporter of the Uranium Processing Faciliy proposed at Y-12. According to the latest Y-12 Report, the plant’s quarterly publication, the UPF redesign “generated a small, simplified building” and accomplished a bunch of savings. (Mind you, the official price tag is still estimated with a big range, from $1.4 billion to $3.5 billion.)
Here are some of the stated savings:

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ORNL reactor coming down for 47 days

The High Flux Isotope Reactor is expected to shut down between noon and 2 p.m. today and remain out of operation untl mid-October.
The fall outage is one of the two biggest of the year (the other being in the spring), and a long list of maintenance tasks and upgrades is planned, according to ORNL’s reactors director Ron Crone.

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The sounds of sirens

First Wednesday of each month, the Dept. of Energy tests its emergency warning system in Oak Ridge. September will be no different.
On Sept. 2, the fed contractors will activate the sirens between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. near the three major facilities, Y-12, ORNL and the East Tennessee Technology Park.

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Reversing our suburban, commuting lifestyle

traffic.jpgThe National Research Council will release a congressionally mandated report next week that looks at “suburbanization” and how it impacts driving habits, reliance on petroleum, and greenhouse emissions.
According to advance info distributed to the news media by the National Academies, “The report looks at studies on compact, mixed-use development where people live in denser environments with jobs and shopping close by, to determine whether a shift to this type of land use could lessen vehicle use, energy consumption and CO2 emissions.”

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New director of procurement, contracts at ORAU

timmerman.jpgHeidi Timmerman, whose career path includes executive stops at IdleAire and Goody’s and an officer stint in the Marine Corps, is the new director of procurement and contracts administration at Oak Ridge Associated Universities.
Timmerman, according to ORAU’s press release, will be responsible for strategic as well as day-to-day operations for procurement and contracts. That includes ORAU’s contracts and subcontracts, as well as the “work for others” program.

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DOE’s Boyd talks security, safety and Recovery Act

Was it coincidence that the time it takes for security clearances to be processed went down at the same time the number of new hires went up because of the Recovery Act?
Gerald Boyd, DOE’s Oak Ridge manager, said he thought the time it takes for security investigations had been dropping for the past year — well before the Recovery Act money started arriving in Oak Ridge.

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