Noted briefly: A grab bag of news

bowlFriends of Oak Ridge National Laboratory is urging folks to volunteer their services for the Tennessee Science Bowl, Feb. 26-27. Check out the bowl website if you’re interested. That’s last year’s winners from Lausanne Collegiate School in the pic. . . .

The Department of Energy’s Office of Inspector General reported that it had completed an audit on DOE’s Consolidated Balance Sheet for FY 2015, but the report itself hasn’t been released. “The report is Official Use Only and not available for viewing,” the IG stated.

. . . South Korean Professor Emeritus Won Namkung has begun his term as chair of the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER) Council, the project’s governing board. He succeeds Robert Iotti from the U.S., whose term ended in December . . . The Powerball jackpot is now up to $1.5 billion, which is roughly the annual budget of Oak Ridge National Laboratory. That’s getting up there. It’s a good thing the lottery outcome doesn’t require the approval of both houses of Congress . . .

The Oak Ridge Environmental Peace Alliance wasn’t pleased with Sen. Lamar Alexander’s response to the group’s earlier four-page request for info on the Uranium Processing Facility, especially the “Thanks for asking” part. “We are disappointed,” OREPA coordinator Ralph Hutchison said. “We thought Senator Alexander would at least take a stab at some of the questions.”

. . . Oak Ridge National Laboratory is holding a seminar next week that focuses on the doings of its Oak Ridge neighbor, DOE’s Office of Scientific and Technical Information. The clever title is, “Everything You Always Wanted to Know About OSTI* (*But Were Afraid to Ask). That reference may be more meaningful for us older folks . . .

In an earlier post, I noted that the National Nuclear Security Administration’s Production Office had borrowed a structural engineer from DOE’s Oak Ridge Office to help with oversight issues at Y-12 (where a number of buildings are structurally unsound and deteriorating daily). NNSA would not identify the engineer on detail or say whether it plans to hire an engineer of its own to address what the DNFSB said was a weakness in the NPO staffing. “We are declining comment as this is a personnel matter,” NNSA spokesman Steven Wyatt said.


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This entry was posted in ITER, ORAU, ORNL, OSTI, UPF, Y-12 on by .

About Frank Munger

Senior Writer Frank Munger covers the Dept. of Energy's Oak Ridge facilities and many related topics — nuclear weapons, nuclear waste and other things nuclear, environmental cleanup and science of all sorts. Atomic City Underground is, first and foremost, a news blog, but there's room for analysis, opinion and random thoughts that have no place else to go.