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April 2013 story tips
Date:4/2/2013

ording to a National Research Council report. "If technology advances and the transition is achieved, the total benefits to society are likely to be many times the extra costs of the transition," said Oak Ridge National Laboratory's David Greene, who contributed to the report. He and colleague Changzheng Liu noted that the benefits include not only reduced greenhouse gas emissions and petroleum independence, but also energy savings and increased consumer satisfaction with advanced technology vehicles, resulting in increased sales of cars. The 186-page report is available at http://www.nap.edu/catalog.php?record_id=18264. [Contact: Ron Walli, (865) 576-0226; wallira@ornl.gov]

ENERGY Extending reactor life . . .

Recent technical enhancements at Oak Ridge National Laboratory's High Flux Isotope Reactor are providing researchers with a more comprehensive suite of characterization tools that could help extend the lives of U.S. light-water reactors. With these new capabilities, scientists can discern microstructural stresses in vessel steels from the microscale millionths of a meter to the nanoscale billionths of a meter. This work is especially significant because nuclear reactors supply about 20 percent of the nation's electricity, and recent budget constraints have made extending their lives a key component of the federal government's energy policy. [Contact: Agatha Bardoel, (865) 574-0644; bardoelaa@ornl.gov]

ENVIRONMENT -- Seeing through soil . . .

Recent droughts have drawn attention to the importance of water availability and management in agriculture and forestry, yet how plants absorb and distribute water is not well understood by scientists. ORNL researchers are working on ways to study how plants take up and move water through their roots, which has been
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Contact: Ron Walli
wallira@ornl.gov
865-576-0226
DOE/Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Source:Eurekalert

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