CNS helps provide housing to homeless veterans

Helen Ross McNabb Veterans Housing Project

This eight-unit apartment building on Coster Road in Knoxville was built to house homeless veterans who have mental illness or a behavioral health disability. The first four veterans moved into their new apartments before Christmas. By springtime, the Helen Ross McNabb Veterans Housing Project will provide permanent apartment homes to 23 veterans, who will also receive ongoing case management. (Photo provided by Helen Ross McNabb Center)


Donation contributes to new housing and care through Helen Ross McNabb Center

Consolidated Nuclear Security’s donation of $25,000 to the Helen Ross McNabb Center’s Veterans Housing Project served as one of the final building blocks in the $1.83-million effort to provide permanent housing to homeless veterans who have mental illnesses. On December 15, the ribbon was cut on the first apartment building, and the first four homeless veterans moved into their new homes in time to celebrate Christmas.

The CNS donation helped fund the newly constructed Cedar Crossing apartment building on Coster Road in Knoxville, which provides eight one-bedroom units. The second phase of the project is rehabilitating a former apartment complex off Washington Pike that will provide another 15 apartment homes. The three-building Washington Oaks renovation is expected to be completed by March 2015. [Read more…]

‘Fracking,’ the environment to be discussed Monday

Joanna McFarlane

Joanna McFarlane

A manager in the Fossil Energy Program at Oak Ridge National Laboratory will discuss the environment and hydraulic fracturing, often referred to as “fracking,” during a Monday meeting.

Joanna McFarlane, who has a doctorate, is a manager for the RPSEA (Research Partnership to Secure Energy for America) and Environmentally Friendly Drilling in the Fossil Energy Program at ORNL.

She will give a presentation on “Hydraulic Fracturing and the Environment” during a meeting at 11:30 a.m. Monday, January 26. It’s a luncheon meeting of the AAUW Oak Ridge Branch. The group will meet in the Activities Building of First Presbyterian Church at the corner of Oak Ridge Turnpike and Lafayette Drive. [Read more…]

UT-Battelle extends American Centrifuge agreement for uranium enrichment

American Centrifuge Technology Manufacturing Center

The American Centrifuge Technology Manufacturing Center in south Oak Ridge is pictured above. (Photo courtesy USEC/Centrus Energy Corp.)

UT-Battelle, the contractor that operates Oak Ridge National Laboratory, has added another six months to an agreement being used to develop new uranium-enrichment technology through operations in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, and Piketon, Ohio.

The six-month extension was announced Friday by Centrus Energy Corporation, formerly known as USEC. UT-Battelle has exercised its option to extend the American Centrifuge Technology Demonstration and Operations Agreement, or ACTDO Agreement, by six months from March 31 to September 30, 2015, Centrus said.

ORNL had previously exercised an option to extend the agreement through March 31, 2015.

The six-month extension allows the continued demonstration and operation of the only uranium enrichment technology in the United States, Centrus said in a press release. [Read more…]

ORNL model explores location of future U.S. population growth

ORNL Population Map

This 3-D visualization represents projected changes in U.S. population between 2010 and 2050 as predicted by a new Oak Ridge National Laboratory model. Areas seen in red indicate higher levels of population growth, whereas the vertical spikes signify population growth with new land development. (Image courtesy ORNL)


Researchers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory have developed a population distribution model that provides unprecedented county-level predictions of where people will live in the United States in the coming decades.

Initially developed to assist in the siting of new energy infrastructure, the team’s model has a broad range of implications from urban planning to climate change adaptation. The study is published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

“We do a census every 10 years because those data help us do long-term socioeconomic planning,” said Budhendra Bhaduri, who leads ORNL’s Geographic Information Science and Technology group. “Population projection numbers are important, but many pressing societal needs also require an understanding of where people are going to be. This has always been a challenge; we’ve never had a good method to make future projections spatially explicit.” [Read more…]

Officials decline comment on federal agent, police presence at Oak Ridge business

Federal Agents at Berthold Technologies

Federal agents and police declined to comment on why they were at Berthold Technologies on Midway Road in Oak Ridge on Thursday morning.


Federal officials would not comment and company executives were not immediately available to comment Thursday morning on why there appeared to be roughly a dozen agents and police at the Berthold Technologies building on Midway Road in south Oak Ridge.

It wasn’t clear exactly which agencies were at the business. Some wore black jackets with lettering on the back that said Federal Agent and at least had one with lettering that said Police. The agents were seen entering and leaving Berthold Technologies through a few doors in the single-story building, and also going in and out of a large warehouse or garage area at the rear of the building.

It wasn’t clear if any employees were at the building. Oak Ridge Today was not able to reach anyone by phone at Berthold Technologies or to immediately reach the general manager listed on the company’s website by email. [Read more…]

Company licenses ORNL cyber security technology that recognizes malicious software

R&K Cyber Solutions Joseph Carter and Thom Mason of ORNL

R&K Cyber Solutions LLC has licensed Hyperion, a cyber security technology from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory that can quickly recognize malicious software even if the specific program has not been previously identified as a threat. Pictured above are ORNL Director Thom Mason, left, and R&K Cyber Solutions CEO Joseph Carter. (Photo courtesy ORNL)


A company based in Washington, D.C., has licensed a cyber security technology from Oak Ridge National Laboratory that can quickly recognize malicious software—even if the specific program has not been previously identified as a threat.

Named Hyperion, the cyber security technology has been licensed by R&K Cyber Solutions LLC, or R&K.

The ORNL technology can look inside an executable program to determine the software’s behavior without using its source code or running the program, according to one of its inventors, Stacy Prowell of ORNL’s Cyber Warfare Research team. Hyperion computes and analyzes program behaviors associated with harmful intent, a press release said.

“These behaviors can be automatically checked for known malicious operations as well as domain-specific problems,” Prowell said. “This technology helps detect vulnerabilities and can uncover malicious content before it has a chance to execute.” [Read more…]

Avisco, a DOE contractor, to wind down operations after 30 years

Avisco Inc. Logo

Avisco, a long-term U.S. Department of Energy contractor based in Oak Ridge, has announced a plan to phase out of their existing contracts and eventually close the company after 30 years of operations.

In a Tuesday press release, company owner Avis A. Phillips said she decided it was time to wind down Avisco after long discussions with her family.

“I have thoroughly enjoyed all the years we’ve worked with a terrific group of clients and a wonderful team of employees,” Phillips said. “It’s the association with our great staff that makes this decision particularly difficult. I can never thank them enough.” [Read more…]

Alexander to chair Energy, Water Subcommittee, which oversees Oak Ridge funding

U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander

Lamar Alexander

U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander has been elected chair of a Senate subcommittee that oversees funding for federal sites in Oak Ridge, including Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the Y-12 National Nuclear Security Complex.

Alexander, who is a Tennessee Republican, was elected chair of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development by Senate Republicans on Tuesday, his office said in a press release.

“If we’re going to power our 21st-century economy, we need to pursue policies that don’t pick winners and losers in the marketplace, and that instead enable innovation in our free enterprise system,” Alexander said. “That means unleashing nuclear power and other sources of the cheap, clean, reliable energy we need. It also means using our taxpayer dollars wisely: by supporting government-sponsored research that leads to innovation and jobs, and by controlling the costs of big construction projects in Tennessee and across the country.” [Read more…]

Record views for ORNL video on 3D-printed Shelby Cobra

Shelby Cobra 3D Print at ORNL

This Shelby Cobra sports car, 3D-printed at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Manufacturing Demonstration Facility at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, was on display last week at the Detroit Auto Show Technology Showcase. (Photo courtesy ORNL)


The video by Oak Ridge National Laboratory on the Shelby Cobra that was 3D printed at the lab’s Manufacturing Demonstration Facility in west Knox County has received more than 70,000 hits—an all-time record for ORNL videos.

The car and ORNL video were shown at last week’s Detroit Auto Show.

The Manufacturing Demonstration Facility is off Hardin Valley Road in west Knox County.

Here is the video:

[Read more…]

ORAU wins contract worth up to $89 million from EPA

Oak Ridge Associated Universities Building MC-100

The Oak Ridge Associated Universities Building MC-100 is pictured above.

Oak Ridge Associated Universities recently won a five-year contract worth up to $89 million from the Environmental Protection Agency to manage the EPA Environmental Research and Business Support Program, which provides opportunities for exceptional undergraduate and recent bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral graduates to participate in the EPA-sanctioned research and administrative projects.

Through this work, ORAU will recruit and place employees at 13 EPA Office of Research and Development laboratories and research centers across the U.S.  These participants in both business and science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) fields will receive hands-on training in real-world settings at these laboratories and research centers while contributing to EPA’s mission, a press release said. [Read more…]

ORAU, MCLinc donate services to Emory Valley Center Capital Campaign

ORAU Survey Team

An environmental survey team from ORAU partnered with Materials and Chemistry Laboratory Inc. to provide sampling and laboratory analysis for Emory Valley Center, which is in the initial stages of demolishing an old building on its campus to make room for a new facility. The ORAU survey team consisting of Tim Vitkus, Adam Kirthlink, Jason Lee, Daniel Edds, Evan Harpeneau, and Mark Berkheimer donated their time and performed sampling to identify any contaminants that may be present at the site. (Submitted photo)


Oak Ridge Associated Universities and Materials and Chemistry Laboratory Inc. recently joined together to donate a total of $9,000 in services to Emory Valley Center in support of their Capital Campaign for a new facility.

The new building will incorporate many features to enhance the lives of people with disabilities being served, including a Job Training Center, Life Enrichment Classrooms, Adult Day Center, Medical Clinic, Speech, Physical and Occupational Services, Gym, and more, a press release said.

An environmental survey team from ORAU partnered with Oak Ridge-based Materials and Chemistry Laboratory Inc., or MCLinc, to provide sampling and laboratory analysis for Emory Valley Center, which is in the initial stages of demolishing an old building on its campus to make room for the new facility. [Read more…]

Obama’s visit: Education, manufacturing, a chance to see the president

President Barack Obama at Pellissippi State Community College

President Barack Obama announces a proposal to offer two years of free community college to responsible students during a half-hour speech at Pellissippi State Community College in Hardin Valley on Friday. (Photo by Rob Welton)


Note: This story was last updated at 9:30 a.m. Jan. 15.

HARDIN VALLEY—It was a once-in-a lifetime opportunity for some, a chance to shake hands with the president of the United States of America or wave at his heavily guarded motorcade as it passed by on a local roadway.

For others, it was a chance to hear about a presidential proposal modeled after a Tennessee program that would make the first two years of community college free to students who maintain at least a 2.5 grade point average. That proposal, officially announced at Pellissippi State Community College in Hardin Valley on Friday, expands on the 20th century idea that all children in the United States are entitled to a public education. In the 21st century economy, the White House said, 12 years of school is no longer enough.

For a much-smaller group, Friday’s visit by President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, and his wife Jill Biden offered an opportunity to hear an in-person announcement of a new advanced manufacturing hub, the country’s fifth, that will be led by the University of Tennessee in Knoxville and have Oak Ridge National Laboratory as a founding partner. That announcement at Techmer PM in Clinton was highlighted by a 3-D printed carbon fiber replica of a Shelby Cobra that the president joked about receiving for his birthday. [Read more…]