Accelerating Science Discovery - Join the Discussion

Published by Mary Schorn

DOE's RTG is doing it again. The Department's Multi-Mission Radioisotope Thermoelectric Generator (MMRTG) is providing continuous power to the Mars rover Curiosity.  This radioactive power source is "essentially a nuclear battery that will operate the rover’s instruments, robotic arm, wheels, computers and radio. It is fueled with plutonium-238 that gives off heat as it naturally decays. No moving parts are required to convert this heat into electricity."1

Published by Kathy Chambers
3D model of wind plant aerodynamics that shows low velocity wakes and the result

New simulation tools and data collection capabilities now available for wind power research are creating a lot of excitement and significant advances in the wind energy industry. For example, DOE’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) tripled previous estimates of U.S. wind power potential by using advanced wind mapping and validation techniques. New wind development areas were also identified where the wind resource was previously considered unsuitable.

Published by Mary Schorn
President Roosevelt Establishes the Manhattan Project

On August 13, 1942, the Manhattan Engineer District, whose name was based upon the geographical location of its headquarters, was established.  In September, the Army appointed Colonel Leslie R. Groves to head the effort.  Groves held that the exigencies of war required scientists to move from laboratory research to development and production in record time.  Though traditional scientific caution might be short-circuited in the process, there was no alternative if a bomb was to be built in time to be used in the current conflict (World War II).

Various isotope separation methods (uranium enrichment) to produce uranium-235 were being researched at this time.  One was gaseous diffusion being done at Columbia and another was the electromagnetic method being done at Berkeley under Ernest O. Lawrence.  Based upon the success of the electromagnetic method, the S-1 (The Office of Scientific Research and Development Section On Uranium) Executive Committee recommended building plants in Tennessee at Site X (now Oak Ridge).

Published by Rita Hohenbrink
OpenNet gets a new look

The newly redesigned OpenNet contains spotlights on declassified collections. This quarter the spotlight is on the Human Radiation Experiments collection. OpenNet provides easy, timely access to the Department of Energy’s declassified documents, including information declassified in response to Freedom of Information Act requests. In addition to these documents, OpenNet references older document collections from several DOE sources

Published by Nena Moss

It’s August! Are you ready to get back to school? If you’re attending or teaching a science class this year, be sure to check out ScienceLab, Students' go-to source...