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Analysis of Real World Fuel Cell Degradation (Presentation)

Description: Presentation about the National Renewable Energy Laboratory's Hydrogen Secure Data Center and its work with fuel cell vehicles, fuel cell early market demonstrations, and fuel cell bus demonstrations. This presentation includes results of composite data products and a summary of the analysis objectives and data flow for the projects.
Date: December 8, 2009
Creator: Kurtz, J.; Wipke, K.; Sprik, S. & Ramsden, T.

THE DOE OFFICE OF ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT INTERNATIONAL COOPERATIVE PROGRAM: OVERVIEW OF TECHNICAL TASKS AND RESULTS

Description: The DOE Office of Environmental Management (DOE-EM) Office of Engineering and Technology is responsible for implementing EM's International Cooperative Program. Over the past 15 years, collaborative work has been conducted through this program with researchers in Russia, Ukraine, France, United Kingdom and Republic of Korea. Currently, work is being conducted with researchers in Russia and Ukraine. Efforts aimed at evaluating and advancing technologies to support U.S. high-level waste (HLW) vitrification initiatives are being conducted in collaboration with Russian researchers. Work at Khlopin Radium Institute (KRI) is targeted at improving the throughput of current vitrification processes by increasing melting rate. These efforts are specifically targeted at challenging waste types identified at the Savannah River Site (SRS) and Hanford Site. The objectives of current efforts at SIA Radon are to gain insight into vitrification process limits for the cold crucible induction melter (CCIM) technology. Previous demonstration testing has shown that the CCIM offers the potential for dramatic increases in waste loading and waste throughput. However, little information is known regarding operational limits that could affect long-term, efficient CCIM operations. Collaborative work with the Russian Electrotechnical University (ETU) 'LETI' is aimed at advancing CCIM process monitoring, process control and design. The goal is to further mature the CCIM technology and to establish it as a viable HLW vitrification technology. The greater than two year effort conducted with the International Radioecology Laboratory in the Ukraine recently completed. The objectives of this study were: to assess the long-term impacts to the environment from radiation exposure in the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone (ChEZ); and to provide information on remediation guidelines and ecological risk assessment within radioactively contaminated territories around the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant (ChNPP) based on the results of long-term field monitoring, analytical measurements, and numerical modeling of soils and groundwater radioactive contamination.
Date: December 8, 2009
Creator: Marra, J.; Fox, K.; Farfan, E. & Jannik, T.

Generation of transgenic wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) accumulating heterologous endo-xylanase or ferulic acid esterase in the endosperm

Description: Endo-xylanase (from Bacillus subtilis) or ferulic acid esterase (from Aspergillus niger) were expressed in wheat under the control of the endosperm specific 1DX5 glutenin promoter. Constructs both with and without the endoplasmic reticulum retention signal KDEL were used. Transgenic plants were recovered in all four cases but no qualitative differences could be observed whether KDEL was added or not. Endo-xylanase activity in transgenic grains was increased between two and three fold relative to wild type. The grains were shriveled and had a 25-33% decrease in mass. Extensive analysis of the cell walls showed a 10-15% increase in arabinose to xylose ratio, a 50% increase in the proportion of water extractable arabinoxylan, and a shift in the MW of the water extractable arabinoxylan from being mainly larger than 85 kD to being between 2 kD and 85 kD. Ferulic acid esterase expressing grains were also shriveled and the seed weight was decreased by 20-50%. No ferulic acid esterase activity could be detected in wild type grains whereas ferulic acid esterase activity was detected in transgenic lines. The grain cell walls had 15-40% increase in water unextractable arabinoxylan and a decrease in monomeric ferulic acid between 13 and 34%. In all the plants the observed changes are consistent with a plant response that serves to minimize the effect of the heterologously expressed enzymes by increasing arabinoxylan biosynthesis and cross-linking.
Date: December 8, 2009
Creator: Harholt, Jesper; Bach, Inga C; Lind-Bouquin, Solveig; Nunan, Kylie J.; Madrid, Susan M.; Brinch-Pedersen, Henrik et al.

High Speed Rail (HSR) in the United States

Description: This report provides an overview of high speed rail in the United States. It discusses definitions of high speed rail, looks at high speed rail in selected other countries, and describes congressional initiatives to promote HSR, including provisions in the Passenger Rail Investment and Improvement Act of 2008 (P.L. 110-432) and ARRA. The report then surveys rationales for developing HSR, cost estimates for HSR, and some of the challenges expected in implementing HSR.
Date: December 8, 2009
Creator: Peterman, David R.; Frittelli, John & Mallett, William J.

Iraq: Politics, Elections, and Benchmarks

Description: This report provides an overview of Iraq's political transition from the dictatorship of Saddam Hussein to a plural polity that encompasses varying sects and ideological and political factions. This report also addresses ongoing governmental instabilities and their causes, as well as U.S. concerns about possible Iranian influence in Iraq as U.S. forces depart the country.
Date: December 8, 2009
Creator: Katzman, Kenneth

Rail Transit: Observations on FTA's State Safety Oversight Program and Potential Change in Oversight Role

Description: Testimony issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "Rail transit generally has been one of the safest forms of public transportation. However, several recent notable accidents are cause for concern. For example, a July 2009 crash on the Washington Metro Red Line resulted in nine deaths. The federal government does not directly regulate the safety of rail transit. Through its State Safety Oversight program, the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) requires states to designate an oversight agency to directly oversee the safety of rail transit systems. In 2006, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) issued a report that made recommendations to improve the program. The Department of Transportation (DOT) is planning to propose legislation that, if passed, would result in a greater role for FTA in regulating and overseeing the safety of these systems. This statement (1) summarizes the findings of GAO's 2006 report and (2) provides GAO's preliminary observations on key elements DOT has told us it will include in its legislative proposal for revamping rail transit safety oversight. It is based primarily on GAO's 2006 report, an analysis of the Administration's proposal through review of documents and interviews with DOT officials, and GAO's previous work on regulatory programs that oversee safety within other modes of transportation. GAO's 2006 report was based on a survey of the 27 state oversight agencies and transit agencies covered by FTA's program. GAO provided a draft of this testimony to DOT officials and incorporated their comments as appropriate."
Date: December 8, 2009
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.

THE RETRIEVAL KNOWLEDGE CENTER EVALUATION OF LOW TANK LEVEL MIXING TECHNOLOGIES FOR DOE HIGH LEVEL WASTE TANK RETRIEVAL 10516

Description: The Department of Energy (DOE) Complex has over two-hundred underground storage tanks containing over 80-million gallons of legacy waste from the production of nuclear weapons. The majority of the waste is located at four major sites across the nation and is planned for treatment over a period of almost forty years. The DOE Office of Technology Innovation & Development within the Office of Environmental Management (DOE-EM) sponsors technology research and development programs to support processing advancements and technology maturation designed to improve the costs and schedule for disposal of the waste and closure of the tanks. Within the waste processing focus area are numerous technical initiatives which included the development of a suite of waste removal technologies to address the need for proven equipment and techniques to remove high level radioactive wastes from the waste tanks that are now over fifty years old. In an effort to enhance the efficiency of waste retrieval operations, the DOE-EM Office of Technology Innovation & Development funded an effort to improve communications and information sharing between the DOE's major waste tank locations as it relates to retrieval. The task, dubbed the Retrieval Knowledge Center (RKC) was co-lead by the Savannah River National Laboratory (SRNL) and the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) with core team members representing the Oak Ridge and Idaho sites, as well as, site contractors responsible for waste tank operations. One of the greatest challenges to the processing and closure of many of the tanks is complete removal of all tank contents. Sizeable challenges exist for retrieving waste from High Level Waste (HLW) tanks; with complications that are not normally found with tank retrieval in commercial applications. Technologies currently in use for waste retrieval are generally adequate for bulk removal; however, removal of tank heels, the materials settled in the bottom of ...
Date: December 8, 2009
Creator: Fellinger, A.

SUMMARY OF 2009 RHEOLOGY MODIFIER PROGRAM

Description: The overall objective of the EM-31 Rheological Modifiers and Wetting Agents program is to utilize commercially available rheology modifiers to increase the solids fraction of radioactive sludge based waste streams, resulting in an increase in throughput and decreasing the overall processing time. The program first investigates the impact of rheology modifiers on slurry simulants and then utilizes the most effective rheology modifiers on radioactive slurries. The work presented in this document covers the initial investigation of rheology modifier testing with simulants. This task is supported by both the Savannah River National Laboratory (SRNL) and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL). The SRNL EM-31 task, for this year, was to investigate the use of rheology modifiers on simulant Defense Waste Processing Facility (DWPF) melter feeds. The task is to determine, based on the impact of the rheology modifier, if there are rheology modifiers that could reduce the water content of the slurry going to the DWPF melter, hence increasing the melt rate by decreasing the water loading. The rheology modifier in essence would allow a higher solids content slurry to have the same type of rheology or pumpability of a lower solids slurry. The modifiers selected in this report were determined based on previous modifiers used in high level waste melter feed simulants, on-going testing performed by counterparts at PNNL, and experiences gain through use of modifiers in other Department of Energy (DOE) processes such as grout processing. There were 12 rheology modifiers selected for testing, covering both organic and inorganic types and they were tested at four different concentrations for a given melter feed. Five different DWPF melter feeds were available and there was adequate material in one of the melter feeds to increase the solids concentration, resulting in a total of six simulants for testing. The mass of melter feed ...
Date: December 8, 2009
Creator: Hansen, E.

Thermo-Mechanical Response of a TRISO Fuel Particle in a Fusion/Fission Engine for Incineration of Weapons Grade Plutonium

Description: The Laser Inertial Fusion-based (LIFE) engine is an advanced energy concept under development at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL). LIFE engine could be used to drive a subcritical fission blanket with fertile or fissile fuel. Current LIFE engine designs envisages fuel in pebble bed form with TRISO (tristructural isotropic) particles embedded in a graphite matrix, and pebbles flowing in molten salt Flibe (2LiF+BeF{sub 2}) coolant at T {approx} 700C. Weapons-grade plutonium (WGPu) fuel is an attractive option for LIFE engine involving the achievement of high fractional burnups in a short lifetime frame. However, WGPu LIFE engine operating conditions of high neutron fast fluence, high radiation damage, and high Helium and Hydrogen production pose severe challenges for typical TRISO particles. The thermo-mechanical fuel performance code HUPPCO (High burn-Up fuel Pebble Performance COde) currently under development accounts for spatial and time dependence of the material elastic properties, temperature, and irradiation swelling and creep mechanisms. In this work, some aspects of the thermo-mechanical response of TRISO particles used for incineration of weapons grade fuel in LIFE engine are analyzed. Preliminary results show the importance of developing reliable high-fidelity models of the performance of these new fuel designs and the need of new experimental data relevant to WGPu LIFE conditions.
Date: December 8, 2009
Creator: Caro, M; DeMange, P; Marian, J & Caro, A

Clean Air Act: Mercury Control Technologies at Coal-Fired Power Plants Have Achieved Substantial Emissions Reductions

Description: A letter report issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "The 491 U.S. coal-fired power plants are the largest unregulated industrial source of mercury emissions nationwide, annually emitting about 48 tons of mercury--a toxic element that poses health threats, including neurological disorders in children. In 2000, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) determined that mercury emissions from these sources should be regulated, but the agency has not set a maximum achievable control technology (MACT) standard, as the Clean Air Act requires. Some power plants, however, must reduce mercury emissions to comply with state regulations or consent decrees. After managing a long-term mercury control research and development program, the Department of Energy (DOE) reported in 2008 that systems that inject sorbents--powdery substances to which mercury binds--into the exhaust from boilers of coal-fired power plants were ready for commercial deployment. Tests of sorbent injection systems, the most mature mercury control technology, were conducted on a variety of coal types and boiler configurations--that is, on boilers using different air pollution control devices. In this context, GAO was asked to examine (1) reductions achieved by mercury control technologies and the extent of their use at power plants, (2) the cost of mercury control technologies, and (3) key issues EPA faces in regulating mercury emissions from power plants. GAO obtained data from power plants operating sorbent injection systems. EPA and DOE provided technical comments, which we incorporated as appropriate."
Date: October 8, 2009
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.

CRYSTALLIZATION IN MULTICOMPONENT GLASSES

Description: In glass processing situations involving glass crystallization, various crystalline forms nucleate, grow, and dissolve, typically in a nonuniform temperature field of molten glass subjected to convection. Nuclear waste glasses are remarkable examples of multicomponent vitrified mixtures involving partial crystallization. In the glass melter, crystals form and dissolve during batch-to-glass conversion, melter processing, and product cooling. Crystals often agglomerate and sink, and they may settle at the melter bottom. Within the body of cooling glass, multiple phases crystallize in a non-uniform time-dependent temperature field. Self-organizing periodic distribution (the Liesegnang effect) is common. Various crystallization phenomena that occur in glass making are reviewed.
Date: October 8, 2009
Creator: AA, KRUGER & PR, HRMA

Defense Acquisitions: Rapid Acquisition of MRAP Vehicles

Description: Testimony issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "As of July 2008, about 75 percent of casualties in combat operations in Iraq and Afghanistan were attributed to improvised explosive devices. To mitigate the threat from these weapons, the Department of Defense (DOD) initiated the Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) program in February 2007, which used a tailored acquisition approach to rapidly acquire and field the vehicles. In May 2007, the Secretary of Defense affirmed MRAP as DOD's most important acquisition program. To date, about $22.7 billion has been appropriated for the procurement of more than 16,000 MRAP vehicles. This testimony today describes the MRAP acquisition process, the results to date, lessons learned from that acquisition, and potential implications for improving the standard acquisition process. It is mostly based on the work we have conducted over the past few years on the MRAP program. Most prominently, in 2008, we reported on the processes followed by DOD for the acquisition of MRAP vehicles and identified challenges remaining in the program. To describe DOD's approach for and progress in implementing its strategy for rapidly acquiring and fielding MRAP vehicles, we reviewed DOD's plans to buy, test, and field the vehicles and discussed the plans with cognizant department and contractor officials. To identify the remaining challenges for the program, we reviewed the results of testing and DOD's plans to upgrade and sustain the vehicles"
Date: October 8, 2009
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.

Digitally Available Interval-Specific Rock-Sample Data Compiled from Historical Records, Nevada Test Site and Vicinity, Nye County, Nevada

Description: Between 1951 and 1992, underground nuclear weapons testing was conducted at 828 sites on the Nevada Test Site, Nye County, Nevada. Prior to and following these nuclear tests, holes were drilled and mined to collect rock samples. These samples are organized and stored by depth of borehole or drift at the U.S. Geological Survey Core Library and Data Center at Mercury, Nevada, on the Nevada Test Site. From these rock samples, rock properties were analyzed and interpreted and compiled into project files and in published reports that are maintained at the Core Library and at the U.S. Geological Survey office in Henderson, Nevada. These rock-sample data include lithologic descriptions, physical and mechanical properties, and fracture characteristics. Hydraulic properties also were compiled from holes completed in the water table. Rock samples are irreplaceable because pre-test, in-place conditions cannot be recreated and samples cannot be recollected from the many holes destroyed by testing. Documenting these data in a published report will ensure availability for future investigators.
Date: October 8, 2009
Creator: Wood, David B.

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac: Analysis of Options for Revising the Housing Enterprises' Long-term Structures

Description: Testimony issued by the Government Accountability Office with an abstract that begins "This testimony discusses the results of our recently issued report on options for restructuring two government-sponsored enterprises (GSE): Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (enterprises). On September 6, 2008, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) placed Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in conservatorship out of concern that their deteriorating financial condition and potential default on $5.4 trillion in financial obligations threatened the stability of financial markets. Since then, the Department of the Treasury (Treasury) has provided nearly $100 billion to the enterprises, and the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimated that the total cost of Treasury financial assistance will be nearly $400 billion. Moreover, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (Federal Reserve) has committed to purchasing up to $1.45 trillion in the debt and securities of the enterprises (and other entities) to support housing finance, housing markets, and financial markets. While the conservatorships can remain in place as efforts are undertaken to stabilize the enterprises and restore confidence in financial markets, FHFA said that the conservatorships were not intended to be permanent. Over the longer term, Congress and the executive branch will face difficult decisions on how to restructure the enterprises and promote housing opportunities while limiting risks to taxpayers and the stability of financial markets. This testimony will will (1)summarize the enterprises' performance in achieving key housing mission objectives; (2) identify various options for revising the enterprises' long-term structures; (3) analyze these options in terms of their potential capacity to achieve key housing mission and safety and soundness objectives; and (4) discuss how the federal government's management of the conservatorships and response to the housing crisis could affect any transition."
Date: October 8, 2009
Creator: United States. Government Accountability Office.