Paper mills across the country have more reliable and efficient recovery boilers because of ORNL and partners. The problem faced by numerous paper mills was that their recovery boilers, which burn organic waste to generate steam and electric power for the mills, were developing cracks. Repairs or replacements are costly, so researchers in ORNLs Metals and Ceramics Division were asked to help solve the problem. Researchers conducted studies that showed that certain alloys were far more resistant than the industry standard stainless steel. Over the past few years, new or retrofitted boilers have been installed at paper mills from Longview, Wash., to Plymouth, N.C. Each boiler saves about 370 billion British thermal units per year and, collectively, the boilers are helping make the process safer, cleaner and more efficient. [Contact: Pete Angelini]
HOMELAND DEFENSE Towers of power . . .
If a so-called dirty bomb were deployed anywhere in the United States, a system developed at ORNL could save thousands of lives. SensorNet, which provides near real-time detection, identification and assessment of chemical, biological and radiological threats, allows informed first-responders to be dispatched within minutes of an event. The system combines assets from government and private sectors to provide state-of-the-art sensors and remote telemetry at some of the 30,000 existing cellular communications sites throughout the nation. These strategically placed towers provide the nation with unparalleled wireless telecommunications capabilities. First responders would know the critical details of the event, including the chemical or biological agent as well as levels of radiological releases. In addition, emergency management personnel would know the projected path of the plume in time to take corrective action. [Contact: Jim Kulesz]
ENERGY Power to go . . .