Nuclear Power Plant Approved for Construction in Tennessee

Kairos Power

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) issued a construction permit to Kairos Power for its Hermes low-power demonstration reactor to be built at the Heritage Center Industrial Park site in Oak Ridge.

Kairos Power, according to its website, is a “nuclear technology, engineering and manufacturing company whose mission is to enable the world’s transition to clean energy with the ultimate goal of dramatically improving people’s quality of life while protecting the environment.”

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National Park Service Names Oak Ridge as American World War II Heritage City

The National Park Service (NPS)announced Monday the designation of Oak Ridge, Tennessee, as an American World War II Heritage City.

NPS’ American World War II Heritage Cities Program ”honors the contributions of local towns, cities, counties and their citizens who stepped into the workforce to support America’s war effort during World War II.”

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Oak Ridge High School Student Gets Gold at the USA Biology Olympiad National Finals

  Oak Ridge High School student Henry Shen is one of four students who earned gold medals at the 17th Annual USA Biology Olympiad National Finals. This, according to The Center for Excellence in Education. UC San Diego hosted the finals June 22-July 3.  Nearly 10,000 students from 498 schools and 45 states registered in the nationwide high school competition. “Congratulations to all of the USA Biology Olympiad students for participating in a memorable event hosted for the second year at UC San Diego’s biology laboratories and teaching facilities,” said Kit Pogliano, Dean of UC San Diego’s Division of Biological Sciences, in a statement. “We are indebted to Associate Professor Scott Rifkin for his development of the curriculum and to all of the faculty and staff who made this event a success. We are confident in Team USA’s preparation here and wish them all the best as they head to the international competition.” During the 10 days of the National Finals, 20 students participated in intensive theoretical and practical tutorials. The high school students studied with leading U.S. biologists who are experts in the fields of cellular and molecular biology, plant anatomy and physiology, animal anatomy and physiology, genetics and evolution, ecology,…

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Oak Ridge, Tennessee Plans to Fight School Vouchers

Members of the Oak Ridge Board of Education say they are drafting a formal resolution opposing school vouchers, and they plan to forward it to state legislators. This is the second known local government entity in Tennessee to take a stand against school choice. According to the most recent draft of the Oak Ridge resolution, board members complain that, under school choice, private schools have standards to enroll or remove any students they wish. Board members also complain “voucher programs divert critical dollars and commitment from public schools to pay private school tuition for a few students, including many who already attend private schools.” Board Chairman Keys Fillauer (pictured above: second from right) told The Tennessee Star Friday he also opposes school vouchers for other reasons. “I can even see that opening up some areas where it (vouchers) can almost be used as a recruiting tool for athletes, for example,” Fillauer said. “I don’t feel like vouchers would allow students, if they go to private schools, some type of special education training, either for physical or academic reasons. Finally, I am not sure those who are in favor (of vouchers) have looked at the issue of what transportation needs might…

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Oak Ridge Police Chief A Menace, Officers Say

Oak Ridge police chief

Former Oak Ridge police detective John Criswell suspected his former police chief, James Akagi, was about to retaliate against him. He didn’t know just how bad things were about to get. Akagi, according to several news reports dating back to 2015, was a vindictive person. He reportedly was even known to throw random objects at work when he had a short fuse. Oak Ridge City Council members had already hired consultants to review whether morale among police officers was low under his leadership. But in Criswell’s case, he said he didn’t know Akagi would cross a line he said decent men don’t cross. In interviews with The Tennessee Star, Oak Ridge City Council member Chuck Hope and former City Council member Trina Baughn said they personally vouch for Criswell’s integrity. When asked, Criswell said there’s no nice way to describe Akagi. “Honestly, with his up and down behavior, he exhibited some signs of being a sociopath. No one knew what to expect. Even my supervisors would lay low,” Criswell said. “But when Akagi started messing with my family that’s when he crossed a serious line with me. That’s not something that you do.” Attempts to reach Akagi at his personal…

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DesJarlais: New Federal Defense Act Will Help Tennessee

Scott DesJarlais

U.S. Congressman Scott DesJarlais said he has inserted measures into the 2019 National Defense Authorization Act that will give more aid to Middle Tennessee’s Aerospace and Defense Technology Corridor. According to the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development, Tennessee’s aerospace cluster includes 52 companies, including the Arnold Engineering Development Complex. The region also has advanced research centers and manufacturers that supply the U.S. military and commercial enterprises with state-of-the-art equipment. President Donald Trump signed the NDAA into law this week. The NDAA sets yearly policy at the federal Department of Defense. “In terms of Tennessee, there are all kinds of military bases and service members across the state who are interested in national security,” said Brendan Thomas, spokesman for DesJarlais. “In terms of what the congressman is doing, this is the area through Middle Tennessee and parts of Alabama and Kentucky, known as the Aerospace Tech Corridor. This is where there are bases and private enterprises on the forefront of hypersonic and nuclear research. He directed his energy into those endeavors.” Among the beneficiaries are Fort Campbell, the research facilities at the University of Tennessee Tullahoma, and the nuclear research facilities in Oak Ridge. The 2019 NDAA will also…

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