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Secretary Chu to tour Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

August 07, 2009 Share This!

Visit to cover science & advancements in carbon sequestration, smart grid

  • Energy Secretary Steven Chu (middle) discusses with PNNL's Kevin Rosso (left) how high-powered nuclear magnetic resonance spectrometers are being used to understand geochemical processes needed for effective carbon capture and sequestration. They toured the NMR facilities in the Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory during Chu's visit to Pacific Northwest National Laboratory on Aug. 10, 2009.

  • Energy Secretary Steven Chu hears about PNNL's Grid-Friendly Appliancer Controller and how it was demonstrated on Washington's Olympic Peninsula during his visit to Pacific Northwest National Laboratory on Aug. 10, 2009.

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RICHLAND, Wash. –  

U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu will tour environmental molecular science facilities and a power grid test bed at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory on Monday during a visit to Washington state.

While at PNNL, Chu will discuss his vision for U.S. energy research, development and policy with about 300 Laboratory staff. He'll also receive briefings on PNNL's research related to carbon sequestration, catalysis, subsurface science, the smart grid and nonproliferation, among other topics.

PNNL is one of DOE's nine multiprogram national laboratories and as such performs transformational research to advance the frontiers of science and delivers solutions for complex national and global challenges in energy, environment and national security.

"We're eager for Secretary Chu to interact with our technical staff and hear directly from them about their science," said PNNL Director Mike Kluse. "It's an exciting time for PNNL. We're engaging in transformational science critical to our nation. And, we're building on our already strong reputation for moving research from the lab into the marketplace."

Tour stops
Chu will tour EMSL, DOE's Environmental Molecular Sciences Laboratory, a national scientific user facility where researchers from around the world conduct molecular systems science in biological, chemical and environmental research related to environmental and energy challenges. In EMSL, researchers are using advanced instruments such as nuclear magnetic resonance spectrometers - similar to magnetic resonance imagers in hospitals - to understand geochemical processes critical to carbon sequestration.

He'll also tour the Electricity Infrastructure Operations Center (EIOC), a unique center where PNNL researchers are deploying novel real-time mathematical and computational science that can improve power grid management and control. The EIOC is a fully functional energy system control room with computing, networking and analysis capabilities focused on bringing control of the power grid from minutes to seconds. PNNL is drawing upon its computational and visualization science to develop technologies that will be transferable to industry and are critical to achieving the vision for a "smart grid." As part of its electrical infrastructure research, PNNL also is developing new information visualization technologies that could transform planning and operations of the grid.

On the international front, PNNL is actively engaged with North China Electric Power University and China Southern Power Grid to jointly evaluate and potentially develop real-time power grid situational awareness and control technologies.

The PNNL tour is Chu's first visit to PNNL. Before taking office in January 2009, Chu was a professor of physics and molecular and cellular biology at the University of California, Berkeley and the director of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory for nearly five years. He received a Nobel Prize in Physics in 1997.

Tags: Energy, Environment, Fundamental Science, Computational Science, National Security, EMSL, Operations, Smart Grid, Subsurface Science, Biology, Catalysis, Facilities

Interdisciplinary teams at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory address many of America's most pressing issues in energy, the environment and national security through advances in basic and applied science. Founded in 1965, PNNL employs 4,300 staff and has an annual budget of about $950 million. It is managed by Battelle for the U.S. Department of Energy. For more information, visit the PNNL News Center, or follow PNNL on Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn and Twitter.

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