CBRNE Particles – Chemical Safety Advisory Committee, Radiological Decon Technologies

Topics in this issue include radiological decon technologies, virtual reality counterterrorism training, nuclear emergency response, and FEMA’s CBRNE office.

Multinational Control of Enrichment “The Only Realistic Way” to Reduce Nuclear Risks

One of the biggest concerns is Iran’s uranium enrichment program, which uses high-speed centrifuges to produce uranium enriched to a level appropriate for nuclear power reactor fuel. Enrichment plants like this can be quickly reconfigured to produce “weapon-grade” uranium. A new report suggests that reducing proliferation risks by ending national control over dangerous civilian nuclear activities is an important idea with a long history. HSNW >>

Battelle Hosts Radiological Decon Technology Demonstration

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Homeland Security this week will visit Battelle to stage a demonstration of current technologies that are being tested to best contain and decontaminate a radiological spill. Global Biodefense >>

EPA Forms Chemical Safety Advisory Committee

Its purpose is to provide expert scientific advice, information, and recommendations to the Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics, which manages programs under the Toxic Substances Control Act and the Pollution Prevention Act, according to the agency’s Federal Register announcement, which added that the major objective for it is to provide advice and recommendations on the scientific basis for risk assessments, methodologies, and pollution prevention measures or approaches. Occupational Health & Safety >>

Next Exit, Armageddon: Photos of America’s Nuclear Weapons Legacy

The ghosts of America’s atomic arsenal, from development to deployment, are accessible if you know where to look: in Arizona and South Dakota, decommissioned nuclear missiles still aim skyward; in Nevada and New Mexico, the remains of nuclear testing still scar the desert; and in Tennessee and Washington state, the facilities that developed uranium and plutonium for America’s nuclear bombs gather dust. Vice >>

New Project Will Develop Virtual Reality Counterterror Training

A new research and development project has been launched to help deliver improved training tools and techniques and further equip security personnel to respond to physical threats and cyber attacks on Europe’s critical infrastructure including airports, ports and railway stations. HS Today >>

Dirty Bomb: Just How Worried Should We be as ISIS Seeks Ultimate Threat?

It is important to emphasize that radioactive sources of the type acquired by ISIS cannot be used to create a nuclear bomb. These sources are mostly used for medical research and treatments such as radiotherapy, and are completely unsuited to the development of nuclear weapons. This said, the harmful effects of these sources, stemming from their chemical toxicity and radioactive properties, can be exploited in other ways. CNN >>

CounterACT Webinar Announced

National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) has announced a webinar on July 17 to provide information on the “Countermeasures Against Chemical Threats (CounterACT) Research Centers of Excellence” funding effort. Global Biodefense >>

Report: US Needs New Small Nuclear Bombs

The United States should develop new low-yield, tactical nuclear weapons to deter countries from seeking nuclear weapons of their own, a new think-tank report says. It also argues that the U.S. should base more nuclear weapons around the world to better deter attacks. Defense One >>

Researchers Show Radioactive Elements Not Acting in Nature as Previously Modeled

New research identifies novel aspects of uranium and plutonium environmental chemistry beyond those previously reported and expected based on thermodynamics. In some samples, actinide-bearing materials that were within millimeters of each other for decades still exhibit significantly different speciation. HSNW >>

Nigeria: NSCDC Train Personnel on Nuclear Emergency Response

The Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), has trained personnel of its Chemical, Biological Radiological and Nuclear Unit on latest emergency response techniques. The training was conducted in conjunction with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and Nigeria Nuclear and Regulatory Agency (NNRA). All Africa >>

Watchdog Agency Warns Of “Weaknesses” In Nuclear War Command Links

The GAO has issued a cryptic two-page report stating that it had provided Congress with a secret briefing in April discussing “capability gaps and deficiencies” in the nuclear command and control network.  The network is designed to transmit attack instructions to U.S. strategic forces in the event of a nuclear war.  Its reliability is crucial to preventing such a war, because being able to retaliate in an appropriate fashion after a surprise attack is the main thing that deters nuclear aggression. Forbes >>

Terrorists Were a Lot More Active Last Year

Terrorist attacks around the world soared last year, driven by extremist groups in the Middle East and Africa, according to a State Department report released Friday. The report said the Islamic State, also known by the abbreviation ISIL, had effectively replaced al-Qaeda as the major source and inspiration for extremist attacks. Washington Post >>

Plundering a Nuclear Test Ban Treasure-Trove

The Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (CTBT) has spawned a globe-girdling network of 300 detector stations that sniff out radionuclides, listen for low-frequency sounds, and record tremors—all to discern whether countries are carrying out clandestine nuclear weapons tests. And the treaty has not yet even come into force; the U.S. remains a prominent holdout. Science Insider >>

FEMA Seeks Contract Support for CBRNE Office

The Federal Emergency Management Agency is soliciting proposals to acquire subject matter experts and technical support for its CBRNE Office, which supports FEMA’s all-hazards mission to improve the readiness and capability to respond in the event of a chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear or explosive (CBRNE) incident. Global Biodefense >>

Russia and Saudi Arabia Agree to Cooperate in Nuclear Energy

Russia and Saudi Arabia yesterday signed an agreement to cooperate in the development of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes. The document was signed by Rosatom director general Sergey Kirienko and the president of the King Abdullah City for Atomic and Renewable Energy (KA-CARE) Hashim Abdullah Yamani. World Nuclear News >>

Bill Would Require Regular Maintenance of Airport Screening Technology

Democratic Rep. Kathleen Rice, ranking member of the House Committee on Homeland Security’s Transportation Security Subcommittee, this week introduced bipartisan legislation which would require TSA to conduct regular preventive maintenance of airport screening technology. HS Today >>

CIOs Raise Questions About FirstNet’s Viability

If the FirstNet national first responder network succeeds, it’ll be because federal officials who are planning and deploying the network forged strong partnerships with states and localities. That’s why comments from state CIOs at the NASCIO Midyear Conference in April are troubling. Emergency Management >>

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