CBRNE Particles – Paris Terrorist Attack, NYC Quick Response Force, Pueblo Chemical Depot

Topics in this issue of CBRNE Particles include the DHS budget and immigration, security ramp-up following Paris attack, Pueblo Chemical Depot, NYC anti-terrorism quick response force.

Detecting Chemical Weapons with a Color-Changing Film

In today’s world, in which the threat of terrorism looms, there is an urgent need for fast, reliable tools to detect the release of deadly chemical warfare agents (CWAs). In ACS Macro Letters, scientists are reporting new progress toward thin-film materials that could rapidly change colors in the presence of CWAs—an advance that could help save lives and hold aggressors accountable. R&D Magazine >>

U.S. Nuclear Scientist Who Offered to Help Venezuela Build Nuclear Bombs Gets 60 Months

In 2008, a gray-haired nuclear scientist in his 70s took a seat at a small table and laid out an elaborate plan to help Venezuela become a nuclear-armed power. “You’re a member of the Venezuelan government, right?” scientist Pedro Leonardo Mascheroni asked the man beside him, sliding something across the table. “This is a nuclear warhead. I know how to design this.” Washington Post >>

Fabric-Supported Polymeric Films for Omniphobic Personal Protection Gear

Use of personal protection gear made from omniphobic materials that easily shed drops of all sizes could provide enhanced protection from direct exposure to most liquid-phase biological and chemical hazards and facilitate the post-exposure decontamination of the gear. ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces >>

START’s MOOC, Revised and Updated, Launches Successfully

This month, the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism (START) launched its newly updated Massive Online Open Content (MOOC) course “Understanding Terrorism and the Terrorist Threat.” The course, which launched Jan. 12, has over 19,000 enrolled students, coming from 180 countries. UMD START >>

Sampling Strategy and Field Kit for Collection of Chemical Threat Agents

Under a project funded by DHS, staff from MRIGlobal have successfully identified, tested, and deployed traditional and novel sample collection materials for use at chemical incident scenes using 14 chemical threat agents. CBRNE Tech Index >>

Why an Inflatable Missile is Set to Hit the National Mall

A group which advocates for nuclear disarmament worldwide will stage a protest outside the White House with a “life-size, four-story inflated nuclear missile” to illustrate the humanitarian threat posed by nuclear weapons. The name of the protest, “No $1 Trillion Nuclear Arsenal,” refers to the Congressional Budget Office’s 30-year projection of the costs to upgrade the U.S. nuclear arsenal. Defense One >>

NASEMSO Releases Strategy Document for Improving EMS Preparedness

This strategy document examines already-published EMS preparedness reports in order to identify gaps in preparedness and analyze implementable processes and responsibilities stakeholders can use to solve the most significant and persistent gaps in EMS preparedness. Homeland Security Digital Library >>

How Robots Are Changing Disaster Response and Recovery

The field of disaster robotics has been studied for the last two decades. Robin Murphy has been there from the start and explains where it’s headed and what you need to know. As director of the Center for Robot-Assisted Search and Rescue at Texas A&M University, Murphy works to advance the technology while also traveling to disasters when called upon to help agencies determine how robots can aid the response. Emergency Management >>

Nuclear Power Needs to Double to Curb Global Warming

Since the 2011 Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident in Japan chilled global attitudes toward nuclear power, the world has been slowly reconciling its discomfort with nuclear and the idea that it may have a role to play in reducing greenhouse gas emissions to tackle climate change. Scientific American >>

Ebola Likely to Persist In 2015 as Communities Resist Aid: Red Cross

“We are seeing that in places like Sierra Leone and especially in Guinea that it is flaring up in new districts all the time, with small new chains of transmission, which means that it’s not under control and it could flare up big-time again. I think that we should consider ourselves lucky and fortunate if we are able to stop it in 2015.” Reuters >>

NYC Police to Create Quick-Reaction Anti-Terrorism Force

The New York City Police Department (NYPD) will be putting several hundred officers into a new permanent quick-reaction force to deal with terror attacks, large demonstrations and other emergencies, Police Commissioner William Bratton said Thursday. Emergency Management >>

Pueblo Chemical Depot to Destroy Chemical Weapons

An ammunition stockpile depot built in the World War II era is getting ready to break down some chemical weapons. The Pueblo Chemical Depot houses most of the remaining 10 percent of the nation’s chemical weapon stockpile. They’re now taking on a huge job, destroying over 2,600 tons of mustard agent. KKTV Colorado >>

London Needs ‘Tens of Millions’ for Security Following Paris Attacks

London’s Metropolitan Police Commissioner said the British government must spend tens of millions in order to prepare the capital for incidents like the Paris attacks. Terrorists’ increasing use of online networks was putting a huge strain on the police force and that multiple suspects could not be followed all of the time without an increase in resources. HS Today >>

DHS Chief: Funding Should Not Be ‘Political Football’ in Immigration Fight

The department’s budget runs out at the end of February and Republicans have threatened to hold up additional appropriations. Echoing the sentiments of current DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson, former republican-appointed secretaries Tom Ridge, Michael Chertoff and Janet Napolitano sent a joint letter to Senate leaders asking them not to link Homeland Security funding with the effort to stop Obama’s immigration actions. Emergency Management >>

Prepared: Come What May

Have you checked your emergency supplies lately? We are, after all, just a little more than a month from the traditional start of spring tornado season, power outages can happen at any time, and for much of the country, it’s always earthquake season.  While not a worry where I live, we do get occasional hurricanes during the summer months so as not make us feel left out. Avian Flu Blog >>

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