CBRNE Particles – DoD Medical Countermeasures, Chemical Attacks on Kurdish Areas

Topics in this issue include DoD medical countermeasures, chemical attacks on Kurds, First Responder smart purchasing, and DTRA’s counter-WMD efforts.

Fukushima’s Dangerous Aftershocks

Japan is spooling up its nuclear reactors and piling up reprocessed fuel. And the tremors of these policy choices can be felt all the way in Iran. Foreign Policy >>

Fear of Toxic Air and Distrust of Government Follow Tianjin Blasts

Since last Wednesday’s still-unexplained accident, which killed at least 114 people and injured more than 700, the Chinese government has repeatedly insisted that effective measures are being taken to ensure that the air in Tianjin remains safe. But when rain fell on Tuesday, the city’s streets began to foam, and people reported burning sensations on their lips and elbows. NY Times >>

DoD Awards Up to 900M in Medical Countermeasure Contracts

Four companies were awarded the IDIQ contracts in support of medical countermeasure research and development services for the U.S. Army’s medical materiel development program. Global Biodefense >>

Barents Russia Gets Two New Giant Missile Warning Radars

The radars will detect incoming nuclear missiles from the Norwegian Sea, the Barents Sea and the Arctic. From before, similar radars are in operation along Russia’s southern border, in the regions of Leningrad, Krasnodar, Kaliningrad and Irkutsk. Barents Observer >>

In Just Two Years, DOE Critical Materials Institute Licenses Its First Technology

A new technology developed by the Department of Energy’s Critical Materials Institute that aids in the recycling, recovery, and extraction of rare earth minerals has been licensed to U.S. Rare Earths, Inc. The membrane solvent extraction system, invented by CMI partners Oak Ridge (ORNL) and Idaho national laboratories, is the first commercially licensed technology developed through the CMI. FLC Newslink >>

ISIS Is Suspected of a Chemical Attack Against Kurds in Syria

The Islamic State is suspected of using chemical agents — said by some American officials to be mustard gas — in an attack on Kurdish fighters in northern Syria two weeks ago, according to Pentagon officials. The DoD also said it is looking into reports of another possible mustard gas attack this week on Kurdish fighters — this one in Makhmur, Iraq. NY Times >>

BBI Solutions to Finalize Development of CDC Anthrax Diagnostic

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is awarding a contract to BBI Solutions to advance a lateral flow device diagnostic for anthrax toxin lethal factor from early prototype stage to a device ready for validation. Global Biodefense >>

Smart Purchasing for First Responders

To acquire some essential equipment, the Warwick, Rhode Island Fire Department received federal funding from the FEMA Assistance to Firefighters Grant. This grant allowed them to purchase an aerial ladder truck, self-contained breathing apparatus and defibrillator AEDs. >>

CSC to Support DTRA’s Counter-WMD Efforts

Computer Sciences Corp. will provide support to the Defense Threat Reduction Agency for efforts to address the threat of chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and high-yield explosives under a $10.3 million contract. Executive Biz >>

Radiation Therapy Damage: Serum Proteins Affected

The very nature of radiation therapy, battering a cancerous tumour with strong radiation, is also hazardous to the surrounding tissue and organs. It also affects proteins in the serum. A team of researchers based in Poland has now taken a systematic study of the effects on human serum to see which processes are affected. Spectroscopy Now >>

Health Impacts of Nuke-Plant Accidents Go Far Beyond Radiation, Research Finds

Strange but true…In a series of studies on nuclear power published in The Lancet, researchers have discovered that the fear of a nuclear reactor or power plant malfunctioning or overheating causes many, many more health problems than the actual, physical effects of an actual malfunction or meltdown. MinnPost >>

Analysis: ‘Islamic State Will Use Any Weapon They Can to Spread Panic’

“It remains to be seen exactly what kind of chemical weapons might have been used in this latest attack on the Kurdish peshmerga soldiers. One explanation is that it is chlorine again, but it could also be mustard gas, which would be potentially far more serious. Mustard gas is a proper, proscribed chemical weapon that is roughly 3,000 times more toxic than chlorine.” The Telegraph >>

Fort Polk: 1st MEB Cases Colors After 53 Years

“This (inactivation) has been years in the works…” said the unit commander, Col. Jesse Galvan. “That gave us some time because we had the DCERF (Defense Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and high-yield Explosives (CBRNE) Response Force (DCRF) mission and the 4th MEB picked it up after us,” Galvan said. “We both completed those missions and it gave us some time to figure out how we were going to handle the deactivation process.” Leesville Daily Leader >>

Hospital Emerges as Epicenter of Riyadh MERS Outbreak

A quickly growing MERS-CoV outbreak in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, involves one main hospital, King Abdulaziz Medical City, with at least 31 illnesses since June linked to emergency department exposure, officials say, and indications of many more to come. CIDRAP >>

Off the Coast of Iran, a High-Stakes Version of Spy Versus Spy

Crew members on the Iranian ship pointed a heavy machine gun at the American helicopter, an alarming provocation at a time when critics are trying to kill a nuclear deal limiting Iran’s nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief. The American helicopter, following standing orders to defuse tensions instead of elevating them, took off from the ship, but the Iranian crew continued to track it with the gun for a few moments before turning away. NY Times >>

DHS S&T Licenses Innovative Communication Technology to Commercial Partners

DHS Science and Technology Directorate last week announced that it has licensed the Radio Internet-Protocol Communications Module (RIC-M) to two commercial partners. The low-cost, external, stand-alone, interface device connects radio frequency system base stations, consoles and other RF equipment — regardless of brand — over the Internet or Private Internet Protocol (IP) network. HSNW >>

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