Domestic Preparedness, Hazard-Clearing Robots, and Nuclear Arsenal Updates

Topics in this issue include robots clearing hazard zones, domestic preparedness, IAEA nuclear research network, and nuke arsenal updating.

Nuclear Deal Sealed, Obama Must Now Make It Work

Having beaten back a congressional campaign to derail his nuclear agreement with Iran, President Obama now faces challenges that may be just as daunting: making the deal actually work while repairing relations with disaffected allies constraining Tehran’s regional ambitions. NY Times >>

U.S. Army Directs Immediate Safety Review

Secretary of the Army John M. McHugh has directed an immediate safety review at all nine Department of Defense labs and facilities involved in the production, shipment, and handling of live and inactivated select agents and toxins. Domestic Preparedness >>

Robots Handle the Risk, Clearing Hazards for Special Ops Test Range

With the rise of robotic technology, machines are increasingly doing dangerous jobs keeping humans out of harm’s way.  One recent such project involves the use of robotic construction equipment to clear obstacles, forestry and, most dangerously, unexploded ordnance, or UXOs, to prepare for a new live-fire test range at Fort Bragg, N.C. Defense Systems >>

Influences of Preparedness Knowledge and Beliefs on Household Disaster Preparedness

This study identified demographic and social connectedness characteristics as correlates of household preparedness adoption. In this study, men were more likely to report personal preparedness than women. A 2009 personal preparedness survey conducted by FEMA suggested that education and income are correlated with preparedness behaviors. A previous study found that the belief that an individual has some responsibility to take care of others is correlated with preparedness behaviors. CDC >>

US Spy Chief ‘Pretty Confident’ He’ll Know If Iran Cheats on Nuclear Deal

America’s top spy says he’s “pretty confident” that the U.S. will be able tell whether Iran is cheating on the proposed nuclear deal, thanks in part to special new tools the intelligence community has developed to buttress inspections and international monitoring efforts. Defense One >>

Introducing the Hellburner: The 16th Century ‘Nuclear Weapon’

Some of the largest non-nuclear explosions on record — in Halifax, Nova Scotia in 1917, Port Chicago, California in 1944 and Texas City, Texas in 1947 — involved huge accidental blasts at harbors and aboard ships. But what if a similar explosion occurred by intent rather than accident? A really powerful bomb, as big as a ship, could change history. National Interest >>

IAEA Research Reactor Network Takes Shape

French nuclear research centers in Saclay and Cadarache have become the first to be designated international research hubs under a scheme launched by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) last year. World Nuclear News >>

Global Strike Aim: Update Nuke Arsenal

After a tumultuous 2014 that saw accusations of misconduct by missileers, new Global Strike Command leader Gen. Robin Rand says his airmen are looking ahead. Rand came on board after the command had faced criticism for a string of high-profile accusations of misconduct, including a Pentagon investigation that found a group of officers were cheating on proficiency exams. Air Force Times >>

The Iran Nuclear Deal Through the Eyes of an Iraq Veteran

As someone who has to cover the Iran nuclear deal, I don’t feel it’s my place to offer personal opinions on its merits. But after spending so much time listening to the pros and cons, delivered in passionate terms with hypothetical outcomes, I wanted to put a human face on the issue. The Tampa Tribune >>

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