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EOD Protective Suits, Nuclear-Tipped Cruise Missiles, Military Readiness

Topics in this issue include military readiness for chemical and biological threat environments, nuclear-tipped cruise missiles, EOD/CBRNE protective suits, app for toxic chemical incident response, and more…

The Greatest Threat to the U.S. Military: Chemical and Biological Weapons?

“Not a lot” of soldiers are good at “at donning their mask in nine seconds,” Lt. Gen. Perry Wiggins, commander of U.S. Army North, told reporters Oct. 15 according to Air Force magazine. “We need to get back to the ‘B’ in CBRN.” National Interest >>

Japan Acknowledges Possible Radiation Casualty at Fukushima Nuclear Plant

Japan this week acknowledged the first possible casualty from radiation at the wrecked Fukushima nuclear power plant, a worker who was diagnosed with cancer after the crisis broke out in 2011. The health ministry’s recognition of radiation as a possible cause may set back efforts to recover from the disaster, as the government and the nuclear industry have been at pains to say that the health effects from radiation have been minimal. Reuters >>

Russia is Proving Why Nuclear-Tipped Cruise Missiles are a Very Bad Idea

Those four cruise missiles that crashed in Iran could’ve been carrying nuclear warheads — which is why the US should ban them, not renew them. The Russian cruise missiles, the Kalibr-NK, were armed with conventional warheads. But these missiles are also capable of carrying nuclear warheads. That’s a problem. Cruise missile attacks are inherently ambiguous and can add major risks to a crisis. Had the target been the United States, military leaders would not have known until impact if it was a nuclear attack.  Defense One >>

3D Printers are New Weapon in Fight Against Landmines

Inside a design laboratory in Phnom Penh, 3D printers run day and night to create safe imitations of some of the world’s deadliest weapons. The plastic results sit harmlessly on tables and shelves next to their inert – but real – counterparts. There’s a grenade, an M42 cluster munition and a PMN2 landmine, one of the most common found in Cambodia. USA Today >>

Assessing Toxic Chemicals at Home and Abroad

It’s the Environmental Protection Agency’s job to safeguard public health and the environment. This includes assessing the risks of chemicals—some of which are toxic—in water, land, and air. Yet problems have kept the EPA’s work on the GAO’s High Risk List. Government Accountability Office >>

As Iran Nuclear Deal Goes Into Force, Some Questions Remain

The international nuclear agreement with Iran comes into force Sunday with some key questions about implementation still unanswered. The U.S. and five other world powers will begin taking steps that, over the next half a year or so, will remove economic sanctions on Iran as it rolls back nuclear activities to prevent it from obtaining a nuclear bomb. Stars & Stripes >>

Morgan Advanced Materials Unveils Lightweight, High-Protection EOD, CBRNE Suit

Morgan Advanced Materials has announced the launch of a new, lightweight explosive ordinance disposal (EOD) suit, the ERGOTEC 4025 Elite developed by its Composites & Defense Systems business. HS Today >>

Alvin Weinberg and Scientific Diplomacy in the Cold War

Those who knew him said he was approachable to a degree rare among the world’s scientific elite. So it was only natural to include Weinberg in the first official exchange of scientific delegations between the United States and the Soviet Union. Oak Ridge National Laboratory >>

Japan Should Restart More Nuclear Power Plants

Sendai is the first and so far only nuclear plant to reopen since the 2011 Fukushima disaster, and with memory of the catastrophe still fresh, the public outcry is hardly surprising. Applications by other plants to relaunch are also facing legal challenges. Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists >>

New App Warns Emergency Responders of Toxic Chemicals

Still in its pilot phase, the free app is now available to fire departments and other emergency responders in Washington. In addition to information about chemicals at specific sites, it also provides responders with directions to the facilities, contact information for facility operators and other pertinent information. Emergency Management >>

Connecticut’s Submarine Century

This weekend we reached an important milestone in United States submarine history – the centennial of the first submarines to be assigned homeport in Groton and the beginning of what would become Naval Submarine Base New London and the Naval Submarine School. Groton, known to many as “The Submarine Capital of the World,” holds a special place in the heart of U.S. submariners, as it is the professional birthplace of our submarine officers and most of the submarine crews. Navy Live >>

Now the Hardest Part: Making the Iran Deal Work

Iranian engineers on Sunday are expected to begin executing one of the largest and most complex projects of nuclear dismantlement in history. They have to mothball 12,000 nuclear centrifuges, ship more than 12 tons of low-enriched fuel — 98 percent of Iran’s stockpile — out of the country and destroy the core of a giant plutonium reactor. NY Times >>

A Case of a Chlorine Inhalation Injury in an Ebola Treatment Unit

Case analysis of a 26-year-old male British military nurse, deployed to Sierra Leone to treat patients with Ebola virus disease at the military-run Kerry Town Ebola Treatment Unit. Following exposure to chlorine gas during routine maintenance procedures, the patient had an episode of respiratory distress and briefly lost consciousness after exiting the facility. Journal of the Royal Army Medical Corps >>

South Texas Pipeline Blast Leads to Evacuations, No Injuries

A fiery natural gas pipeline explosion in South Texas has forced dozens of people from their homes and canceled classes at a nearby school. Nobody was hurt in the accident and authorities are seeking the cause of the blast. >>

LRSO: The Nuclear Cruise Missile Mission

In an op-ed in the Washington Post, William Perry and Andy Weber last week called for canceling the Air Force’s new nuclear air-launched cruise missile. The op-ed challenged what many see as an important component of the modernization of the U.S. nuclear triad of strategic weapons and a central element of U.S. nuclear strategy. Federation of American Scientists >>

U.S. Tries to Persuade Pakistan Not to Deploy Small Tactical Nuclear Weapons

The Obama administration is holding talks with Pakistani officials about Pakistan’s plan to deploy a small tactical nuclear weapon which would be more difficult to monitor and secure than Pakistan’s arsenal of larger weapons. U.S. officials fear that the smaller weapons are easier to steal, or would be easier to use should they fall into the hands of a rogue commander. “All it takes is one commander with secret radical sympathies, and you have a big problem,” said one former official. HSNW >>

Radiation Imaging In Operating Reactors

New imaging technology that can see the radiation fields emitted in an operating nuclear reactor has been developed by researchers in the UK. Inspired by cats’ eyes, the camera technology could provide real-time monitoring of reactor cores. World Nuclear News >>

Saab Signs Maritime Mine Countermeasures Contract

Defence and security company Saab has signed a contract with BAE Systems for the design and development of the new Multi-Shot Mine Neutralisation System (MuMNS). ASD News >>

Angola Joins Chemical Weapons Watchdog

Angola has joined the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, becoming the 192nd country to enter its ranks. The Hague-based organization that won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2013 announced Friday that Angola had formally become a member state a month after acceding to the Chemical Weapons Convention. Washington Post >>

Rubble Removal Progresses at Fukushima Daiichi 3

A hatch weighing some 2.6 tonnes has been removed from the used fuel pool of unit 3 at the damaged Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Japan. The hatch was one of the largest remaining pieces of rubble in the pool. World Nuclear News >>

Stanford Conference Tackles Growing U.S. Nuclear Waste Problem

The United States has a growing inventory of spent nuclear fuel from commercial power plants that continues to accumulate at reactor sites around the country. In addition, the legacy waste from U.S. defense programs remains at Department of Energy sites around the country, mainly at Hanford, WA, Savannah River, SC, and at Idaho National Laboratory. CISAC >>

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