CBRNE Particles – Firefighter Cancer Risks, Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism

Topics in this issue include firefighter cancer risks, airport security, explosives risks in Syria, chemical facility anti-terrorism standards and more…

Many Projects in Pentagon’s Emerging Tech Program Still Stuck in Development

The Defense Department’s “Rapid Innovation Program” isn’t actually transitioning enough of that technology out of the research phase, a new Government Accountability Office report suggests. Nextgov >>

ECBC Researchers Make Strides in Developing CWA Resistant Coating

Commercial Polyurethane paint is used on all military assets such as tanks. While it works to keep warfighters’ materials safe, researchers at the U.S. Army Edgewood Chemical Biological Center (ECBC) are looking to enhance the performance of paint to protect against additional threats. Global Biodefense >>

Beyond the Iran Nuclear Deal

Iran is a Shiite nation; the Gulf states are majority Sunni, and the closer Iran and the big powers get to a deal the more anxious the Sunni leaders have become. In exchange for limitations on its nuclear program, Iran will be freed from economic sanctions, thus unleashing billions of dollars in frozen assets and new foreign investments. NY Times >>

Bill Introduced For Tech-Transfer Maturation Program

U.S. Senators Martin Heinrich, D-N.M. and Michael Bennet, D-Colo. introduced legislation to launch a new National Laboratory Technology Maturation Program (NLTMP) at DOE to facilitate successful commercialization of laboratory-developed technologies and boost regional, technology-driven economic impacts. Los Alamos Daily Post >>

How Nuclear Realists Falsely Frame the Nuclear Weapons Debate

There has never been as much dissatisfaction with the international framework governing nuclear weapons (the Non-Proliferation Treaty) as there is today. The treaty is being reviewed and debated at the United Nations in New York this month, and for the first time in 35 years there are serious concerns that it might tear apart at the seams. Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists >>

After 36 Years, Nuclear Plant in Tennessee Nears Completion

Tom Wallace started working at the Watts Bar nuclear plant as a young man in 1979, hoping he could eventually become a reactor operator. Mr. Wallace, 55, is still awaiting the plant’s opening 36 years later, one of the longest building projects in the country’s history. NY Times >>

NIOSH Study Confirms Firefighters’ Higher Cancer Risk

A new NIOSH study evaluating firefighters in the statewide California Cancer Registry found they had increased risks for several major cancers, and that black and Hispanic firefighters had increased risks for more types of cancer than white firefighters. For the purposes of the study, only adult male subjects were included. The study identified 3,996 male firefighters with cancer. Occupational Health & Safety >>

Climatologist Alan Robock on the Effects of Geoengineering and Nuclear War

In this interview, Rutgers University climatologist Alan Robock’s biggest fear with regard to geoengineering is that disputes over these questions could escalate into nuclear war which in turn could cause nuclear winter. Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists >>

Airport Security Advances Clash With Privacy Issues

At a mock airport in an underground laboratory here at Northeastern University, students pretending to be passengers head through a security exit in the right direction, while a young man enters going the wrong way. On a nearby computer screen, a newly developed video surveillance software program flags the wayward person and sounds an alarm. NY Times >>

The Company That’s Making Over a Billion Dollars Destroying Chemical WMDs

Last month, in a little-noticed development, the U.S. Department of Defense announced that it has awarded defense contractor Bechtel $1.34 billion in additional funding on a contract “for Agent Operations of the Pueblo Chemical Agent-Destruction Pilot Plant (PCAPP).” Motley Fool >>

Five Million Syrians at High Risk of Explosive Weapons: Study

About 5.1 million Syrians are living in areas at high risk from explosive weapons, some of which fail to detonate and so will pose a deadly threat for years to come, aid group Handicap International said. The global charity examined 78,000 violent incidents in Syria’s war between December 2012 and March 2015 and found that more than 80 percent involved highly destructive weapons like rockets, mortars and bombs, rather than light arms. Reuters >>

Slow Implementation of Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards

The slow implementation of the Chemical Facility Anti-Terrorism Standards (CFATS) in the U.S. as part of homeland security and anti-terrorism measures is leaving chemical plants vulnerable and putting at risk the safety of American citizens, according to research published in the International Journal of Critical Infrastructures Global Biodefense >>

Drawing a Line Between Conventional and Nuclear Weapons in China

The fog of war. In a conflict, it may be difficult for the United States or other adversaries to discriminate between China’s conventional and nuclear forces. An attempt to target conventional missiles may require targeting of bases that also house nuclear missiles, or targeting of centralized support infrastructure such as command and control facilities. Chinese decision makers could misinterpret such targeting as an attempt to preemptively eliminate China’s nuclear force. Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists >>

Inspectors in Syria Find Traces of Banned Military Chemicals

Traces of sarin, a nerve agent, were found in drainage pipes and in artillery shells in two places, and traces of another banned toxin, ricin, were found in a third location, a scientific research center, according to a United Nations diplomat, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss confidential reports from the inspectors. NY Times >>

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