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German Bundeswehr CBRN Defense, Self-Healing Protective Clothing, Manhattan Project Legacy

Topics in this issue include self-healing PPE clothing, how to survive a chemical attack, toxic spill drill at Fort Bragg, and North Korea’s nuclear weapons activities.

In This Article

Nuclear Weapons

Nuclear Agency Says Iran Worked on Weapons Design Until 2009

Iran was actively designing a nuclear weapon until 2009, more recently than the United States and other Western intelligence agencies have publicly acknowledged, according to a final report by the United Nations nuclear inspection agency. New York Times >>

Five Takeaways from Report on the Military Dimensions of Iran’s Nuclear Program

Iranians may say the IAEA came to wrong conclusions on several points. Just because some of what the Iranian government did was “relevant” to work on nuclear weapons doesn’t mean that the work actually was aimed at making them. But now that the IAEA has made its assessment, the justification for continued vigilance and concern about Iran’s nuclear intentions should be clear to all. Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists >>

Making Sense of the Military Dimensions of the Iranian Nuclear Program

A report released today by the IAEA assesses that Iran explored multiple activities related to the development of nuclear weapons in a coordinated program that ended in 2003. The Agency concluded, however, that these activities “did not advance beyond feasibility and scientific studies, and the acquisition of certain relevant technical competences and capabilities.” Center for Nonproliferation Studies >>

Three Goals to Accomplish Before the 2016 Nuclear Security Summit

With the March 2016 NSS in Washington quickly approaching, several steps should be taken now to set the stage for the shift to a more sustainable model of nuclear security cooperation: Get more states to ratify the amendment binding them to protect nuclear facilities and material; Increase adherence from nuclear-armed states and others on strengthening nuclear security implementation; Encourage deeper and wider implementation of UNSCR 1540. Brookings >>

Leaving Iran’s Nuclear Past a Mystery

The Iranian nuclear crisis began a decade ago when Tehran’s leaders refused to answer questions from international inspectors about evidence that a secret team of scientists, working in a complex organization that sprawled across military and university laboratories, were experimenting with the technology to build a nuclear weapon. NY Times >>

North Korea Digging New Nuclear-Test Tunnel, Satellite Photos Show

Satellite photographs from October and early November indicate North Korea is digging a new tunnel for nuclear testing, a US research institute said on Wednesday. The images reportedly showed significant construction since April at Punggye-ri, on North Korea’s east coast, where three previous nuclear tests were conducted. The Guardian >>

Nuclear Energy & Radioactive Materials

Testing Finds No Nuke-Disaster Radiation in Alaska Seafood

Alaska seafood has not been tainted by the Fukushima nuclear disaster four years ago, according to test results announced Monday by a state agency. Sampling has never detected radioactive contamination from Fukushima in Alaska, but that has not stopped the rumors. Misinformation spread online has caused much concern in the last four years, said Marlena Brewer, an environmental protection specialist for the Division of Environmental Health. Chem.info >>

India Receives First Uranium Shipment from Canada

In April, Cameco signed a uranium supply contract with India after the nuclear cooperation agreement between Canada and India came into force in September 2013. According to the Canadian government, the contract to supply 7.1 million pounds of uranium concentrate (about 2730 tU) to India’s Department of Atomic Energy was worth around CAD 350 million ($262 million). World Nuclear News >>

US Judge Dismisses Lawsuit Challenging Uranium Mining Ban

A federal judge dismissed a lawsuit challenging Virginia’s 33-year ban on uranium mining Wednesday, delivering a legal blow to a company that already failed to achieve its goal politically. Virginia Uranium is seeking to mine a 119-million-pound deposit of uranium in Pittsylvania County — one of the largest deposits in the world — near the North Carolina border. The company has estimated the market value of the so-called Coles Hill deposit at $6 billion. Chem.info >>

Federal Government’s Responsibilities and Liabilities Under the Nuclear Waste Policy Act

Testimony provides updated information about the federal government’s responsibilities and liabilities under the Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982 (NWPA) and the status and budgetary treatment of the Nuclear Waste Fund. Congressional Budget Office >>

Transporting Spent Nuclear Fuel: How Do We Know It’s Safe?

As the country wrestles with how to manage the highly radioactive fuel left over from generating nuclear power, one question often comes up: how do we know we can transport it safely from reactor sites to other locations for storage, testing or disposal. Nuclear Regulatory Commission >>

Individual Protection

On the Mend — Natick Investigates Self-Healing Protective Clothing

Army researcher Quoc Truong wants to fill in the gaps in soldier protective clothing — literally. Truong is a physical scientist at the U.S. Army Natick Soldier Research, Development and Engineering Center, or NSRDEC. He is collaborating with other researchers at NSRDEC, the University of Massachusetts Lowell, and Triton Systems, Inc., on the technical development of self-healing coatings that contain micro-capsules of healing fluid, which will be used to mend chemical-biological, or CB, protective clothing. Armed with Science >>

Chemical & Biological Defense

Ebola Crisis Passes, but Questions on Quarantines Persist

Interviews with more than a dozen people who either were quarantined or were involved in imposing quarantines revealed troubling details about the steps that were taken. Some said they were left without basic necessities like garbage removal and without psychological support. NY Times >>

Neulasta Approved for Treatment of Acute Radiation Syndrome

NIAID-funded research contributed to the approval of pegfilgrastim for treatment of acute radiation syndrome, which will improve access to the drug in the event of a public health emergency such as a nuclear power plant accident or terrorist attack. Global Biodefense >>

Worst Case Scenario — Surviving A Chemical Weapons Attack

Chemical weapons have been one of many tragic aspects of the war in Syria for years. And now, after the ISIS-led Paris attacks, some U.S. officials are reporting that the terrorist group is plotting to manufacture chemical weapons to use in the EU or U.S. Manufacturing.net >>

Syria is Continuing to Use Chemical Weapons Against its People: Diplomats

Diplomats attending the annual meeting of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) in The Hague, on Monday accused Syrian president Bashar al-Assad of continuing to use deadly gas munitions against his own people, although Syria committed to dismantle and remove all of its stocks of chemical weapons. HSNW >>

Why Stopping Acid Attacks is a Matter of Chemical Weapons Control

The use of acid as part of violent crime is apparently on the rise in the UK, and various efforts are being made to reverse what’s become a very disturbing trend. The Express has launched a petition demanding that “the sale of any acid which could be used as a weapon be properly licensed”. These campaigns are noble enough – but they raise some rather difficult questions. The Conversation >>

The Manhattan Project legacy: A response to Richard Rhodes

“Rhodes is right that we need the Manhattan Project National Historical Park. The places it preserves certainly changed the human world forever. He is wrong, however, to assert at this point in time that they changed the world for the better. Based as it is on a biased and unsupported interpretation of our atomic history, his assertion is unsurprising.” Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists >>

Innocence Slaughtered: Book launch at the OPCW

At a lunch-time side event at the OPCW Headquarters during the Conference of the States Parties to the Chemical Weapons Convention in The Hague, the book Innocence Slaughtered was presented to an audience of some 40 people. The Trench >>

Border Security

Major Reorganization at CBP: Two New Offices Created

In the wake of an unprecedented scandal, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has proposed significant organizational structure changes, including creation of new offices of Operations Support and Enterprise Services. HSNW >>

EOD, C-IED & Counter-Mine

Nearly 120 Unexploded Ordnance Defused in Azerbaijan in Nov

The Azerbaijan National Agency for Mine Action (ANAMA) defused 5,032,184 square meters of the country’s territory in November, ANAMA said Dec.3. ANAMA detected and defused 118 unexploded ordnance (UXOs) in November. Some 488 sappers, 112 assistants, six mechanical mine clearing machines and 36 mine-detection dogs are involved in mine clearing operations. Trend.Az >>

Remembering Sandy Berger and the Day He Saved the World

It was early in the morning of July 4, 1999 and President Bill Clinton was convening his national-security team in the Oval Office. Pakistan and India were at war and Nawaz Sharif, the prime minister of Pakistan, was across Pennsylvania Avenue at Blair House asking for Clinton’s help. Brookings >>

Unsatisfying Outcome on Iran’s Nuclear Past No Reason to Derail Current Deal

With the International Atomic Energy Agency days away from issuing its “final assessment” regarding the “possible military dimensions” (PMD) of Iran’s past nuclear activities, this long-running issue will soon come to a head. The outcome will almost surely be messy and inconclusive, not pleasing to any of the parties concerned. Brookings >>

Training & Readiness

Fort Bragg Doctors, Soldiers Take Part in Toxic Spill Drill

As a tragedy played out on the other side of the nation, doctors and soldiers at Fort Bragg prepared for their own worst-case scenario. The mass casualty exercise at Womack Army Medical Center coincided with the deadly attack in San Bernardino, California, by pure chance, but hospital officials said the real world shooting, in which at least 14 people were killed and more than a dozen others injured, helped put the training exercise on Fort Bragg into focus. Emergency Management >>

The German Bundeswehr CBRN Defense Command

The BwCBRNDCmd comprises of the Headquarters, located at Bruchsal (between Heidelberg and Karlsruhe), two regular CBRN Defence Battalions, located at Bruchsal and Höxter (south of Hannover), two non-active battalions at the same places, and the CBRN Defense, Safety and Environmental Protection School in Sonthofen, Bavaria. Additionally, the German Detachment to the Joint CBRN Defense Centre of Excellence, located in the Czech Republic is subordinated for national issues to the command. CBRNe Portal >>

Counter-Terrorism

EU Sets Detailed, Europe-Wide Anti-Radicalization Agenda

Among the proposals: prisons in which radicalization takes place will have added educational and vocational training offered to inmates, and inmates will be more tightly supervised; adoption of a uniform, legally binding definition of terrorism; terrorist organizations would be placed under judicial and administrative control upon return to their home countries; and the creation of EU Passenger Name Records (PNR). HSNW >>

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