Nuclear Detection Architecture Improvements, Military Blast Exposures, 9-1-1 Training Guidelines

Topics in this issue include global nuclear detection architecture, chemical weapons destruction plant costs, radiation countermeasures, and assessing the threat of nuclear terrorism.

New Gloves for First Responders Make It Easier to Identify Breaches

Halyard Health, formerly Kimberly-Clark Health Care, has launched a new exam glove for EMS professionals and law enforcement personnel. The BLACK-FIRE Powder-Free Nitrile Exam Glove with QUICK CHECK breach detection technology is a dual-purpose glove with both a black side and a high-visibility orange side to quickly identify breaches in protection caused by cuts and tears, and to help reduce the risk of cross-contamination and infection. Government Security News >>

H.R. 5391, Gains in Global Nuclear Detection Architecture Act

This bill would direct the Domestic Nuclear Detection Office in the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to improve the documentation and evaluation of research and development projects. The department is currently carrying out activities similar to those required by the bill, and CBO estimates that implementing H.R. 5391 would not significantly affect DHS spending. Congressional Budget Office >>

Repairs at Chemical Weapons Plant Likely to Cost About $20M

An official says it is expected to cost about $20 million to make repairs at a central Kentucky chemical weapons destruction plant. Bechtel Parsons Blue Grass, the general contractor for the plant in Madison County, said it is seeking compensation from General Atomics of San Diego for the cost to replace piping with deficient welds since the welds were done by a subcontractor for that company. Mercury News >>

Crews Respond to Chemical Spill in Quaker Valley HS Classroom

Quaker Valley High School in Leetsdale was evacuated at about 12:45 Thursday afternoon after a chemical spill in a classroom, district spokeswoman Angela Yingling said. Formaldehyde and two forms of xylene mixed in a third-floor science lab, Leetsdale fire Chief Ernie Logan said. Nobody was injured. Trib Live >>

Battelle Team to Develop Medical Wrap for Severely Injured Limbs

The moments following a traumatic injury are surreal. One minute, life is normal; the next, everything pivots to a new reality. This is especially true in the military, when battlefield wounds happen in a blink. Sometimes, military injuries are even worse because the tools to help save severely injured limbs can be as rudimentary as plastic wrap or water-soaked bandages. Medical Design Technology >>

Is a Nuclear-Armed Japan Inconceivable?

Would it be better for the United States if Japan had nuclear weapons? That is what Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump suggested, contrary to nearly seventy years of U.S foreign policy, that a nuclear Japan would be preferable. In an interview with The New York Times, he stated, “you have, probably, North Korea has them…And, would I rather have North Korea have them with Japan sitting there having them also? You may very well be better off if that’s the case.” War on the Rocks >>

A New Checklist to Help Firefighters Prevent Cardiac Disease

Some of the nation’s leading experts in the area of firefighting and heart disease have come up with a new checklist to help firefighters keep their hearts healthy. With 50 percent of all line-of-duty deaths being blamed on heart disease, there may be no greater priority than prevention. That’s why the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation (NFFF) brought firefighters, researchers and physicians together in Washington, DC, for the Heart to Heart meeting. Everyone Goes Home >>

NNSA’s Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation Leaders Gather in Nation’s Capital

Recently, the NNSA held the fourth meeting of the Office of Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation Science Council in Washington, DC. The Science Council provides a way for senior-level leadership from NNSA headquarters and the labs, plants, and sites to share information and discuss strategies to advance its nuclear nonproliferation mission. NNSA >>

Top Management Must Lead for Nuclear and Radiation Safety

Senior executives of any organization or facility involved in activities that could give rise to radiation risks must provide leadership and management for safety, according to an updated IAEA General Safety Requirements publication, adopted as an IAEA safety standard by the Board of Governors on 7 June 2016. IAEA >>

NFPA Helps Develop Recommended Minimum Training Guidelines for 9-1-1 Telecommunicators

A broad swath of relevant organizations, including NFPA, have developed a new set of recommended minimum training guidelines for 9-1-1 call-takers and dispatchers, as part of a three-year collaborative effort facilitated by the National 9-1-1 Program. NFPA Blog >>

Japanese Research Reactor Materials Arrives in USA

A shipment of plutonium and highly enriched uranium from Japan Atomic Energy Agency’s (JAEA) Fast Critical Assembly reactor has arrived at two US Department of Energy sites. Japan and the USA announced their commitment to remove the material at 2014 and 2016 nuclear summits. World Nuclear News >>

WMD Expert: Tolerance of Assad’s Renewed Chemical Attacks Marks “Milestone” in Their Use

The latest reported use of chemical weapons by the Iran-backed regime of Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad represents a “milestone” in global tolerance of their deployment, a top expert on Middle Eastern biological and chemical warfare warned on Tuesday. The Tower >>

UVA Researchers Identify Potential Countermeasures for Radiation Exposure

University of Virginia School of Medicine researchers have identified promising drugs that could lead to the first antidote for radiation exposure that might result from a dirty bomb terror attack or a nuclear accident such as Fukushima. Global Biodefense >>

Shrugging Shoulders, Holding Noses on Passage of TSCA Reform Bill

A major health and environmental law is headed to the President’s desk for his signature. The Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety Act passed the US Senate this week by a bipartisan voice vote, and earlier passed the House by an overwhelming 403-12 margin. Science magazine’s Puneet Kollipara wrote the new law. The Pump Handle >>

Blasts May Cause Novel Damage to Soldiers’ Brains, Study Suggests

Researchers have identified a new pattern of brain damage in soldiers exposed to explosions, offering insights into how such blasts may damage the brain, according to a study published Thursday in The Lancet Neurology. STAT News >>

On the Brink of Oblivion

Our planet today faces two existential dangers: an impending climate catastrophe, and the very real possibility of a nuclear calamity. Both of these dangers arise from human activity and are thus within our capacity to address. And both challenges are interconnected and require a new attitude that recognizes our common interests and need to cooperate. Public awareness and political will must be raised to levels commensurate with the threat. U.S. News >>

Some U.S. Nuke Testing Sites Are Now Less Radioactive Than Central Park

The Marshall Islands were one of the United States’s go-to nuclear testing sites in the 1940s and 1950s: Sixty-seven of the almost 200 tests during that period took place in these remote Pacific islands. Now, almost 60 years after the last bomb dropped, some of the islands abandoned because of the testing may finally be ready for humans to move back. That could be a relief for the Marshallese who are squeezed onto several unaffected—but increasingly overcrowded—islands. Science >>

We Must Face Up to the Threat of Nuclear Terrorism

“We live in uncertain and troubling times. We are rightly on red alert against the threat of what has now become conventional terrorist acts of indiscriminate suicide bombings, gun and knife attacks. But we are seemingly blind to the much more catastrophic and all too real threat of nuclear weapons falling into the hands of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and other terrorist groups.” The Telegraph >>

Upcoming Events

U.S. Senate’s passage of the Frank R. Lautenberg Chemical Safety for the 21st Century Act

Scientists Applaud Passage of Lautenberg Chemical Safety Act

Notable Homeland Security Contracts

Army Awards 32.8M Route Clearance Equipment Contract