WMD Threat Reduction, Next-Gen 9-1-1, Nuclear Forensics Training

Topics in this issue include next-generation 9-1-1 systems, nuclear forensics summer camp, WMD threat reduction in Kazakhstan, and exploring the wreckage of a nuked naval vessel.

Nuclear Forensics Summer Program Trains Students for a Future in Nuclear Security

A sure sign of summer is the return of interns to the Lawrence Livermore campus. Students interact with premier researchers and access equipment and facilities not available anywhere else, while scientists lay groundwork for advancing their fields. LLNL runs an eight-week summer internship for students interested in nuclear science and its range of specialties — nuclear forensics, environmental radiochemistry, nuclear physics, and beyond. Homeland Security News Wire >>

Experts Speculate on North Korea’s Motive for Ballistic Missile Test

North Korea’s submarine-launched ballistic missile test on Wednesday is prompting analysts in Seoul to speculate about what might have motivated Pyongyang to conduct it. The missile flew 500 kilometers, an apparent leap forward for Pyongyang’s technical efforts to achieve SLBM capability, which it has been pursuing since early 2015. VOA News >>

Paramedics’ Mental Health Paramount

The Government of Ontario is prioritizing mental health for emergency service workers. The province is partnering with the Paramedic Association of Canada (PAC) to support quality mental health standards for its emergency service workers. It’s investing $199,970 to identify and address the psychological strains and resulting impacts on first responders. Bancroft >>

Here Comes a New Chinese Export: Nuclear Reactors

On a seaside field south of Shanghai, workers are constructing a nuclear reactor that’s the flagship for Beijing’s ambition to compete with the U.S., France and Russia as an exporter of atomic power technology. CBS News >>

Uranium Separation Resumes at Savannah River Site

A facility for separating uranium from used research reactor fuel at the DOE’s Savannah River Site in South Carolina has restarted for the first time in five years. The extracted uranium will be used in new fuel for nuclear power plants. In the First Cycle facility in the H Canyon chemical separations plant at SRS, highly-enriched uranium (HEU) from used US and foreign research reactor fuel is separated from the aluminium cladding, fission products and other impurities. World Nuclear News >>

Should America Be the First to Use Nuclear Weapons, Again?

Decades ago, the United States had plans to use nuclear weapons to disrupt or defeat attacking Soviet tanks and troops on the battlefield. But our main hope was that the risk of a nuclear response would deter the Soviet Union from initiating even a conventional attack since that might lead to an all-out nuclear conflict and mutually-assured destruction. Forbes >>

Suicide Bomber Attacks Chinese Embassy in Kyrgyzstan

A suicide bomber has rammed his car into the Chinese embassy in Bishkek, the capital of Kyrgyzstan, injuring at least three employees. Kyrgyzstan’s deputy prime minister, Jenish Razakov, said the bomber had died and three Kyrgyz nationals working as security guards were injured. The Guardian >>

Happy Anniversary, Kazakhstan: 25 Years of Reducing WMD Threats

Today marks a special anniversary for global security: the 25th anniversary of Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev’s closing the Semipalatinsk Nuclear Weapons Test Site, which hosted the first Soviet test of a nuclear weapon in 1949 and 455 follow-on tests. Nazarbayev’s decree began the country’s path away from nuclear weapons and launched what would become two and a half decades of advocacy for the tough task of preventing nuclear and biological warfare. War On The Rocks >>

Watch Experts Explore the Wreckage of a Nuked Aircraft Carrier

An American aircraft carrier that fought in World War II and was then used as a target during postwar atomic testing has been located and explored. The carrier, sunk off the coast of San Francisco, was largely forgotten…until now. Popular Mechanics >>

Feds Look to States for Next Generation 9-1-1 Systems

As the federal government continues to promote FirstNet, the Federal Communications Commission-reserved bandwidth intended to allow first responders like police and fire departments to communicate better with one another, officials in the nation’s capital want states to spearhead the next generation of 9-1-1 emergency call systems and public safety broadband. Nextgov >>

U.S. and Europe Say Assad May Have Kept Some Chemical Weapons

The discoveries of precursors for chemical warfare agents like soman and VX at several undeclared facilities, including two on the outskirts of Damascus, underscored what a 75-page report by the director-general of the OPCW describes as a troubling pattern of incomplete and inaccurate Syrian disclosures over the past three years about the scope of the country’s chemical weapons program. Foreign Policy >>

How Traditional Companies Can Tap Into the Power of Connected Devices

Rezendes and Dell, with some other tech partners, are helping people who are used to delivering key physical products—food, drink, plants—by deploying technologies that might be foreign to them. The idea is to prove that these technologies are affordable to deploy and help small and medium-sized businesses in small and medium-sized towns make money. The port is also deploying sensing gear to detect chemical, biological, radiation, and nuclear (CBRN) threats. Fortune >>

Lockheed Martin Unit to Manage Former Nevada Nuke Test Site

A subsidiary of defense giant Lockheed Martin has been awarded a $5 billion contract to manage a vast federal Department of Energy reservation where the nation used to conduct nuclear testing north of Las Vegas. As the Nevada Test Site, the area hosted more than 1,000 nuclear detonations from 1951 to 1992. Seattle Times >>

Nuclear’s Glacial Pace – There’s a Reason It Takes So Long to Approve a New Reactor Design

Outside of China, nuclear power is expanding nowhere. China has 21 new reactors under construction; Russia has nine, India six. The U.S. is bringing five new plants online, but since 2012, five other reactors have been retired, with seven more to be shuttered by 2019. California’s Diablo Canyon plant recently announced it will close by 2025. With other plants closing in Japan, Germany, and the U.K., more reactors may be decommissioned than built in the near future. So why is this happening? Because it’s expensive and time-consuming to design and build a new nuclear plant, and there are cheaper, easier alternatives. MIT Technology Review >>

Bomb Kills an American Soldier Near Besieged Afghan City

United States soldier was killed by a bomb near the southern Afghan city of Lashkar Gah, officials said on Tuesday, days after more than 100 American soldiers arrived there to help plan the strategic city’s defense against a fierce Taliban assault. In a statement on Tuesday, the United States military said the service member had died of “wounds sustained during operations near Lashkar Gah,” the capital of Helmand Province, when a joint patrol encountered an improvised explosive device. Six Afghan soldiers and another American soldier were wounded in the blast. NY Times >>

Why Baking Soda Can Be Essential for Rescuing Earthquake Survivors

Rescuing survivors buried by Wednesday’s earthquake in central Italy will require more than shovels, backhoes, and sweat: First responders will also rely on a complex bit of chemistry involving baking soda and salt water. That’s because this kind of tragedy creates a cascade of medical issues well beyond broken bones and internal bleeding. One of the most dangerous is kidney failure. STAT >>

Fate of Plutonium at a Former Nuclear Testing Site in Australia

A series of the British nuclear tests conducted on mainland Australia between 1953 and 1963 dispersed long-lived radioactivity and nuclear weapons debris including plutonium (Pu), the legacy of which is a long-lasting source of radioactive contamination to the surrounding biosphere. In this study, researchers identify the chemical form of the Pu remaining in the local soils at the Taranaki site, one of the former nuclear testing sites at Maralinga, South Australia. Environmental Science & Technology >>

Woman Accidentally Poisons Herself with Deadly Chlorine Gas

A Hamilton, Ontario woman accidentally inhaled chlorine gas in her home after she unknowingly created the gas when she mixed several household cleaning agents together.  She was rushed to the hospital is treated for non-life threatening injuries. HazMat Magazine >>

Niagara University Bringing Disability Awareness Training to First Responders

Niagara University is set to deliver disability awareness training to first responders in Missouri and Montana. Contracts with the Missouri Developmental Disabilities Council and the Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services will allow the university to deliver training programs similar to the ones it administers in New York, New Jersey and Arkansas. Niagara Frontier Publications >>

Ghouta Attack: Dad Recalls Sarin Strike That Killed 34 Relatives

Three years ago this week, the former construction worker lost his wife, two daughters and a son when rockets packed with the deadly nerve agent sarin exploded near their home in East Ghouta. Thirty members of Tukhie’s extended family also died in the attack on their rebel-held Damascus suburb, widely believed to have been carried out by forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. NBC News >>

Unpacking Syria’s Chemical Weapons Problem

Recent OPCW reports have highlighted mounting concerns about the gaps in Syria’s declaration of its chemical weapons program. Ambassador Ken Ward, the U.S. representative to the OPCW, said in July 2016 that DAT reports suggest the presence of “five chemical warfare agents—four of which have not been identified or declared by Syria to the OPCW.” He added that the reports “are indicative of production, weaponization, and storage of CW agent by the Syrian military that has never been acknowledged by the Syrian government” and leaves open the possibility that CW agents and munitions have been “illicitly retained by Syria. CSIS >>

Upcoming Events

CBIRF Scarlet Response Exercise

In Pictures: CBIRF Capstone at Guardian Centers

ECBC SK Challenge

Army Explores Use of Unmanned Vehicles to Detect Chem-Bio Threats