CBRNE Particles – RadWaste, Smart Firefighting, and Domestic Preparedness Capabilities

Topics in this issue include cooperation on radwaste, smart firefighting, realities of National Guard DomPrep capabilities, and Putin’s nuclear rhetoric.

ECBC Scientists Testing Fabric for New Warfighter Uniforms

The new uniform is designed to decrease thermal burden to the Warfighter, while maintaining the same or better protection against chemical agents. Different fabrics may be used in the uniform based on where heat is more common, like the chest and groin area; but a greater protection factor is needed for places where the Warfighter is likely to come in contact with agent, such as on the shoulders, elbows or knees. ECBC >>

Is ISIL a Radioactive Threat?

Is there a real potential that ISIL could produce a “dirty bomb” and inflict radiation casualties and property damage in the United States, Europe, or any other state that might oppose ISIL as part of the recently formed U.S.-led coalition? What are the confirmed facts? What are reasonable assumptions about the situation in ISIL-controlled areas and what is a realistic assessment of the level of possible threat? Center for Nonproliferation Studies >>

Seeing is Believing – LAPD HMU Gets Close Look in the HotZone

The HMU has run thousands of white powder letter calls over the years and is also a component of the Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF) which includes the Federal Bureau of Investigation and other agencies responsible for investigating domestic terrorism involving Nuclear, Biological and Chemical WMD’s. Hazmat Nation >>

Syria: Barrage of Barrel Bombs Destroys MSF Health Facility

Busra/Aleppo, Syria – Busra hospital, in Dara’a governorate, was destroyed after being hit by ten barrel bombs on Monday night. It is one of ten medical facilities that have been targeted in the past month. Busra hospital was the only health facility providing neonatal and dialysis services in Dara’a. MSF >>

Underground Explosives Tests Help U.S. Detection Capabilities

Three weeks ago, a team led by the National Nuclear Security Administration successfully conducted the fourth in a series of experiments designed to improve the U.S. ability to detect underground nuclear explosions. The Source Physics Experiment (SPE-4 Prime) is a fundamental step forward in the U.S. effort to improve arms control verification, and will eventually be used to assure compliance with the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty. HSNW >>

Russia and Norway Further Safety and Radwaste Cooperation

Russia and Norway plan to sign a protocol soon on early notification in the event of a nuclear accident, Russian state nuclear corporation Rosatom said yesterday. The statement followed a meeting of the Russian-Norwegian commission on nuclear and radiation safety held in the Norwegian town of Kirkenes. World Nuclear News >>

Putin’s Nuclear Saber-Rattling: What Is He Compensating For?

The U.S. has no particular reason for alarm about new nuclear missiles announced by Putin, provided that Russia remains within the limits of the 2010 New Strategic Arms Reduction Treaty (New START). As the Russian military receives new missiles, it will retire a lot of old missiles. More worrisome than the new missiles is the fact that Putin, once again, seemed to feel a need to rattle his nuclear saber. Brookings >>

DoD Backs Rapid Development of Q Fever Vaccine

Scientists are working to develop an entirely new type of vaccine against Q fever, a NIAID Category B Priority Pathogen animal-borne disease and potential bioagent, which has infected a significant number of U.S. troops stationed in Iraq and Afghanistan. Global Biodefense >>

Syrian Doctors Detail Horror of Chemical Weapons Attacks to Congress

Syrian doctors and war-trauma specialists presented evidence of continued chemical and barrel bombs attacks on Syrian civilians in an address to the House Foreign Affairs Committee Wednesday and asked for assistance in implementing a no-fly zone over the country. Newsweek >>

Protecting Nuclear Sanity

The threat of nuclear war between Russia and the West, long relegated to Cold War history, reappeared last year as the crisis in East-West relations escalated. Russian strategic bombers now fly long-range patrols near the coast of the US and its NATO allies, while Russian missile tests and military exercises involving simulated use of nuclear weapons raise the specter of nuclear war. The US responds as its defense analysts discuss options for boosting nuclear deterrence in Europe to counter Russian threats. Carnegie Moscow Center >>

Why the U.S. Should Invest a Lot More in Nuclear Research

The theoretical benefits of non-standard nuclear technologies are very great, but these technologies are not currently in a workable form. Thus, more research could pay off handsomely. The Department of Energy is moving in just this direction, with 60M recently awarded towards new nuclear research. That’s a good step, but an insufficient one. We ought to be doing much more. The Week >>

New System for Large-Scale Chemical Agent Testing

Using custom-designed temperature and humidity controls, the Non-Traditional Agent Defense Test System (NTADTS) can simulate almost all operational conditions from the Arctic to the Persian Gulf. The system’s large chamber allows entire systems, rather than just components, to become fully immersed in a chemical atmosphere – the operationally relevant conditions necessary prior to fielding. Global Biodefense >>

EBRD Sets Up New Fund for Central Asia’s Uranium Mining Legacy

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) is setting up a new fund to deal with the legacy of Soviet-era uranium mining and processing in the Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. Central Asia served as an important source of uranium in the former Soviet Union. This led to a large amount of radioactive contaminated material from the mining industry being placed in mining waste dumps and tailing sites. Most of the mines were closed by 1995 but very little remediation was done. EBRD >>

The History & Reality of the National Guard

The Maryland National Guard was recently activated to quell the riot-induced violence in Baltimore. The National Guard’s roles, responsibilities, powers, and chain of command differ significantly from other military components in that they provide military services to support overwhelmed civil authorities under the command and control of the state governor. Domestic Preparedness >>

Iran’s Nuclear Past Should Not Scuttle a Deal for its Future

U.S. intelligence agencies believe that Iran conducted research on nuclear weapon designs before 2003. The publicly available evidence is mostly circumstantial, but it is fairly strong. It appears to most experts that Iran — spurred to action when Iraq invaded in 1980 — worked on warhead design, triggering mechanisms for a nuclear bomb and other weapons-related research. Defense One >>

As Vladimir Putin Talks More Missiles and Might, Cost Tells Another Story

In a sprawling park 30 miles outside Moscow, President Vladimir V. Putin welcomed the country’s first high-tech military exposition on Tuesday, announcing in his opening remarks that Russia would add 40 new intercontinental ballistic missiles to its nuclear stockpile this year. NY Times >>

Coastal and Shipping States Conduct Exercise Simulating Maritime Transport Emergency

Radioactive cargo, such as irradiated nuclear fuel and radioactive waste, is often shipped by sea for long haul destinations. Maritime shipping is a safe and effective mode of transport, and an emergency at sea is highly unlikely. Nevertheless, policymakers have increasingly become aware of the need to be prepared for such a low probability event. A tabletop exercise held at the IAEA this week allowed experts from 17 countries to practice international cooperation in the event of a nuclear emergency at sea. IAEA >>

Research Roadmap for Smart Fire Fighting

The roadmap report charts steps toward overcoming technical obstacles so that interconnected technologies, known collectively as cyber-physical systems, or CPS, can be harnessed to significantly improve fire protection and fire-fighting capabilities. NFPA Today >>

Could Low-Enriched Uranium Be Used in Naval Reactors? Don’t Ask the Navy

Naval propulsion reactors account for the largest non-weapons use of highly enriched uranium (HEU) in the world. The largest stores of naval propulsion fuel are in the United States, the Russian Federation, and the United Kingdom. Using low-enriched uranium (LEU) for naval propulsion reactors would allow a significant reduction in non-weapons stocks of HEU and would have significant positive impacts on global nonproliferation and counterterrorism efforts. Center for Nonproliferation Studies >>

Events Set for Chemical Corps Week

The U.S. Army Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear School will host the annual Chemical Regimental week, from Saturday through June 27 at Fort Leonard Wood. This year’s theme is “Dragon Soldiers — America’s CBRN Counterforce.” >>

Fiber-Optic Environmental Radiation Dosimeter

A technology transfer opportunity from the Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) is described as an all-optical, fiber-optic-coupled remote radiation sensor using NRL’s luminescent, copper-doped quartz material.  The key to the technology is the doped quartz material, which produces a luminescence signal that is directly proportional to the radiation dose. FLC Newslink >>

Notable Contracts: Chemical Biological Protective Shelters

Smiths Detection Inc. has received a 27.7M follow-on production order from the Department of the Army for Chemical Biological Protective Shelters (CBPS). The specialized mobile medical shelters are designed to military specifications, are highly resistant to chemical and biological threats and can be used in natural disasters and other emergencies, such as a potential terrorist attack response. Global Biodefense >>

CBRN Intelligence and Information Sharing Act of 2015

Last week the House Homeland Security Committee report on HR 2200, the CBRN Intelligence and Information Sharing Act of 2015, was published. The amended version of the bill was also published. Chemical Facility Security News >>

Obama’s Nuclear Dream Fizzles

Even in an administration full of audacious hope, the nuclear arms agenda of President Barack Obama stood out—he came out strong in 2009, declaring America’s commitment “to seek the peace and security of a world without nuclear weapons.” His energetic embrace of nuclear disarmament was cited as part of his Nobel Peace Prize that year, and his announcement in Prague of a commitment to lock down vulnerable nuclear explosives all over the world within four years, to keep them away from terrorists, was attention-getting and audacious. Politico >>

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