School Emergency Preparedness, Singapore CBRN Defense

Topics in this issue include preparedness for terrorist chemical attacks; school emergency response plans; Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty; and Singapore’s CBRN defense forces.

Australian Troops Are Prepared for Chemical Attacks by ISIS

Australian forces in air and training missions in the Middle East are prepared for chemical weapon attacks by Isis, as coalition forces warn of an increased threat. “The one area that we have increased our force protection that’s been an emerging threat … is the use of some limited chemical weapons by Daesh,” said Australian defense chief, Mark Binskin. The Guardian >>

Examining the Turkish Sarin “Recipe”

Recently, two Turkish deputies of the opposition CHP party have claimed that the Turkish government procured the Sarin nerve agent that was used in the 21 August 2013 chemical attack near Damascus. These allegations are similar to those made by Seymour Hersh in a series of articles in London Review of Books. Bellingcat >>

Missouri Students Prepare for Disasters with Readycampus

MU’s ReadyCampus event coincided with the release of MU’s updated “GoMizzou” app for smartphones and tablets. The update included emergency alerts and information for students related to threats and hazards on campus. FEMA >>

Dem Wants Emergency Responders On Drone Registration Panel

Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.) is pushing for emergency responders to be included in a task force that is crafting a new registration system for drones, saying that emergency responders should be included because the number of reports of drones interfering with firefighters who are combating wild fires has increased dramatically in recent months. The Hill >>

Blue Grass Army Depot Chemical Weapons Destruction Facility Completed

The chemical weapons destruction facility at the Blue Grass Army Depot has completed construction. It’s taken nearly a decade to build. The facility will process more than 85,000 chemical weapons containing mustard agents, and Sarin and VX nerve agents. The warheads have been stored here for decades – some dating back to the 1940s. WKYT Kentucky >>

Apps Can Play a Major Role in School Emergency Response Plans

Mobile devices are an ideal way to disseminate fully customizable information regarding emergencies at K-12 school districts or on university campuses. From first aid guides to fire drill and evacuation procedures, mobile apps can present school officials, parents and students with step-by-step instructions, fast reporting capabilities and comprehensive information for maintaining safe schools. Emergency Management >>

North Korea Digging Tunnel at Nuclear Test Site, Possibly for Future Test

North Korea is digging a new tunnel at its nuclear test site with an eye to conducting more tests of atomic devices in the future, a South Korean news report said on Friday. The site is on North Korea’s east coast where three previous nuclear tests were conducted, and there’s an active movement of workers and vehicles working on a new tunnel. Reuters >>

Missouri Tornado Experience Mental Health Reactions 6 Months and 2.5 Years Post-Event

On May 22, 2011, “one of the most devastating tornadoes” in U.S. history struck Joplin, Missouri 1 killing 161 people and injuring approximately 1,150 individuals. Beyond the physical, environmental, and economic toll of the Joplin tornado, catastrophic disasters such as this event cause mental health problems for individuals who experience the disaster directly or live in the affected community. PLOS Currents Disasters >>

Life and Death in a Minefield with Kilo Two Bravo

Kilo Two Bravo is the Americanized title of the British film Kajaki, originally released in the United Kingdom last year. The film adapts the true story of a small British Army unit that goes on a mission to shut down a Taliban checkpoint in September 2006. Instead they set off a landmine and subsequently struggle to limit the damage and save the wounded. War on the Rocks >>

Counting the Costs on Advanced Reactor Reviews

Some people interpreted a DOE presentation on the Next Generation Nuclear Plant project as saying it costs $800 million to receive a final certification or license from the NRC. The bulk of that $800 million, however, falls outside of NRC fees and would be made up of the designer’s costs to develop and test its design to ensure that it works as planned. U.S. NRC >>

Decades After U.S. Nuclear Bombs Fell in Spanish Countryside, Cleanup Goes On

Nearly a half-century after a midair plane collision sent U.S. nuclear bombs tumbling down onto the Spanish countryside, the two governments are still trying to clean up the radioactive mess the accident left behind. Two American military aircraft, a B-52 bomber and a KC-135 refueling plane, crashed into each other above the rural village of Palomares in southeastern Spain on January 17, 1966. CNN >>

Retired Dow Employees Blame Radiation Exposure for Cancer

Two former employees of a St. Louis-area Dow Chemical plant say that they developed multiple cancers following exposure to radioactive materials while on the job. Bill Hoppe and Don Thompson — who’s now an alderman for nearby Granite City, Illinois — told the Belleville News-Democrat that they worked with elements such as beryllium, cadmium, lithium and uranium with little or no protective gear. >>

A Legacy of Land Mines in Colombia

The locals call them “leg breakers,” but that’s an understatement. The land mines that dot Colombia’s mountainsides do far more damage. One wrong move and a leg is gone. Or an arm. Or an eye. No one knows when or where the next bomb will go off, who might get hurt from the blast, who might die. After five decades of civil war, a war so old that more than half the population of Colombia hadn’t been born when it started, people just want to ignore it. NY Times >>

Turbulent Times for Brazil’s Nuclear Projects

Since 2014, Brazil has experienced the fallout from an all-encompassing high-level corruption investigation, with accusations of corruption leveled at leading figures.  Navy Admiral Othon Luiz Pinheiro da Silva was one among many high-profile heavyweights under investigation, but his arrest surprised me the most. There is no one more central to Brazil’s nuclear politics, both past and present, than he is, and Othon’s name is almost mythical among those who follow Brazil’s nuclear trajectory. Carnegie Endowment >>

Bechtel and Partners Move Toward Destroying U.S. Chemical Weapons

Bechtel joined its partners and the U.S. DoD to mark the construction of a plant designed to destroy the last U.S. stockpile of chemical weapons. The plant is designed to use an alternative method to destroy the weapons. Instead of incineration, the plant will use different chemicals to neutralize the agents, and then use supercritical water oxidation to break down hazardous chemicals. UPI >>

A New Push for the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty?

“Realists” represent arms control treaties as deals—negotiated accommodations of interests. But treaties also implicitly tell stories. They embody narratives of how we can make the world a better place. These narratives become compelling if they seem simultaneously hopeful and realistic. Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists >>

IAEA Helps Strengthen Rules Against Dumping of Radioactive Materials at Sea

Although the practice of dumping radioactive waste into the oceans disappeared in the early 1990s, materials containing minimal levels of radioactivity are still allowed and regulated. IAEA >>

Russia Plans to Completely Destroy Chemical Weapons by 2020

Russia has already destroyed more than 91 percent of its chemical weapons stocks but will not make the 2012 target deadline for complete destruction, stated the OPCW. Russia plans to shut down the Leonidovka plant in the Penza region and the Pochep plant in the Bryansk region by the end of November as part of the overall plan to meet the adjusted deadline of 2020.  International Business Times >>

Australia Could Store Nuclear Waste for Other Countries, Malcolm Turnbull Says

Australia should “look closely” at expanding its role in the global nuclear energy industry, including leasing fuel rods to other countries and then storing the waste afterwards, Malcolm Turnbull has said. The Guardian >>

It Is Time for the U.S. Military to Innovate Like Insurgents

These three Army captains built a gun that kills drones. It took them ten hours and cost $150. What can the Army learn from them? War on the Rocks >>

Singapore CBRN Defense

The Singapore Civil Defense Force (SCDF) is a uniformed organization under the purview of the Ministry of Home Affairs whose main role is mitigating hazardous materials incidents, as well as providing fire-fighting, rescue and emergency medical services. The SCDF focuses on four pillars when it comes to its roles and functions. CBRNe Portal >>

Upcoming Events

National Infrastructure Simulation and Analysis Center

PNNL Supports National Critical Infrastructure Security

CBRN Troops from Romania Conduct Decontamination

In Pictures: Romanian Troop Personnel Decontamination