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Smart Protective Fabrics, Concealed Nuclear Device Detection, Laser Chemical Detection

Topics in this issue include concealed nuclear weapon detection, risk of terrorist attacks on nuclear plants, smart fabrics for CBRN protection, and creating an EU counterterrorism agency.

Improving Detection of Concealed Nuclear Materials

Researchers have demonstrated proof of concept for a novel low-energy nuclear reaction imaging technique designed to detect the presence of “special nuclear materials” — weapons-grade uranium and plutonium — in cargo containers arriving at U.S. ports. The method relies on a combination of neutrons and high-energy photons to detect shielded radioactive materials inside the containers. HSNW >>

Unique Gloves Give EMTs Protection and Performance When Seconds Count

Car crashes, natural disasters, and acts of violence will continue to create demand for the quick reaction and competent care provided by emergency medical personnel. More than 241,200 EMTs and Paramedics make up this distinguished group and each day, we depend on these individuals to save lives. While many use hospital-grade exam gloves, having the right kind of gloves designed to stand-up to the rigors of the field is critical to protect patients and personnel. Medical Design Technology >>

DoD Medical Countermeasure Systems Broad Agency Announcement

Overseen by the DoD’s Joint Program Executive Office for Chemical and Biological Defense (JPEO-CBD), Joint Project Manager Medical Countermeasure Systems (JPM-MCS), the BAA program funds solutions for current, near-term, and far-term health security challenges by providing the capability to prevent, diagnose and treat the effects of CBRN warfare agents. Global Biodefense >>

LGS Innovations Wins $11.2M Contract to Develop Laser for Detecting Chemical Residue

LGS Innovations announced April 18 it has been awarded a four-year, $11.2M cost-plus-fixed-fee contract to develop a compact, laser-based system to aid in the detection of chemical weapons, biological agents, explosives, narcotics and chemical indicators of nuclear material development. Washington Exec >>

Punggye-ri Nuclear Test Site: Limited Activity Continues

ROK President Park Geun-hye and the Ministry of National Defense have strongly suggested that North Korea will soon conduct a fifth nuclear test, based on what has been reported as a significant up-tic in activity at the Punggye-ri nuclear test site in the run-up to the Party Congress in May. Recent commercial satellite imagery shows very limited activity at the site and key areas are clear of snow and being maintained. 38 North >>

Chernobyl: New Tomb Will Make Site Safe for 100 Years

Thirty years after the Chernobyl nuclear accident, there’s still a significant threat of radiation from the crumbling remains of Reactor 4. But an innovative, €1.5 billion super-structure is being built to prevent further releases, giving an elegant engineering solution to one of the ugliest disasters known to man. The Conversation >>

Combined Joint Operations Center Keeps Eyes on ISIL

From the outside, the Baghdad Combined Joint Operations Center doesn’t look like much. The center is in a large room in a nondescript building at the headquarters of Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve. But step inside and all that changes. U.S. Department of Defense >>

Petrochemical Plant Blast Kills 3, Injures Dozens in Mexico

An explosion ripped through a petrochemical plant on the southern coast of the Gulf of Mexico on Wednesday, killing three people, injuring more than 100 and sending a toxin-filled cloud into the air, officials said. State oil company Petroleos Mexicanos said 136 workers were hurt and three died in the midafternoon blast in the industrial port city of Coatzacoalcos. Seattle Times >>

A Stunning San Francisco Sunset Looks Like a Nuclear Nightmare

Seeing this incandescent mushroom cloud over the Pacific, one might think a nuclear sub had accidentally exploded, a shockwave only seconds away from pounding the coast. But in reality it’s the everyday sun, captured in weird glory (along with a nifty Easter egg) by San Francisco resident Mila Zinkova. CityLab >>

One Million UK Citizens a Year Will Get Terror Attack Training

UK police plan to train a million people who work in crowded places on what to do in the event of a major terrorist attack, over the next 12 months. The plan, which will be announced by the National Association of Police Chiefs at the annual Security and Counter Terrorism Expo in London on Wednesday, comes as NATO and European Union (EU) chiefs warn there is a “justified concern” that the Islamic State (IS) group is planning biological and/or nuclear attacks on Europe. VICE News >>

North Korea’s Nuclear Insecurity Summit

North Korea is preparing to detonate yet another nuclear device, the second such test this year and the fifth overall. Although some feared an atmospheric test, the plan appears to call for another underground blast, thereby limiting most of the fallout to heavy-handed messaging from Pyongyang. Domestic audiences, elite and popular alike, should pick up on the narrative that Kim Jong Un is the mightiest of all the Kim family dictators. War on the Rocks >>

Obama’s Former Middle East Adviser: We Should Have Bombed Assad

A couple of weeks ago, I was talking with Philip Gordon, who held the Middle East portfolio at the National Security Council from 2013 to 2015 (and before that, served as assistant secretary of state for European affairs) about my Atlantic article, “The Obama Doctrine.” The piece tried to explain how the president understands the world, and America’s role in it. The Atlantic >>

Feds: No Nuke Waste to Be Used in Possible South Dakota Test

Organizers of a federal effort to assess whether nuclear waste can be stored in 3-mile-deep holes are trying to better explain their intentions to South Dakota residents after getting rebuffed in North Dakota over concerns that waste might eventually be stored there. Seattle Times >>

Southwest Border Security Threat Assessment Act of 2016

H.R. 4482 would require the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to conduct an analysis of potential threats and security gaps along the southwest border of the United States. The bill also would require DHS, not later than June 30, 2017, to issue a strategic plan to protect U.S. borders. Congressional Budget Office >>

Four Companies to Help Detect Chemical Weapons Under $11.2M Contract

Four companies have won a four-year $11.2 million contract to develop a system to help detect chemical weapons for the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity. Under the contract, the companies will develop solutions capable of detecting trace chemical residues on surfaces from up to 30 meters using infrared spectroscopy. Washington Technology >>

3D Printing Synthetic Bones for Blast Injury Research

Imperial College London were funded by the Centre for Defence Enterprise (CDE) to develop 3D-printed physical representations of lower limb bones, including realistic internal structures, for use in assessing blast injuries. So far, individual 3D-printed lower limb nylon surrogates have been tested and found to fracture in a similar way to human bones. Gov.UK >>

CRADA Boom Sets Records, Forges Ties at Sandia Labs

Sandia National Laboratories entered into a vast array of new Cooperative Research and Development Agreements (CRADA) in the past three years, bringing dozens of new partners to the labs. “This is a great mechanism for getting national laboratory technology into the private sector,” said Sandia CRADA specialist Jason Martinez. Sandia Labs >>

The Nuclear Deal with Iran: The Final Step or a New Stage?

Of particular value for Western readers is the analysis of Russia’s conflicting interests regarding the implications of the nuclear deal with Iran and the rationale that lay behind Moscow’s ultimate choice to support the conclusion of the JCPOA. Those motives are all the more important because they provided a workable framework for U.S.-Russian cooperation on this singular problem even amid an atmosphere of increasingly tough confrontation and competition in Europe and beyond in the aftermath of the Ukraine crisis. Carnegie Moscow >>

Pics of The Day: What’s Happening at Chernobyl, 30 Years Later

Next week will mark the 30 year anniversary of the Chernobyl meltdown in Ukraine. After the plant’s No. 4 reactor exploded in 1986, the entire surrounding city of Pripyat was evacuated, leaving an eerie ghost town like nowhere else in the world. But work around the nuclear plant never stopped, and recently entered an urgent new phase. Chem.info >>

Overview of Acquisition of Morpho Detection by Smiths Group

Slideshow covering the strategic highlights of Smiths Group’s acquisition of Morpho Detection. Smiths Detection >>

The Military Wants a Privacy Firewall for Disaster Response

When disaster strikes on U.S. soil, first responders are learning to look at tweets and Instagram posts to learn what areas are hardest hit, where the danger has passed, and where it is going. But should U.S. troops join that effort, privacy laws would quickly snarl efforts to share helpful bits from social media. Nextgov >>

Belgium Turns Down Germany’s Request to Shutter Two Aging Belgian Nuclear Plants

Belgium on Wednesday turned down a request by Germany to shut down two ageing nuclear power near the German-Belgium border. Belgium said the two plants, while old, still meet the strictest safety standards. Both the Doel and Tihange power stations, in operation since 1974, were scheduled to be shut down and decommissioned in 2015. HSNW >>

Sentinel Maps North Korean Nuclear Blast Aftermath

The ground convulsion resulting from North Korea’s underground nuclear bomb test in January has been mapped by Europe’s Sentinel-1a radar satellite. The EU spacecraft uses a technique called interferometry to sense surface movements. Its data shows rock above the blast zone going down by up to 7cm in one area and rising 2-3cm in another. The imagery was released by Germany’s Institute for Geosciences and Natural Resources (BGR). BBC >>

Should Shooter of Md. Firefighter-Paramedic Be Charged with a Crime?

Last Friday, firefighter-paramedic John Ulmschneider and firefighter Kevin Swain were shot after forcing entry into a home for a welfare check. Ulmschneider died from his injures and Swain, 19, is recovering. EMS 1 asked readers if the killer of firefighter-paramedic should be charged with a crime. EMS 1 >>

Time for an EU Counterterrorism Agency

During the Globsec conference on April 15–17, the audience was asked whether it was time for the EU to have its own intelligence agency. Over two-thirds voted yes. Almost half of those respondents said any such agency should be under the control of the European Parliament. Of those who voted no, most believed it was up to the EU member states to deal with intelligence and counterterrorism issues. Carnegie Europe >>

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