Special Operations CWMD, Army HazMat Training, North Korea Suspends Nuclear Testing

CBRNE Particles News Scan Top StoriesTopics in this issue of CBRNE Particles include North Korea suspending nuclear tests, nerve-agent countermeasure development, and a boost to DOE’s science budget.

POLICY + POLITICS

North Korea Says it Will Suspend Nuclear and Missile Tests, Shut Down Test Site

The surprising announcement comes just six days before Kim is set to meet South Korean President Moon Jae-in, a precursor to a historic summit between Kim and President Trump. The U.S. president is set to meet Kim at the end of May or beginning of June, although a location has not yet been set. Washington Post >>

The Risks, and Rewards, for Giving the Counter WMD Mission to SOCOM

The CWMD mission is inherently complex with each CBRNE pillar consisting of different stakeholders, authorities, required skillsets, strategies and tactics. SOCOM must rapidly develop the infrastructure, partnerships, expertise, strategy and tactics needed to address this mission successfully. Defense News >>

Trump Homeland Security Adviser Bossert Resigns

President Donald Trump’s Homeland Security Adviser Tom Bossert is leaving office, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said 10 Apr. White House Cybersecurity Adviser Rob Joyce will be replacing Bossert on a temporary basis, The New York Times reported, citing an administration official. Nextgov >>

CFATS Reauthorization – WMD Criminal Activities

This is part of a continuing series of blog posts on proposed changes to the CFATS authorization. The current authorization for the program ends on December 18th, 2018. These posts address some of the language the author would like to see in any re-authorization bill. Chemical Facility Security News >>

Civil Defense Preparedness Act of 2018 (H.R. 5399)

Reps. Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02) and Colleen Hanabusa (HI-01) introduced bipartisan legislation to strengthen civil defense preparedness in Hawai‘i and across the country. The Civil Defense Preparedness Act of 2018 (H.R. 5399) would expand existing Department of Homeland Security (DHS) terrorism and catastrophic event grant programs to include improving nuclear, biological, and chemical attack preparedness. The grants would be used for training, protective equipment, building reinforcements, and other community preparedness measures. Tulsi Gabbard >>

Science at Department of Energy Gets a Hefty Raise in Final 2018 Budget

For researchers supported by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) in Washington, D.C., a 6-month wait for a federal budget may have been worth it. DOE’s basic research wing, the Office of Science, gets a 16% boost, to $6.26 billion, in a 2018 omnibus spending bill passed by Congress last month. In contrast, last May President Donald Trump’s administration had proposed a 17% cut in its budget for the fiscal year that ends on 30 September. Science >>

CHEMICAL WEAPONS

Attacks in UK and Syria Highlight Growing Need for Chemical-Forensics Expertise

Experts say that the UK Skripal poisoning event and a suspected chemical-weapons attacks in Syria provide fresh impetus for international efforts to beef up forensic capabilities. Nature >>

How to Provide Realistic HazMat Training for the Detection of CWAs

A real detector needs an actual chemical source to respond to. So any realistic training scenario that involves the use of an actual detector also requires either a controlled quantity of a live agent or a simulant in the form of vapour, liquid or powder. Argon Electronics >>

Seattle Biopharmaceutical Startup Developing a Treatment For Nerve-Agent Attacks

Developing a backup therapy for treating the seizures that affect victims of nerve agents could be a promising niche for a company whose name includes perhaps the most notorious such weapon, spelled backward. Seattle Times >>

Haley: Chemical Attack Could Happen in US ‘If We’re Not Smart’

U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley defended U.S. strikes on Syria following a suspected chemical attack in the country, saying on Sunday that a similar attack could happen in the U.S. if precautions are not taken. The Hill >>

Salisbury Attack: Scientist Vladimir Uglev ‘Helped Create Novichok’

On Russia’s Black Sea coast I meet Vladimir Uglev, a scientist who helped develop nerve agents for the Soviet Union. “The aim of the programme was to produce a substance far more powerful than the nerve agent VX – 10 times more powerful,” he tells me. “And that’s what we got.” BBC News >>

Toxidrome Recognition in Chemical-Weapons Attacks

The risk of chemical terrorism requires an effective rapid-triage system for identifying symptoms, likely to have been caused by chemical agents, that require rapid antidote administration, emergency airway support, and area decontamination. New England Journal of Medicine >> (abstract)

MOBILE RESPONSE

An Overview of Safety Certification for Army Hazmat Training

Any military employee whose duties involve the transportation or handling of hazmat substances will be required to complete certification training specific to their duties. Hazmat safety training typically comprises a combination of classroom-based and/or web-based learning and is required to be repeated in its entirety on a regular basis. Argon Electronics >>

Boots on the Ground: Reports from CDC’s Disease Detectives

The CDC held its 67th Annual Epidemic Intelligence Service (EIS) Conference April 16-19, 2018 in Atlanta. The annual gathering of disease detectives showcased cutting-edge investigations and often life-saving outbreak responses by EIS officers and their laboratory counterparts, the Laboratory Leadership Service (LLS) fellows. PR Newswire

Responder Wipes Now A Healthy Firefighters Approved Product

Responder Wipes, on-scene decontamination wipes developed to remove toxicants firefighters are exposed to in the line of duty, announces they are now a “Healthy Firefighters Approved” product. Healthy Firefighters is the Swedish initiative which developed international standards for preventing and counteracting sources of illness in firefighters. Responder Wipes >>

LEADERSHIP

James Peery to Lead ORNL’s Global Security Directorate

James Peery, who led critical national security programs at Sandia National Laboratories and held multiple leadership positions at Los Alamos National Laboratory before arriving at the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory last year, has been named associate laboratory director of Global Security at ORNL. Oak Ridge National Laboratory >>

Sin Named Director of START UWT Program

START has named Dr. Steve Sin the new director of the Unconventional Weapons and Technology (UWT) team at START. A researcher at START since 2014, Sin has been instrumental in building UWT’s portfolio of projects that provide actionable knowledge about chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear (CBRN) and other emerging technological threats emanating from non-state actors. START >>

Global Terrorism Database Nominated for UMD’s Invention of the Year

The GTD has been nominated for the Invention of the Year award in the information sciences category. “We see more than 50,000 unique visitors to the GTD website, and 2,000 downloads of the full dataset each month,” reported Laura Dugan, a professor in the Department of Criminology and Criminal Justice at the College of Behavioral and Social Sciences. START >>

SPECIAL INTEREST

Counterterrorism Yearbook 2018

The Counter Terrorism Yearbook is ASPI’s annual flagship publication curated by the Counter Terrorism Policy Centre, now in its second year of publication. It is a comprehensive resource for academics and policymakers to build on their knowledge of counterterrorism developments in countries and regions around world. Australian Strategic Policy Institute >>

Long, Long Time Ago, I Can Still Remember

CBRN has always been the insurance policy: it doesn’t happen every day, but you keep paying in as you know you’ll need it at some point. Throughout the Cold War that ethos held firm in the military, with many an exciting exercise spoiled by the ‘buckets of instant sunshine’ and having to get suited up… but still it happened. Post Tokyo Sarin attack the civilian forces also started paying into the insurance policy and after the Amerithrax attacks they even started paying the extra premiums. CBRNe World >>

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