ARLINGTON, Va. (Feb. 1, 2010) — A National Guard that has been vital to national defense for the past eight years will remain an operational force, according to the Department of Defense’s 2010 Quadrennial Defense Review released today.

“Preventing and deterring conflict will likely necessitate the continued use of some elements of the Reserve Component … in an operational capacity well into the future,” the QDR states.

The QDR is a legislatively mandated review of DoD strategy and priorities that occurs every four years.

“In that review, it is important that we consider the proper balance of maintaining the operational capabilities and strategic depth of the Reserve component as an integrated force to meet requirements across the full spectrum of conflict,” Mullen wrote. “Access to the Reserve Component remains a critical lever for meeting global operational demands without substantially increasing the size of the active force.”

The QDR also contemplates a reorganization of the nation’s chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and high-yield explosives response packages, or CBRNE.

It outlines a plan to draw on existing National Guard forces to build a homeland response force in each of the 10 Federal Emergency Management Agency regions. HRFs would provide a regional response capability, focus on planning, training and exercises and forge links between federal state and local authorities.

http://www.army.mil/-news/2010/02/04/33957-defense-review-foresees-long-term-role-for-national-guard/

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Fox News – New York

By DICK BRENNAN and CHARLES LEAF

MYFOXNY.COM — On the same day Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano discussed terrorism concerns, the federal building in Lower Manhattan had a brief security scare.

The scare came on the heels of a warning from top intelligence officials that al Qaeda is deploying operatives to carry out attacks inside this country. The officials expect an attempted attack in the next three to six months.

Meantime, Bloomberg attended a Homeland Security Advisory Council meeting in Midtown. The council is made up of leaders from state and local governments, first responder communities, the private sector, and academia.

Bloomberg said the federal government needs to come up with funds for a radiological detection system in New York. He said the most serious threat New York faces is an attack by a nuclear or dirty bomb attack.

http://www.myfoxny.com/dpp/news/local_news/nyc/100203-bloomberg-nyc-radiological-threat

Posted by: keithrey | January 28, 2010

A nursing guide to surviving a radiological dispersal device

http://www.britishjournalofnursing.com/cgi-bin/go.pl/library/article.html?uid=45907;article=BJN_19_1_24

A nursing guide to surviving a radiological dispersal device

Geraint Williams, Elisabeth Williams

British Journal of Nursing, Vol. 19, Iss. 1, 14 Jan 2010, pp 24 – 27

A radiological dispersion device, or ‘dirty bomb’, is created by combining radioactive material and conventional explosives with the aim of causing both blast injuries and the psychological fear of lingering radiation. Future use of such a device by terrorist organizations operating in the UK is not unlikely. Both surgical and accident and emergency nursing staff may become involved in the management of patients involved in this type of disaster. This article summarizes the likely sequence of events, defines the nursing tasks emergency department personnel can expect to become involved with, and highlights specific issues of personal safety for this disaster scenario. Up-to-date, accurate information, and skills and training in this type of event can not be underestimated. Nursing teams equipped with the appropriate safety and procedural skills are more likely to respond positively to this type of event.

http://www.britishjournalofnursing.com/cgi-bin/go.pl/library/article.html?uid=45907;article=BJN_19_1_24

BLOGGER’S NOTE: This is a cogent argument to remain vigilant against nuclear weapons falling into the wrong hands and entering the USA as the article suggests, but also other radiological materials that pose significant risk due to their sheer availability and lower threshold of security. Failure of imagination is not an acceptable excuse for a WMD attack by terrorists.

Read the full article: Click here.

A Failure to Imagine the Worst – The first step toward preventing a nuclear 9/11 is believing it could happen.

FOREIGN POLICY | BY GRAHAM ALLISON | JANUARY 25, 2010

EXCERPT: “The thought that terrorists could successfully explode a nuclear bomb in an American city killing hundreds of thousands of people seems incomprehensible. This essential incredulity is rooted in three deeply ingrained presumptions. First, no one could seriously intend to kill hundreds of thousands of people in a single attack. Second, only states are capable of mass destruction; nonstate actors would be unable to build or use nuclear weapons. Third, terrorists would not be able to deliver a nuclear bomb to an American city. In a nutshell, these presumptions lead to the conclusion: inconceivable.”

“Faced with the possibility of an American Hiroshima, many Americans are paralyzed by a combination of denial and fatalism. Either it hasn’t happened, so it’s not going to happen; or, if it is going to happen, there’s nothing we can do to stop it. Both propositions are wrong. The countdown to a nuclear 9/11 can be stopped, but only by realistic recognition of the threat, a clear agenda for action, and relentless determination to pursue it.”

Read the full article: Click here.

©2009 WASHINGTONPOST.NEWSWEEK INTERACTIVE, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

FOREIGN POLICY IS PUBLISHED BY THE SLATE GROUP, A DIVISION OF WASHINGTONPOST.NEWSWEEK INTERACTIVE, LLC  ALL CONTENTS

Posted by: keithrey | January 26, 2010

NNSA Commemorates National Nuclear Science Week

January 26, 2010

NNSA Commemorates National Nuclear Science Week

Outreach aimed at recruiting next generation of nuclear science professionals

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) today commemorated the start of the first annual National Nuclear Science Week. Sponsored by the National Museum of Nuclear Science & History in Albuquerque, N.M., National Nuclear Science Week is dedicated to celebrating the history of nuclear science as well as cultivating a new generation of nuclear science professionals.  It began yesterday and continues with events across the country all week.

In a letter of support for National Nuclear Science Week, Secretary of Energy Steven Chu cited the importance of raising interest in careers that are critical to our future energy security and economic competitiveness.

“This week presents an opportunity for Americans to learn about and explore the importance of nuclear science domestically and abroad,” wrote Secretary Chu. “It also gives us a platform to continue the nationwide discussion about the need to recruit the next generation of experts in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.”

The full text of Secretary Chu’s letter can be found here.

NNSA, which is responsible for enhancing national security through the application of nuclear science and technology, has tens of thousands of employees and contractors across its eight sites and at its headquarters in Washington, D.C.  The men and women working across the nuclear security enterprise apply nuclear sciences to NNSA’s core missions of maintaining the nation’s nuclear stockpile; preventing nuclear proliferation; supporting the U.S. Navy’s nuclear propulsion program; and responding to nuclear and radiological emergencies around the world.

“Cutting edge nuclear science and technology are the heart of our enterprise,” said NNSA Administrator Thomas D’Agostino. “We employ some of the smartest, most dedicated experts in the world to tackle critical national and international security challenges.  Recruiting the next generation of nuclear security professionals is key to our success, which is why it is so important that we draw attention to these areas of study.”

NNSA offers employment opportunities for talented professionals at every career level. Efforts include outreach to undergraduate and graduate nuclear science and engineering programs across the country. Find out more at http://nnsa.energy.gov

Learn more about National Nuclear Science Week at http://nuclearscienceweek.org

Follow NNSA News on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Flickr.

Established by Congress in 2000, NNSA is a semi-autonomous agency within the U.S. Department of Energy responsible for enhancing national security through the military application of nuclear science in the nation’s national security enterprise. NNSA maintains and enhances the safety, security, reliability, and performance of the U.S. nuclear weapons stockpile without nuclear testing; reduces the global danger from weapons of mass destruction; provides the U.S. Navy with safe and effective nuclear propulsion; and responds to nuclear and radiological emergencies in the U.S. and abroad.

Media contact(s):
NNSA Public Affairs (202) 586-7371

According to the Augusta Cronical, Southern Nuclear, the parent company of Plant Vogtle,  asked for a six-month extension to establish stricter security measures at it’s Georgia plant. The required security improvements are designed to protect both reactors and used-fuel storage areas from terrorists or criminals. The company requested the exemptions from “certain new requirements” to be in place by March 31, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission said.

Read the entire story: http://chronicle.augusta.com/stories/latest/lat_704812.shtml

Sen Charles Schumer addressed security issues regarding nuclear devices and vulnerabilities in U.S. airports on Saturday, January 23.

BLOGGERS NOTE: New York is a laboratory for the world and others should begin to follow their lead by understanding the aproaches taken and lessons learned from Commissioner Kelley’s “Securing the Cities “(STC) initiative. The only way other cities will be able to apply the lessons learned from New York about deploying radiation sensors will be to use lower cost, IP-based open systems and more mainstream security tools.

READ THE  STORY: http://www.theepochtimes.com/n2/content/view/28608/

A nuclear renaissance will increase the need for radiation security technologies. This article outlines the political, economic and financial forces at work to bring about growth of what some say will be 100 new nuclear power generation facilities in the coming decades.

Nuclear power generates about 20 percent of America’s electricity, but many existing reactors are aging and no new plant has been authorized since the 1979 incident at Three Mile Island. Beyond inertia from public opposition after the accident, it can cost as much as $8 billion to build a nuclear plant, and in part because the problems of nuclear waste and safety remain unsolved.

But now Congress now is considering whether to support new nuclear power generation projects. The problem of global warming remains unsolved and, as the nation struggles to rebound from a deep recession, building new nuclear reactors increasingly looks to some like a big jobs program.

According to a fascinating in-depth investigative report by Judy Pasternak of the Investigative Reporting Workshop The Obama administration soon may guarantee as much as $18.5 billion in loans to build new nuclear reactors to generate electricity, and Congress is considering whether to add billions more to support an expansion of nuclear power.

Read the entire story by By Judy Pasternak: http://www.mcclatchydc.com/227/story/82549.html

According to the posting on McClatchy, Pasternak, formerly a reporter for the Los Angeles Times, reported and wrote this article under contract with the Investigative Reporting Workshop, a project of the School of Communication at American University in Washington. Caroline Stetler and Meera Pal of the workshop staff contributed to the reporting of this story.

BLOGGER’S NOTE: There is not enough information to know what happened, or how much radioactive material there was involved, but if such a gauge, typically with 1 – 100 Curies of Cesium 137 (Cs-137), or Iridium 192 (Ir-192) were to get in the wrong hands, such an incident could have a similar effect as a pair of exploding underpants, or “wrong way Charlies” who bypass security checkpoints. If undetected, events could unfold in a scenario similar to the anthrax scare. Why couldn’t a device have a GPS location tracking device? That would be smart. Right now we rely on terrorists and criminals to be dumb just like someone who accidently leaved a nuclear gauge found alongside the road.

Economy, PA — Missing nuclear gauge found alongside road. DEP: “No danger unless tampered with.”

By: Bill Vidonic
Beaver County Times
Thursday January 21, 2010 07:17 PM

ECONOMY, PA — An Economy road worker Wednesday afternoon found a nuclear density gauge that disappeared from a Coraopolis business, according to police and the state Department of Environmental Protection. The device is used to measure the density of materials during construction projects, and contains nuclear material inside. When the DEP announced last weekend that the device was missing, the agency said that it would not pose any danger to the public unless it was tampered with.

READ FULL STORY… CLICK HERE

BLOGGER’S NOTE: This is a really interesting perspective and a cohesive response to Iran will signal to the world that the US, Russia, China and the EU are serious about nuclear and radiological security.

READ: Project Syndicate – A Cool Head for the Hottest Issues

How China handles Iran sanctions in 2010 will affects standing w/ US and Europe

Excerpt: “The nuclear issue is one of the biggest items on the Obama agenda. How it is handled will help to define his presidency. Even before the talking gets serious in May, there will be the question of Iran to sort out. Iran says that it seeks no more than its own ability to produce nuclear power. Disbelief grows with every revelation of secret Iranian facilities and plans, and with every refusal by Iran to negotiate safeguards that would allow for civil use while preventing weaponization. The US, the European Union, and Russia have tried to engage Iran on this issue, so far without success. China seems likely to block effective sanctions on Iran because of its close energy relationship with the country. How China eventually handles this will profoundly affect its standing in the US and Europe.”

==

Chris Patten is a former EU Commissioner for External Relations, Chairman of the British Conservative Party, and was the last British Governor of Hong Kong. He is currently Chancellor of Oxford University and a member of the British House of Lords.

Project Syndicate is a voluntary, member-based institution. Its mission is to bring the highest quality commentaries and analysis by the world’s most distinguished voices to local audiences everywhere; and strengthen the independence of printed and electronic media in transition and developing countries. As of January 2010, Project Syndicate membership included 436 leading newspapers in 150 countries. Financial contributions from member papers in advanced countries support the services provided by Project Syndicate free of charge or at reduced rates to members in developing countries. Additional support comes from the Politiken Foundation and the Open Society Institute.

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