• Purdue researchers turn cell phones into radiation detectors

    Boilermaker scientists equip cell phones with radiation sensors able to detect even light residues of radioactive material; many cell phones already contain global positioning locators, so the detector-equipped network of phones would serve as a national radiation tracking system

  • Quality of new warhead triggers questioned

    As the U.S. nuclear weapons age, their triggers need to be replaced; trouble is, owing to the moratorium on nuclear testing, designers of the new triggers have to rely on simulation and other methods to test the triggers; nuclear watch groups say some scientists at Los Alamos lab have doubts about the new devices

  • Saudi Chemical Company invests in ExploTrack

    Saudi Chemical Company is first Middle East company to enter global explosives security market; real-time explosives control is becoming a big business, with approximately nine million metric tonnes of explosives moving throughout the global supply-chain annually

  • New device helps radiation mapping in nuclear power plants

    U.K. company develops radiation-mapping device which allows repairs to be carried out in small contaminated areas of nuclear power plants; device is based on technology used for radiation therapy delivery

  • New York City wants feds to install more bioterror sensors

    New York City wants more bioterror sensors installed on city streets; DHS, which funds 90 percent of the program, says it is willing to install a few of the units now, at a cost of $100,000 each, but that it would rather wait for new, improved sensors before paying for a city-wide roll out

  • Pac-Man-like molecule chews up uranium contamination

    Uranium leaches into groundwater from natural deposits of its ore, depleted uranium munitions, nuclear facilities, and the detritus of uranium mining; removing uranium from groundwater is very difficult: Not only does uranium bind very strongly to oxygen — it is also soluble, making dissolved uranium virtually impossible to remove; British scientists find an innovative solution

  • As nuclear power spreads, so do worries about safety

    Of the more than 100 nuclear reactors now being built, planned, or on order, about half are in China, India, and other developing nations; China has 11 nuclear plants and plans to bring more than 30 others on line by 2020; MIT report says China may need to add as many as 200 reactors by 2050; imagine China bringing to nuclear matters the same rigor and corruption-free approach it brings to inspection of food, children toys, and medicines

  • Hand-held near-infrared chemical detector developed

    Welsh company ZiNIR develops a hand-held near-infrared detector which can identify the chemical content of a substance within a few seconds on a “point, click, read” basis; company sees big opportunity in U.S. security market

  • Manchester University leads SPRIng project

    University to develop new tools for assessing the sustainability of nuclear power; among the tools to be developed: Methodology and decision-support system for assessing the sustainability of nuclear power and considering energy supply and demand

  • Metro Group, IBM lead Europe's largest RFID rollout

    IBM, German retailer Metro Group — the world’s fourth largest retailer — roll out Europe’s largest RFID project, using IBM technology; suppliers from China and Vietnam are already participating; health experts argue that implementing similar systems throughout the food supply chain would improve health and safety and protect consumers from tainted food; business analysts say RFID would increase efficiency and allow better management of inventories

  • TSA orders Qinetiq security system

    The U.S. Transportation Security Administration orders a dozen of SPO units from Hampshire-based Qinetiq as part of a campaign to bolster airport security; SPO units are cameras which use millimeter wave technology combined with software algorithms to screen people one at a time — and do so from a distance of a few meters

  • Tiny sensors detect toxic gasses

    MIT researchers developed a small detector the size of a match box which will detect minute quantities of hazardous gases, including toxic industrial chemicals and chemical warfare agents, much more quickly than current devices

  • Weapon-grade plutonium shipped cross-country

    The Department of Energy plans to scale down U.S. nuclear weapons program by consolidating special nuclear materials — read: weapon-grade material — at five federal sites by the end of 2012 and reducing the square footage and staff within those sites by 2017; nuclear materials will have to be shipped from different labs around the country to these five sites

  • DOE IG offers details of 24 October Oak Ridge security breach

    Certain areas of the U.S. nuclear labs are designated “limited areas” by DOE; employees are prohibited from bringing into these secure areas any equipment capable of transmitting data wirelessly; at Oak Ridge, 38 laptops had been allowed into restricted areas, and IG finds that nine of these laptops had later been taken on foreign travel — two of them to countries on DOE’ sensitive countries list

  • U.K. nuclear power plan draws fire

    A group of academics issue a report arguing that the established nuclear-power industry would inevitably move on to the use of fast-breeder reactors to manufacture plutonium for use as fuel, increasing the risk of nuclear weapons proliferation