• Protecting structures against firebrand attack

    NIST engineers have built a device that bellows showers of glowing embers, or firebrands, to test how structures can withstand this destructive aspects of wild fires; in Japan, where the device is now used in a test facility, firebrands are a growing peril that accounts for half of the nation’s ten most costly fires

  • Connecticut town considers charging centers for power outages

    Following Hurricane Irene which left thousands without power up and down the East Coast, a town in Connecticut is considering building several charging stations for residents to power up their hand held electronics during a natural disaster or prolonged power outage

  • Pentagon expends cyber networks security project

    The Pentagon plans to extend a cyber defense pilot program intended to help protect U.S. defense contractors from cyberattacks to more private companies, subcontractors, and industries such as power plants

  • MIT to help develop a nuclear reactor concept

    MIT has been awarded $7.5 million to help develop a new nuclear reactor concept — the high-temperature salt-cooled reactor (also called a Fluoride-salt High-Temperature Reactor, or FHR); the FHR combines high-temperature graphite-matrix coated particle fuel developed for high-temperature gas-cooled reactors (fuel failure temperature > 1600 degrees C), liquid salt developed for the molten salt reactors (boiling point > 1400 degrees C), and safety systems originate from sodium fast reactors

  • NIST offers comprehensive risk assessment guidance for federal information systems

    NIST has released two new publications dealing with risk assessment; one is the authoritative source of comprehensive risk assessment guidance for federal information systems, the other, an update to a March 2011 publication, focuses exclusively on risk assessments

  • InfraGard launches EMP SIG

    InfraGard has launched a nationwide special interest group (SIG) — named the EMP SIG, after electromagnetic pulse — which will focus on threats that could cause nationwide long-term critical infrastructure collapse

  • Global water market could hit $800 billion by 2035

    Analysts are predicting that the global market for water could grow dramatically over the next two decades, with some projecting a $1 trillion market in 2020; “Water is the fastest growing market at the moment, with a size of $500 billion globally,” said Harri Kerminen, the president and CEO of Finnish chemical firm Kemira

  • X-ray machine operators lack proper training, says explosives expert

    Even with the increasing ubiquity of X-ray machines and other explosives detection devices, many dangerous contraband items are still passing through security checkpoints at government buildings, airports, and businesses as a result of poor training; in 2009 Government Accountability Office (GAO) investigators successfully smuggled bomb making materials into ten high-security federal buildings

  • Why the Twin Towers collapsed: new theory

    Materials scientist says that a mixture of water from sprinkler systems and molten aluminum from melted aircraft hulls created explosions that led to the collapse of the Twin Towers on 9/11

  • Speeding skyscraper construction -- and making them stronger

    Researchers are working on a new technique that could speed construction of skyscrapers while also providing enough stiffness and strength to withstand earthquakes and forces from high winds

  • French nuke industry struggles to boost public image

    In an effort to curry favor with the public, for the first time France has opened the doors of its nuclear power plants for the country’s annual “heritage” event; public opinion polls indicate the French public have turned increasingly against nuclear power following the accident at Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant

  • Maintaining water quality

    Scientists at Kansas State University and seven other collaborating institutions were recently awarded $3.3 million from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to conduct a-large scale study of how stream organisms influence water quality across North America

  • Siemens exits nuclear power industry

    Siemens, the largest engineering conglomerate in Europe, and the company which built all of Germany’s seventeen nuclear power plants, said Sunday it was existing the nuclear power generation market; Peter Löscher, the chief executive of the Munich-based conglomerate, said: “The [nuclear] chapter for us is closed”

  • $90 million contracts for developing anthrax vaccine and antitoxin

    HHS awards two companies contracts with potential value of $90 million for the advanced development of a novel next-generation anthrax vaccine and a new type of anthrax antitoxin

  • FutureSentry, Sun Surveillance offer solar-powered intrusion detection

    Two companies join forces to offer solar-powered automated intrusion detection systems for areas with limited power; the solution enables a cost-effective deployment as there is no need to trench and pull video cable and power, saving on both installation cost and time