• NUCLEAR THREATSSituation at Europe's Largest Nuclear Plant “Out of Control”

    By Stuart Braun

    After Russian forces occupied a Ukraine’s Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant in March, the situation has deteriorated, experts say. The IAEA said that the reactor — Europe’s biggest — is “extremely vulnerable” to meltdown after all safety measures had been “violated” by Russian forces.

  • DETECTIONMaking Muons for Scientific Discovery, National Security

    The Pentagon and other agencies have sought advanced sources that generate gamma rays, X-rays, neutrons, protons, and electrons to enable a variety of scientific, commercial, and defense applications – from medical diagnostics, to scans of cargo containers for dangerous materials, to non-destructive testing of aircraft and their parts to see internal defects. The problem: None of these sources can image through concrete walls several meters thick, map the core of a volcano from the outside, or peer deep underground to locate chambers and tunnels. Muons — deeply penetrating subatomic particles – can do all those things. DARPA seeks a compact source for muons.

  • ENERGY SECURITYDrones Approved for Aerial Inspections of Power Facilities

    Drones have allowed companies new ways to stretch the boundaries of current regulations. One of the latest wins for drone technology is a waiver from the FAA that gives Dominion Energy, one of the U.S. largest energy companies, permission to use drones to inspect power-generation facilities in seven states.

  • DETECTIONDeep Learning Technology for Faster and More Accurate Terahertz Security Inspection

    With the strengthening of global anti-terrorist measures, it is increasingly important to conduct security checks in public places to detect concealed objects carried by the human body. A new detection method can be used for accurate and real-time detection of hidden objects in terahertz images. 

  • IRAN'S NUKESFurther Indications of Iran’s Renewed Interest in Maraging Steel for its Nuclear Enrichment Program

    By Sarah Burkhard and David Albright

    Maraging steel bellows are well known to be used in the IR-2m centrifuge, but Iran has not made any of these centrifuges in years, leading to speculation that the bottleneck was the maraging steel. A recent report has revealed Iran’s renewed interest in metal bellows in its advanced centrifuges.

  • AIRPORT SECURITYRemote Screening Demonstration at Cape Cod Gateway Airport

    DHS S&T successfully conducted a demonstration of remote screening infrastructure for airport security checkpoints. The Integrated Defense & Security Solutions (IDSS) can send computed tomography (CT) X-ray images of carry-on baggage flagged for threats to remote locations for near real-time analysis.

  • EXPLOSIVES DETECTION3D X-Ray Makes it Easier to Detect Hidden Explosive Weapons

    As travelers pass through border crossings, ports of call, airport checkpoints, and various precautionary measures in both federal and private venues, their safety and wellbeing are constantly ensured through various forms of screening technologies that have one critical goal: to identify and alert the proper authorities to potential threats. These technologies do their jobs very effectively, but it is important to ask the question: Can they be improved?

  • NUCLEAR FORENSICSNuclear Forensics International Group Anniversary Meeting at Livermore

    After a little more than 25 years, the Nuclear Forensics International Technical Working Group (ITWG) is returning to its roots in Livermore, California. Founded in 1995 in a meeting at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL), the ITWG met in Europe for 24 straight years from 1996 through 2019.

  • NUCLEAR SOURCESRadioactive Sources: Discussing Safety and Security

    Today, radioactive sources are used in many areas including energy, medicine, industry, food and agriculture, research, and in environmental monitoring and protection. “Radioactive sources are all around us, offering immense societal and economic benefits, but they may also pose a risk. Managing these sources well, protects us from accidental radiation exposure and keeps them away from people with malicious intent,” said IAEA Director General Rafael Mariano Grossi.

  • CHEMICAL DETECTIONAssessing the Risks of Toxic or Flammable Clouds

    The Chemical Security Analysis Center was established by the Department of Homeland Security to identify and assess chemical threats and vulnerabilities in the United States and develop the best responses to potential chemical hazards.

  • IRAN’S NUKESIran Can Produce Nuclear Explosive Now, and 2 Bombs within One Month of a Breakout: IAEA

    By David Albright, Sarah Burkhard, and Andrea Stricker

    The IAEA’s new report on Iran’s nuclear status says that Iran’s breakout timeline is now at zero. Iran has enough 60 percent enriched uranium – highly enriched uranium, or HEU — to be able to produce nuclear explosive. If it wanted to enrich the 60 percent HEU to 90 percent HEU —typically called weapon-grade uranium (WGU) — it could do so within weeks. Whether or not Iran enriches its HEU up to 90 percent, it can have enough HEU for two nuclear weapons within one month after starting breakout.

  • NUCLEAR WASTEProtecting Nuclear Waste Containers from Metal-Corroding Microbes

    Canada has about three million bundles of used nuclear fuel, which contain the solid uranium that powers nuclear reactors. They’re stored in above-ground containers at seven facilities across the country, with 90,000 added every year. The containers only last about 50 to 100 years, but used nuclear fuel must be stored for one million years before its radiation levels return to that of naturally occurring uranium ore. Canada is getting closer to moving all its spent nuclear fuel to a single facility, and encasing each fuel container in bentonite clay, and researchers are studying whether that clay could support microbial life – which could eat away at the metal containers.

  • CHEMICAL HAZARDSKeeping Communities Safe from Chemical Hazards During Hurricane Season

    Extreme weather from hurricanes and tropical storms can devastate communities along the coasts, and the threat of subsequent hazard chemical releases can be just as deadly.

  • BIOWEAPONSThe Pandemic: Implications for Terrorist Interest in Biological Weapons

    What if the IS or al-Qaeda obtained and spread a highly contagious virus in a community or country that they sought to punish? With the pandemic highlighting weaknesses in response efforts, will these groups now seek to obtain infectious viruses to achieve these same deadly results?

  • ANOMALIESBolstering Security by Detecting Hidden Anomalies

    The ability to assess deviations from expected movement requires a deep characterization of normal activity across times of day, days of the week, weeks of the year as well as across different types of people. Current human mobility modeling techniques can provide high-level insight into human movement for the study of disease spread or population migration, but they don’t provide the complex, fine-grained modeling the Intelligence Community (IC) needs to identify more subtle anomalies with confidence.