• Radiation detectionRedesigning Radiation Monitors at U.S. Ports of Entry

    Every day at ports of entry around the country, hundreds of thousands of vehicles and containers cross into the country. Since 9/11, all incoming vehicles and containers at land crossings, rail crossings, mail facilities, and shipping terminals are scanned by Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers to detect potential threats, including radiation. The time has come to replace and upgrade the aging radiation detection systems.

  • Iran’s nukesIAEA Monitors Allowed to Service Cameras at Sensitive Nuclear Sites

    An agreement has been reached between Iran and the IAEA to allow international inspectors to service surveillance cameras at Iran’s sensitive nuclear sites and to continue filming there. The agreement, announced Sunday, averts a diplomatic showdown this week.

  • Pandemic preparednessApollo Program-Style Pandemic Preparedness Plan

    Last week, the Biden administration announced a new biosecurity plan which it likened to the Apollo program of the late 1960s. This $65 billion proposal would be one of the largest investments in public health in American history and would “remake the nation’s pandemic preparedness infrastructure in the wake of Covid-19.”

  • Cyanide detectionKeeping First Responders Safe by Detecting Cyanide Poisoning after Fires

    When first responders rush to a burning building to subdue the fire and save lives, it is not just the flames that are dangerous and potentially lethal, but also toxic fumes like cyanide that are released when certain materials are incinerated. These fumes, mixed with smoke, are so toxic that even in very low quantities may pose more risk than the fire itself. Chemists at DHS S&T have invented a test to indicate possible toxic cyanide exposure at the fire scene.

  • Nuclear wasteFuture Solutions for Spent Nuclear Fuel

    Nuclear technology has been used in the United States for decades for national defense, research and development, and carbon-free electric power generation. Nuclear power is a key element of the U.S. response to climate change and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. However, nuclear energy, as an essential form of electricity production, generates radioactive waste in the form of spent nuclear fuel. Spent nuclear fuel must be handled, stored, and ultimately disposed of in a manner that won’t harm the environment.

  • Radiation detectionRadSecure 100 Radiological Security Initiative Launched in 100 U.S. Cities

    The RadSecure 100 Initiative focuses on removing radioactive material from facilities where feasible and improving security at the remaining facilities located in 100 metropolitan areas throughout the United States. Partnerships with local medical facilities, industrial firms, and law enforcement will be key to the project.

  • Nuclear safetyExtending Nuclear Power Accident Code for Advanced Reactor Designs

    Nuclear power is a significant source of steady carbon-neutral electricity, making the design and construction of new and next-generation nuclear reactors critical for achieving the U.S.’s green energy goals. A number of new nuclear reactor designs, such as small modular reactors and non-light water reactors, have been developed over the past 10 to 15 years.Sandia Lab researchers have been expanding their severe accident modeling computer code, called Melcor, to work with different reactor geometries, fuel types and coolant systems.

  • Radiation detectionGPS-Carrying Rat Snakes Monitor Radiation at Fukushima

    Scientists found a new way to keep track of radiation level at the Fukushima Exclusion Zone: rat snakes, which are common in Japan. The snakes’ limited movement and close contact with contaminated soil are key factors in their ability to reflect the varying levels of contamination in the zone.

  • Nuclear wasteStudying Spent-Fuel Canister to Support Long-Term Storage

    Nuclear waste is stored in more than sixty dry-cask storage sites in thirty-four states. These facilities store the majority of the more than 90,000 metric tons of nuclear waste in the United States, including nearly 80,000 tons of spent nuclear fuel.

  • Iran’s nukesIran's Uranium Metal Production Concerns U.S.

    Report issued by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in Vienna to member nations noted inspectors have confirmed Iran produced 200 grams of uranium metal enriched up to 20 percent. Uranium metal can be used to build the core of a nuclear bomb.

  • Chem-bio weaponsParasites Fight Chemical and Biological Weapons

    Harnessing parasites to help soldiers and first responders counter chemical and biological weapon attacks in war zones.

  • Nuclear forensicsInternational Nuclear Forensics Group Examines Nuclear Security Challenges

    The Nuclear Forensics International Technical Working Group (ITWG) was established in 1995 when nuclear materials were being smuggled out of the former Soviet Union and into Europe. Last month the ITWG held its annual meeting virtually.

  • Epidemic early warningPath Towards a Global Pathogen Early Warning System

    The world’s ability to detect, track, and analyze disease threats has improved considerably over the past several decades, the COVID-19 pandemic drove home a terrible reality: the systems we had in place are still deeply insufficient for halting the rapid spread of a novel pathogen fast enough to prevent a staggering level of damage. 

  • Nuclear powerA First: 3D Printed Nuclear Reactor Components Now Installed at a Nuclear Plant

    3D-printed fuel assembly brackets have been installed and are now under routine operating conditions at the Tennessee Valley Authority’s Browns Ferry Nuclear Plant Unit 2 in Athens, Alabama.

  • WildfiresDHS S&T Selects Two Industry Partners for Second Phase Wildland Fire Sensor Research

    DHS S&T selected two industry partners for the second phase of research on wildland fire sensor. The first phase research was conducted in June 2021, and the next phase of the program will focus on hardening the sensors for longer-term field deployments.