• Path 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. 

  • A 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.

  • DHS 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.

  • Imaging Tool under Development Reveals Concealed Detonators — and Their Charge

    A Sandia Lab researcher is working on building a new kind of neutron-based imaging system which will enable people to safely examine sealed metal boxes when opening them could be dangerous, whether this is because inside is an explosive weapon or a malfunctioning, high-voltage fire set at a missile range.

  • Ensuring Reliability of Air Cargo Screening Systems

    DHS, which is responsible for ensuring the security of air cargo transported to the United States, says the threat from explosives in air cargo remains significant. A new GAO report addresses how DHS secures inbound air cargo, and the extent to which TSA’s field assessment of a CT screening system included key practices for design and evaluation.

  • Investigating Materials for Safe, Secure Nuclear Power

    A longstanding interest in radiation’s effects on metals has drawn Michael Short into new areas such as nuclear security and microreactors.

  • Handheld Screening Wands May Reduce Need for Airport Pat-Downs

    Until recently, creating an effective and reliable handheld screening technology of passengers was too costly. Advancements made in 5G cell phones, automotive radars, embedded computing, and other critical enabling technologies now make screening solutions such as the handheld millimeter wave wand cost effective.

  • Protecting the U.S. against WMD

    The Countering Weapons of Mass Destruction (CWMD) office was established within DHS in December 2018 to address the challenge of WMD. GAO has reviewed how the CWMD office manages programs intended to enhance the U.S. ability to detect, deter, and defend against chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear threats.

  • The U.S. Army Tried Portable Nuclear Power at Remote Bases 60 Years Ago – It Didn’t Go Well

    The U.S. military’s Camp Century was a series of tunnels built into the Greenland ice sheet and used for both military research and scientific projects. The military boasted that the nuclear reactor there, known as the PM-2A, needed just 44 pounds of uranium to replace a million or more gallons of diesel fuel. Heat from the reactor ran lights and equipment and allowed the 200 or so men at the camp as many hot showers as they wanted in that brutally cold environment. The PM-2A was the third child in a family of eight Army reactors, several of them experiments in portable nuclear power.

  • Is it a Virus or Bacteria? New Tech Rapidly Tests for Pathogens

    The first line of defense against pandemics is the ability quickly to detect the presence or absence of previously unknown pathogens. DHS S&T is exploring a new technology that can discriminate between bacterial and viral infections using only a single drop of blood per patient.

  • Countries' Shortcomings in Tackling Antibiotic Resistance Spotlighted

    A new report indicates that while the world’s leading economies have been talking a good game when it comes to addressing antimicrobial resistance (AMR), they have yet to translate that talk into substantive action.

  • Iran Says It Foiled “Sabotage Attack” on Nuclear Building

    State media said the attack occurred near Karaj, some 40 kilometers west of Tehran. Iran has experienced a series of suspected sabotage attacks targeting its nuclear program in recent months.

  • Reflections on Iran’s Production of 60% Enriched Uranium

    As of about June 14, Iran had reportedly produced 6.5 kg 60% enriched uranium (hexafluoride mass) or 4.4 kg uranium mass only. Iran has produced 60% enriched uranium at an average daily rate of 0.126 kg/day since May 22. Iran’s activity must be viewed as practicing breakout to make enriched uranium for use in nuclear weapons.

  • Let Scientific Evidence Determine Origin of SARS-CoV-2: Presidents of the National Academies

    Earlier this week, the leaders of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine issued a statement about the ongoing debate regarding the origins of the COVID-19 virus. “We urge that investigations into the origins of SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 be guided by scientific principles, including reliance on verifiable data, reproducibility, objectivity, transparency, peer review, international collaboration, minimizing conflicts of interest, findings based on evidence, and clarity regarding uncertainties” they write.

  • The Future of U.S. Pandemic Preparedness

    On May 26, 2021, the National Biodefense Science Board (NBSB) held a (virtual) public meeting that discussed actions that the United States needs to take to be better prepared for the challenges posed by public health emergencies such as pandemics, “Disease X,” and other biological threats.