• New Treatment Technology Could Reduce Nuclear Waste Burden

    Researchers have developed a novel treatment technology that may help to significantly reduce the burden of nuclear waste. This breakthrough could therefore significantly speed up disposal of such material and reduce the overall cost of dealing with our legacy waste.

  • Earthquake System Model with Better Detection Capabilities

    researchers developed a machine learning model that improves the accuracy of detecting earthquakes by 14.5 percent compared to the most accurate current existing model.

  • New, $125 Million Project Aims to Detect Emerging Viruses

    A new project, funded with $125 million from USAID, aims to detect and characterize unknown viruses which have the potential to spill over from wildlife and domestic animals to human populations. The 5-year project is expected to yield 8,000 to 12,000 novel viruses, which researchers will then screen and sequence the genomes of the ones that pose the most risk to animal and human health.

  • The Sound and the Fury: Inside the Mystery of the Havana Embassy

    More than a year after American diplomats began to suffer strange, concussion-like symptoms in Cuba, a U.S. investigation is no closer to determining how they were hurt or by whom, and the FBI and CIA are at odds over the case. A ProPublica investigation reveals the many layers to the mystery — and the political maneuvering that is reshaping U.S.-Cuba relations.

  • How Big Was the 2020 Beirut Explosion?

    On 4 August 2020, one of the largest non-nuclear explosions in history pulverized a Beirut port and damaged more than half the city. The explosion resulted from the detonation of tons of ammonium nitrate, a combustible chemical compound. The explosive yield estimates varied widely, and in some cases, were inconsistent with what would be expected based on the amount of ammonium nitrate stored at the Beirut harbor.

  • Bolstering Speed, Flexibility of Response to Nuclear Events

    Researchers are combining basic research and development of emergent technologies, predictive capabilities, and systems assessment to revolutionize the speed and flexibility of technical nuclear forensic (TNF) response to nuclear events.

  • Anthrax Attacks: 20 Years On

    Twenty years ago this month the United States experienced the scary anthrax letter attacks, which targeted major media outlets and members of Congress.

  • As the West Watches, Iran Enriches Uranium

    Iran may now be capable of producing enough weapons-grade uranium for a single nuclear warhead within just a month. While Iran continues to make progress enriching uranium, nuclear diplomacy seems to be stalled.

  • Redesigning 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.

  • IAEA 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.

  • Apollo 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.”

  • Keeping 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.

  • Future 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.

  • RadSecure 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.

  • Extending 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.