NCB News Bulletin | Nuclear, Chemical and Biological Defense Programs (NCB)

NCB News Bulletin

(Nuclear, Chemical and Biological Defense Programs)

October 12, 2012 | Anacortes Wa.

1. NNSA CAN STICK TO PLAN FOR W-76 WARHEAD UPDATES: OFFICIAL:

“The U.S.National Nuclear Security Administration [(NNSA)] appears capable of delivering on pledges to update
W-76 nuclear warheads for the country’s submarine-launched ballistic missiles, even though
an auditor has warned the maintenance project is in danger of falling behind schedule, a
senior NNSA official told the Knoxville News Sentinel last week.”

NNSA CAN STICK TO PLAN FOR W-76 WARHEAD UPDATES: OFFICIAL

Global Security Newswire October 10, 2012

“The U.S. National Nuclear Security Administration appears capable of delivering on pledges
to update W-76 nuclear warheads for the country’s submarine-launched ballistic missiles,
even though an auditor has warned the maintenance project is in danger of falling behind
schedule, a senior NNSA official told the Knoxville News Sentinel last week.
The operation must accelerate substantially to adhere to its time line, but anticipated
funding constraints and cost-control problems would pose obstacles to such a move, the
Energy Department’s inspector general warned in a report published on Oct. 1.
“I have read the IG report summaries at this point,” NNSA Deputy Administrator Donald
Cook said. “We’ve taken actions.”
[snip]
““If you look at the issues from a few years ago to where we are, we have gotten through
some of the early issues,” Cook said. He suggested the addressed hurdles include
“Fogbank,” a sensitive, non-nuclear material involved in the nation’s warhead life-extension
efforts.
“There were a number of technical issues — three or four — and we’ve gotten through each
of those. We’ve gotten to the point where full-rate production, the rate we want to be at,
too. We believe we can sustain that now through the end of the W-76 build. We’re meeting
all the Navy’s operational requirements.”
The National Nuclear Security Administration is required to wrap up the W-76 life extension
effort by fiscal 2018.
Cook said his agency could adhere to its pledges

“through the end of [2018] and into  [2019].”
“Depending on the number of warheads right now, the build will actually go out to 2021,”
the official said. “The builds from [2019 to 2021] are really for the hedge. The operational
requirements really conclude at the end of 2018.””
[snip]

The full article can be found by clicking here

<<     Back To Original Article

2. RUSSIA WON’T RENEW PACT ON WEAPONS WITH U.S.:

“The Russian government said Wednesday that it would not renew a hugely successful 20-year partnership with the
United States to safeguard and dismantle nuclear and chemical weapons in the former
Soviet Union when the program expires next spring, a potentially grave setback in the
already fraying relationship between the former cold war enemies.”

3. NORTH KOREA SAYS A LONG-RANGE MISSILE TEST IS NOW MORE LIKELY:

“North Korea said on Wednesday that it felt freer to test a long-range missile now that
Washington has agreed to let South Korea nearly triple the reach of its ballistic missiles,
putting all of the North within its range.”

4. RUSSIA TO SALVAGE SUNKEN NUCLEAR SUBS – MEDIA:

“The Russian Defense Ministry is planning to raise and scrap two sunken nuclear submarines in the northern
Barents and Kara seas in order to prevent potential radioactive pollution of the area, the
Izvestia newspaper said on Thursday.”

5. NUCLEAR POWERS CONFER ON FISSILE MATERIAL CUTOFF:

“The United States has launched discussions with the four other recognized nuclear powers as well as other
states on moving toward establishment of a potential international ban on the production of
fissile material for nuclear weapons, Washington’s delegate to the U.N. First Committee said
on Wednesday in remarks published by the United Nations.”

6. TOXIC LEAK IN SOUTH KOREA SICKENS THOUSANDS, RUINS CROPS:

“. . . a toxic leak from an explosion at a chemical plant in the nearby city of Gumi two weeks ago has left
[farmers] empty handed. “

7. U.S. MILITARY IN JORDAN, EYES ON SYRIA CHEMICAL WEAPONS:

“A team of U.S. military planners is in Jordan to help the government grapple with Syrian refugees,
bolster its military capabilities and prepare for any trouble with its chemical weapons
stockpiles, U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said on Wednesday.”

8. GREEN LASER POINTER IDENTIFIES TRACES OF DANGEROUS CHEMICALS IN REAL TIME:

“By using an ordinary green laser pointer, the kind commonly found in offices
and college lecture halls, an Israeli research team has developed a new and portable Raman
spectrometer which can detect minute traces of hazardous chemicals in real time; the new
sensor’s compact design makes it a candidate for rapid field deployment to disaster zones
and areas with security concerns.”

9. YOUTUBE VIDEOS SHOW SYRIAN CHEMICAL WEAPONS SITES:

“Syrian activists recently posted a series of videos on the internet claiming that rebels fighting against the
Assad regime are aware of the locations of government-run chemical weapons sites.”

10. ACWA PROGRAM’S NEW ADMINISTRATIVE ALIGNMENT:

“On Oct. 1, the Assembled Chemical Weapons Alternatives program formally transitioned to Program
Executive Office (PEO) status.”

11. FILMING BACTERIAL LIFE IN MULTICOLOR AS A NEW DIAGNOSTIC AND ANTIBIOTIC DISCOVERY TOOL:

“An international team of scientists led by Indiana University chemist Michael S. VanNieuwenhze and biologist Yves Brun has discovered a
revolutionary new method for coloring the cell wall of bacterial cells to determine how they
grow, in turn providing a new, much-needed tool for the development of new antibiotics.”

12. CHANGES IN SELECT AGENT RULES CONCERN PUBLIC HEALTH LABS:

“The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has revised its list of potentially
dangerous biological agents and toxins and the regulations covering them, and some of the
changes have public health laboratories concerned.”

13. OUTBREAK INVESTIGATORS FIND FUNGUS IN RECALLED STEROIDS:

“Federal officials today announced that testing in the multistate meningitis outbreak has found
fungus in 50 unopened vials of the steroid linked to the outbreak and that Michigan officials
reported the first joint infection in a patient who received the recalled drug.”

NCB News Bulletin

RUSSIA WON’T RENEW PACT ON WEAPONS WITH U.S.

By David M. Herszenhorn |  New York Times | October 10, 2012

“The Russian government said Wednesday that it would not renew a hugely successful 20-
year partnership with the United States to safeguard and dismantle nuclear and chemical
weapons in the former Soviet Union when the program expires next spring, a potentially
grave setback in the already fraying relationship between the former cold war enemies.

The Kremlin’s refusal to renew the Nunn-Lugar Cooperative Threat Reduction Program
would put an end to a multibillion-dollar effort, financed largely by American taxpayers, that
is widely credited with removing all nuclear weapons from the former Soviet republics of
Ukraine, Kazakhstan and Belarus; deactivating more than 7,600 strategic nuclear warheads;
and eliminating huge stockpiles of nuclear missiles and chemical weapons, as well as
launchers and other equipment and military sites that supported unconventional weapons.”
[snip]

“In a statement on its Web site, the Russian Foreign Ministry said that the Obama
administration had proposed renewing the arrangement but that Washington was well
aware of Russia’s opposition.“American partners know that their proposal is not consistent with our,
ideas about what forms and on what basis further cooperation should be built,” the  statement said.

Russian officials, meanwhile, noted that their country’s financial situation is far improved
from the days after the collapse of the Soviet Union, raising the possibility that Russia would
be willing to continue initiatives started under the Nunn-Lugar agreement, but with its own
financing and supervision. The Foreign Ministry, in its statement, noted that Russia has
increased its budget allocation “in the field of disarmament.””

[snip]
“Mr. Lugar, who is leaving the Senate at the end of this year, visited Moscow in August to
begin pressing for renewal of the program and found Russian officials resistant. “The
Russian government indicated a desire to make changes to the Nunn-Lugar Umbrella
Agreement as opposed to simply extending it,” he said Wednesday. “At no time did officials
indicate that, at this stage of negotiation, they were intent on ending it, only amending it.””
[snip]

The full article can be found by clicking here:

NORTH KOREA SAYS A LONG-RANGE MISSILE TEST IS NOW MORE LIKELY

By Choe Sang-Hun | New York Times | October 10, 2012
“North Korea said on Wednesday that it felt freer to test a long-range missile now that
Washington has agreed to let South Korea nearly triple the reach of its ballistic missiles,
putting all of the North within its range.

The warning, in a statement from a spokesman for the North’s Foreign Ministry, came a day
after the North Korean government claimed to have missiles capable of striking targets on
the American mainland.

The American-South Korean missile agreement, which was announced on Sunday, “poured
cold water on all efforts to stabilize the situation on the Korean Peninsula and in the region,
including our restraint from launching long-range missiles,” the statement said. “Now, the
United States will have nothing to say even if we launch a long-range missile for military
purposes.””
[snip]

“All the North Korean rockets have exploded in midair or failed to put satellites into orbit,
according to American and South Korean officials, casting doubt on the North’s ability to
deliver a warhead on a long-range missile.”
[snip]
The full article can be found here :

RUSSIA TO SALVAGE SUNKEN NUCLEAR SUBS

RIA Novosti (Russia)  | October 11, 2012

“The Russian Defense Ministry is planning to raise and scrap two sunken nuclear submarines
in the northern Barents and Kara seas in order to prevent potential radioactive pollution of
the area, the Izvestia newspaper said on Thursday.

The ministry will announce an international tender, which may include companies from the
France, the Netherlands, South Korea and United States, as the Russian Navy does not have
the necessary equipment to carry out deep-sea salvage operations, Izvestia said, citing a
military source.

The B-159 (K-159), a November class nuclear submarine, sank in the Barents Sea in August
2003, 790 feet (238 m) down, with nine of her crew and 1760 lbs (800 kg) of spent nuclear
fuel, while being moved for dismantling.

The K-27 was an experimental attack submarine built in 1962 and decommissioned in 1979
due to its troublesome nuclear reactors. Her reactor compartment was sealed and the
submarine was scuttled in the eastern Kara Sea in 1982 at the depth of 220 feet (75 m).”
[snip]

Click here for  full article :

NUCLEAR POWERS CONFER ON FISSILE MATERIAL CUTOFF

Global Security Newswire | October 11, 2012

“The United States has launched discussions with the four other recognized nuclear powers
as well as other states on moving toward establishment of a potential international ban on
the production of fissile material for nuclear weapons, Washington’s delegate to the U.N.
First Committee said on Wednesday in remarks published by the United Nations.
The announcement came weeks after the international Conference on Disarmament
concluded its 2012 proceedings without overcoming a deadlock that has stymied the body’s
ability to negotiate new nonproliferation treaties for more than 15 years. Pakistan this year
again prevented mandatory consensus on a conference work plan that would have included
a focus on beginning study of a fissile material cutoff treaty.”

[snip]

““The CD [Conference on Disarmament] remains our preferred venue for negotiating an
FMCT, since it includes every major nuclear-capable state and operates by consensus,
ensuring everyone’s national security concerns are protected,” the State Department quoted
Gottemoeller as saying to the U.N. First Committee.
“A year ago the United States initiated consultations among the P-5 and others on
unblocking FMCT negotiations in the CD, and to prepare our own countries for what we
expect would be a challenging negotiation,” she said. The P-5 refers to permanent U.N.
Security Council nations and nuclear powers China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom and
the United States.

“This ‘P-5 Plus’ has potential to move FMCT forward,” Gottemoeller stated. “That said, our
patience on this issue is not infinite and we will push for what is in the best interest of global
security. We will work hard to convince others that commencement of negotiations is not
something to fear.”
There has been talk of taking up the fissile material accord in other venues where it might
have a better chance of progressing toward existence. That talk has not as yet turned into
action.”

[snip]

The full article can be found Here:

TOXIC LEAK IN SOUTH KOREA SICKENS THOUSANDS, RUINS CROPS

By K. J. Kwon | CNN |  9 October 2012

“October is supposed to be the busiest month of the year for Lim Chae-ho’s vineyards and
rice fields in the southern part of South Korea.
In a normal year, the 50-year-old farmer would be in the midst of harvesting the crops he
had spent months cultivating. But a toxic leak from an explosion at a chemical plant in the
nearby city of Gumi two weeks ago has left him empty handed.”

[snip]

“Thousands of people in the area have been affected by the blast at the chemical factory on
September 27, which killed 5 people and injured 18 others at the time.
The exact cause of the explosion, which involved 8 tons of hydrofluoric acid, is still being
investigated, according to authorities. But the blast spread toxic vapor from the acid —
which is used for tasks like metal cleaning and rust removal — across the surrounding area.
In the ensuing days, about 3,200 people have visited hospitals seeking treatment for
ailments related to the leak, the city government said Sunday.
The national government on Monday declared a “special disaster zone” around the plant.
Around 300 people are being relocated to safer areas.”
[snip]
The full article can be found here

Analyst Note: So far, nothing has indicated that this leak has affected U.S. forces in South
Korea.

Return to Top

U.S. MILITARY IN JORDAN, EYES ON SYRIA CHEMICAL WEAPONS
By David Alexander

Reuters | 10 October 2012

“A team of U.S. military planners is in Jordan to help the government grapple with Syrian
refugees, bolster its military capabilities and prepare for any trouble with its chemical
weapons stockpiles, U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said on Wednesday.
“We have been working with Jordan for a period of time now … on a number of the issues
that have developed as a result of what’s happened in Syria,” Panetta told a news
conference in Brussels.
Panetta said those issues included monitoring chemical weapons sites “to determine how
best to respond to any concerns in that area.”
A U.S. official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the small team of planners were not
engaged in covert operations and have been housed at the King Abdullah II Special
Operations Training Center, north of the capital of Amman, since the early summer.”
[snip]

The full article can be found here at

Return to Top

GREEN LASER POINTER IDENTIFIES TRACES OF DANGEROUS CHEMICALS IN REAL
TIME

Homeland Security Newswire
11 October 2012

“By using an ordinary green laser pointer, the kind commonly found in offices and college
lecture halls, an Israeli research team has developed a new and portable Raman
spectrometer which can detect minute traces of hazardous chemicals in real time. The new
sensor’s compact design makes it a candidate for rapid field deployment to disaster zones
and areas with security concerns. The researchers will present their findings at Laser
Science XXVIII, the American Physical Society Division of Laser Science’s annual meeting —
collocated with the Optical Society’s (OSA) annual meeting, Frontier in Optics (FiO), to be
held in Rochester, New York, 14-18 October 2012.”
[snip]
““Since the overall system is modular, compact, and can be readily made portable, it can be
easily applied to the detection of different compounds and for forensic examination of
objects that are contaminated with drugs, explosives, and particularly explosive residues on
latent fingerprints,” said Ilana Bar, a researcher with the Department of Physics at Ben-
Gurion University of the Negev in Israel. “With proper investment this system could be
deployed quite quickly as a consumer product.” Other members of the research team
include Itamar Malka, Alona Petrushansky, and Salman Rosenwaks.”
[snip]
The full article can be found here

Return to Top

YOUTUBE VIDEOS SHOW SYRIAN CHEMICAL WEAPONS SITES
By Ted Purlain

BioPrepWatch | 11 October 2012

“Syrian activists recently posted a series of videos on the internet claiming that rebels
fighting against the Assad regime are aware of the locations of government-run chemical
weapons sites.
In videos, which were posted on the website YouTube, narrators use Google Earth satellite
imagery to describe the locations of several sites where they allege chemical weapons and
chemical weapons delivery systems are stored and manufactured, according to
JewishVoiceNY.com.
Adrian Sillu, a former major general in the Syrian Army, said that it would not be difficult for
the regime to move the weapons if the rebels threaten the area where they are located. He
added that they could just as easily be transferred to Iranian-backed Hezbollah fighters.”
[snip]
“One of the recently posted YouTube videos provides a detailed look at a military installation
located southwest of Damascus that also contains a large airfield. The narrator alleges that
the chemical weapons facility is connected to the airfield through an underground tunnel
that is large enough for truck trailers to use.”
The full article can be found here

Return to Top

ACWA PROGRAM’S NEW ADMINISTRATIVE ALIGNMENT         Assembled Chemical Weapons Alternative

“On Oct. 1, the Assembled Chemical Weapons Alternatives program formally transitioned to Program Executive Office (PEO) status. This transition to PEO status was a recommendation made during last year’s Nunn-McCurdy review to ensure the program is able to obtain the support and resources needed as we enter an increasingly dynamic phase of the program with construction nearly complete in Pueblo, and more than 50 percent complete in Blue Grass.

While PEO ACWA’s administrative alignment has changed to be under the U.S. Army Acquisition Support Center, the program continues to report directly to the Department of Defense. This direct reporting connection to the Department of Defense is mandated by law.

PEO ACWA remains committed to its mission of the safe and environmentally sound destruction of the Pueblo and Blue Grass chemical weapons stockpiles.”
This information can be found at the PEO ACWA featured news page here 

Return to Top

FILMING BACTERIAL LIFE IN MULTICOLOR AS A NEW DIAGNOSTIC AND
ANTIBIOTIC DISCOVERY TOOL

Bioscience Technology
11 October 2012

“An international team of scientists led by Indiana University chemist Michael S.
VanNieuwenhze and biologist Yves Brun has discovered a revolutionary new method for
coloring the cell wall of bacterial cells to determine how they grow, in turn providing a new,
much-needed tool for the development of new antibiotics.
Discovery of the new method is expected to broadly impact both basic and applied research
tied to understanding, controlling or preventing bacterial cell growth in specific
environments, said the two scientists in IU Bloomington’s College of Arts and Sciences.”
[snip]
“The paper, “In Situ Probing of Newly Synthesized Peptidoglycan in Live Bacteria with
Fluorescent D-Amino Acids,” was published online Wednesday in Angewandte Chemie, the
journal of the German Chemical Society and one of the highest-ranked chemistry-specific
journals of original research in the world.”
[snip]
“”This method will also enhance our understanding of how bacterial growth is influenced by
environmental changes, for example during the development of the human body or as a
result of pollution in an environment,” Brun said. “Until now, there have been limited ways
to visualize active sites of cell growth, and no methods to assess microbial activity exactly
where it occurs. Here we have a rapid, simple and universal strategy for direct observation
of when and where living bacteria build their cell wall. I like to use Steve Jobs’ famous quote
when describing this method to my colleagues: ‘It just works!'””
[snip]
“The researchers found that the new dyes seem to work with any bacterial species, making
them a powerful tool for uncovering how a variety of bacteria grow. The new reagents are
also expected to allow scientists to make very selective modifications to bacterial cell
surfaces that have different functions, in turn allowing for the development of a battery of
new diagnostic and therapeutic probes. Furthermore, the affinity of bacteria for unnatural
D-amino acids is also expected to pave the way for design and synthesis of novel D-amino
acid-based antibacterials.
“Cell wall synthesis is the major target of current antibiotics,” VanNieuwenhze said. “There
has always been an arms race with bacteria because they constantly develop resistance to
antibiotics, so new ones are always needed. We see this as a powerful new tool in that arms
race because the cell wall is an excellent target for antibiotics.””
The full article can be found here:

Return to Top

CHANGES IN SELECT AGENT RULES CONCERN PUBLIC HEALTH LABS
By Robert Roos
Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy

10 October 2012

“The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has revised its list of potentially
dangerous biological agents and toxins and the regulations covering them, and some of the
changes have public health laboratories concerned.
The CDC has dropped 23 items from the official list of “select agents and toxins” and has
added three viruses to the list: the SARS (severe acute respiratory syndrome) coronavirus
and two hemorrhagic fever viruses: Lujo, from Africa, and Chapare, from South America.
“At the end of the day the list is shorter. We think it’s more focused on the agents of
highest concern to public health,” said Rob Weyant, PhD, director of the CDC’s Division of
Select Agents and Toxins.
In addition, the agency has designated a new category of agents, called Tier 1, for those
deemed to pose the biggest risk of deliberate misuse with potential for high casualties and
economic and social disruption. Labs that handle these agents will be subject to new
security requirements, including a “personal reliability” program to ensure that personnel
with access to the agents are trustworthy.
It’s the Tier 1 requirements that concern the Association of Public Health Laboratories
(APHL), according to Chris N. Mangal, MPH, the APHL’s director of public health
preparedness and response. She said the association is worried that the new security
requirements will prove too burdensome and may prompt labs to give up their registration
with the federal Select Agent Program. And that in turn could impair their ability to respond
to infectious disease threats, she said.
The Tier 1 list includes Ebola virus, Francisella tularensis (the cause of tularemia), Marburg
virus, variola major and minor viruses (smallpox), Yersinia pestis (plague), Clostridium
botulinum and botulinum toxin (botulism), Bacillus anthracis (anthrax), Burkholderia mallei
(glanders), and Burkholderia pseudomallei (melioidosis).”
[snip]
The full article can be found here

Return to Top

OUTBREAK INVESTIGATORS FIND FUNGUS IN RECALLED STEROIDS
By Lisa Schnirring

Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy |  11 October 2012

“Federal officials today announced that testing in the multistate meningitis outbreak has
found fungus in 50 unopened vials of the steroid linked to the outbreak and that Michigan
officials reported the first joint infection in a patient who received the recalled drug.
Meanwhile, the number of patients infected in the outbreak climbed to 170, with 33 cases
added to the total since yesterday, according to the Centers for Disease Control and
Prevention (CDC) today. Two more deaths were reported, raising the total to 14, and Idaho
reported its first infection, making it the 11th state to be affected by the outbreak.
At a media briefing today, Deborah Autor, JD, deputy director of Global Regulatory
Operations and Policy with the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) expressed
condolences to the patients and families affected by the outbreak. She said FDA
investigators are working around the clock alongside the CDC to identify the source of the
contamination and flesh out the problems that led to it.
Autor said fungus was found in unopened vials from both the New England Compounding
Center (NECC) facility that produced the methylprednisolone acetate injections as well as
some of vials retrieved from clinics that received them.
Tests are under way to identify the types of fungus that are in the vials, Autor said. One of
the earliest patients sickened in the outbreak was infected with Aspergillus fumigatus, but
since then most of the organisms identified have been Exserohilum, a black mold that
health officials say has never been known to cause meningitis before.”
[snip]
“Autor said one of the goals of the investigation is to identify regulatory gaps that apply to
compounding pharmacies. She acknowledged that NECC received a warning from the FDA
that the company’s practices resembled those of a pharmaceutical company’s, but she said
the agency has limits on its authority to do a detailed follow-up, such as looking at the
company’s distribution records.
She said the practice of the pharmacy is changing and that it’s a shame that it takes a crisis
to put risk-based controls in place.”
The full article can be found here 

Return to Top

END of Report.

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