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2012 Nuclear Security Summit in Seoul: Achieving Sustainable Nuclear Security Culture

By Igor Khripunov According to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), nuclear security culture is “the assembly of characteristics, attitudes and behavior of individuals, organizations and institutions which serves as a means to support and enhance nuclear security.”[1]  The concept of security culture emerged much later than nuclear safety culture, which was triggered by human errors that led to the Three Mile Island, Chernobyl and Fukushima accidents. Much as these incidents confirmed the importance of nuclear safety, security culture has gained acceptance as a way to keep terrorist groups from acquiring radioactive materials and prevent acts of sabotage against nuclear power infrastructures. Safety and security culture share the goal of protecting human lives and the environment by assuring that nuclear power plants operate at acceptable risk levels. The 2010 Nuclear Security Summit held in Washington, DC, emphasized the importance of culture as a critical contributing factor to nuclear security:

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Transport of Laboratory Personnel Exposed to Dangerous Pathogens, MD

An NBIC facility at Ft. Detrick, MD (Credit: US Army Corps of Engineers) The Federal Register published a notice today from the Department of Health and Human Services detailing the transport of potentially infected laboratory workers at the new National Interagency Biodefense Campus (NIBC) in Ft. Detrick, MD.  The campus hosts researchers from a variety of agencies, including the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID), the National Biodefense Analysis and Countermeasures Center (NBACC), and the National Institute of Health’s (NIH) National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease (NIAID),which conduct research in Biosafety level  3 and 4 laboratories.  Such laboratories are required to work with dangerous pathogens, such as Bacillus anthracis (anthrax) and Ebolavirus sp (Ebola).

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Nicaragua Agrees to Destroy More MANPADS

On July 13th, the Nicaraguan National Assembly voted to destroy an additional 651 of its large stockpile of shoulder-fired, surface-to-air missiles, bringing it one step closer to fulfilling President Enrique Bolanos's earlier commitment to destroy Nicaragua's entire stock of Man-portable Air Defense Systems (MANPADS). The Assembly approved the plan despite opposition from the Sandinista National Liberation Front (SNLF), which led a partially successful campaign to derail the US-funded destruction initiative in early 2005. The missiles - 2000 SA series MANPADS - are the remnants of a massive infusion of Soviet military assistance to the left-leaning Sandinista government, which was the target of a US-supported insurgency in the 1980s. The proxy wars in Central America ended shortly after the collapse of the Soviet Union, but the huge stockpiles of Soviet weapons remained - an attractive target for arms traffickers. Diversions of Nicaragua’s missiles date back at least to 1990, when Sandinistan military officers sold 8 missile launchers and 28 missiles to rebels in El Salvador. Three years later, 19 more black market missiles were discovered in the charred remains of a Managuan auto repair shop that doubled as a storage site for a large cache of illicit rockets, mines, explosives and MANPADS. The repair shop caught fire after part of the cache exploded.

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Crowd-Sourcing the Treaty Verification Problem

Verification of international treaties and arms control agreements such as the pending Iran nuclear deal has traditionally relied upon formal inspections backed by clandestine intelligence collection. But today, the widespread…

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FAS Roundup – February 13, 2017

Trump: “We’re going to find the leakers. They’re going to pay a big price for leaking.” What consequences could leakers face?  The Washington Post interviewed Steven Aftergood, Director of…

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CRS Reports Are Still Out of Bounds

When a military judge ruled last month that Salim Ahmed Hamdan, a former driver for Osama bin Laden, could be tried for war crimes, the first footnote in his…

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