Fall 2011

PIR: Volume 64 No 3

To read the Fall 2011 PIR in its entirety please click herefall2011cover



President’s Message: 
Adverse Consequences of Iranian-U.S. Tensions

Neal Lane, former Assistant to the President for science and technology and former director of the National Science Foundation,was interviewed about many of the issues of concern to the FAS founders that exist today.

Duly Noted: 
Rick Hind of Greenpeace and Patrick Coyle, a consultant with the chemical industry, face off on security at U.S. chemical facilities.

Book Review: 
American Anthrax – Fear, Crime, and the Investigation of the Nation’s Deadliest Bioterror Attack by Jeanne Guillemin.

FAS Matters: 
News and Notes from FAS Headquarters.


Biological Agents in the Laboratory 
Within weeks of the destruction of the World Trade Center towers on September 11, 2001, the United States experienced a second assault in the form of anthrax spores delivered through the mail. These events changed the way we conduct work in biological laboratories. By Dr. Nancy Connell, Vice-Chair for Research in the Department of Medicine at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, New Jersey Medical School.
The Biological Weapons Review Conference 2011 – Avoiding the Road to Nowhere
In December 2011, the Biological Weapons Convention met in Geneva for the seventh review conference of the treaty. The BWC is now in middle age, having entered into force in 1975, and in the next few years will face some difficult issues. By Dr. Jeremy “Jez” Littlewood, Director of the Canadian Centre of Intelligence and Security Studies at The Norman Paterson School of International Affairs at Carleton University.

Biological Weapons: The Past 100 Years
Biological weapons have been much discussed in the past 20 years, most particularly since the anthrax attacks in the U.S. in September and October 2001. What in fact is the status of biological weapons and what has it been for the past 40-50 years? By Dr. Milton Leitenberg, Senior Research Scholar in the Center for International and Security Studies at the University of Maryland School of Public Policy.


Sweeping Up Dirty Bombs – A Shift From Normative to Pro-Active Measures
Anders Breivik of Norway executed two subsequent attacks on an Oslo executive government building and summer youth camp on the island of Utøya. The effect of these mass murders is heightened when one considers the other potential scenarios that could have occurred. A manifesto he posted to the Internet called for “creating, deploying and detonating radiological bombs in Western European capitals.” By The Honorable Bill Richardson, Governor of New Mexico from 2003 to 2010 and former U.S. Secretary of Energy, former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, and Congressman from New Mexico; Charles Streeper, nonproliferation analyst and researcher; and Margarita Sevcik, Project Manager at the James Martin Center for Nonproliferation Studies, Monterey Institute of International Studies.


2012 Nuclear Security Summit in Seoul – Achieving Sustainable Nuclear Security Culture
The concept of a nuclear security culture emerged much later than the nuclear safety culture, which was triggered by human errors that led to the Three Mile Island, Chernobyl and the Fukushima accidents. 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.
By Dr. Igor Khripunov, Distinguished Fellow and Adjunct Professor at the University of Georgia Center for International Trade and Security.


Evolving Infectious Disease Risks Call for New Collaboration Models
The revolution in biotechnology reached a threshold last year with the creation of the world’s first synthetic life form. As with most scientific accomplishments, this development poses both great promise and potential problems. New capabilities in manipulating biological materials, accompanied by profound geographic, demographic, economic, and political changes, have created a more dangerous infectious disease environment around the world. By Dr. Reynolds M. Salerno, Senior Manger of Cooperative Threat Reduction Programs at Sandia National Laboratories; and Renee Deger, Media Relations/Communications Manager at Sandia National Laboratories.


Reflections on Teaching the Manhattan Project
Nuclear weapons were arguably the single most important factor on the geopolitical stage for the last half of the 20th century. For the public nuclear physics comes to their attention only when the news seems dire. The need forpublic education on nuclear issues is as pressing now as it has ever been. By Dr. B. Cameron Reed, Chair and Professor of Physics at Alma College.



Radioactive Materials Security
Andrew Karam writes about the procedures that professionals use to secure radioactive materials and the relative risks posed by various radioactive sources.


The PIR welcomes letters to the editor. Letters should not exceed 300 words and may be edited for length and clarity.

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