This report reviews and updates the 2002 National Research Council report, Technical Issues Related to the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT). This report also assesses various topics, including:
the plans to maintain the safety and reliability of the U.S. nuclear stockpile without nuclear-explosion testing;
the U.S. capability to detect, locate, and identify nuclear explosions;
commitments necessary to sustain the stockpile and the U.S. and international monitoring systems; and
The "homeland" security mission of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is paradoxical: Its mission space is uniquely focused on the domestic consequences of security threats, but these threats may be international in origin, organization, and implementation. The DHS is responsible for the domestic security implications of threats to the United States posed, in part, through the global networks of which the United States is a part. While the security of the U.S. air transportation network could be increased if it were isolated from connections to the larger international network, doing
The Blue Grass Chemical Agent Destruction Pilot Plant (BGCAPP) is under construction and will destroy the chemical weapons stockpile currently stored at the Blue Grass Army Depot near Richmond, Kentucky. The Committee to Review the Water Recovery System at the Blue Grass Chemical Agent Destruction Pilot Plant was assembled to review the water recovery system (WRS) that will be used to recycle the combined supercritical water oxidation (SCWO) system, cooling tower blowdown, and steam blowdown effluents for reuse as quench water in the SCWO process.
The Blue Grass Che[more]
Highly enriched uranium (HEU) is used for two major civilian purposes: as fuel for research reactors and as targets for medical isotope production. This material can be dangerous in the wrong hands. Stolen or diverted HEU can be used-in conjunction with some knowledge of physics-to build nuclear explosive devices. Thus, the continued civilian use of HEU is of concern particularly because this material may not be uniformly well-protected. To address these concerns, the National Research Council (NRC) of the U.S. National Academies and the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS) held a joint sympos
Less than a month after the September 11, 2001 attacks, letters containing spores of anthrax bacteria (Bacillus anthracis, or B. anthracis) were sent through the U.S. mail. Between October 4 and November 20, 2001, 22 individuals developed anthrax; 5 of the cases were fatal.
During its investigation of the anthrax mailings, the FBI worked with other federal agencies to coordinate and conduct scientific analyses of the anthrax letter spore powders, environmental samples, clinical samples, and samples collected from laboratories that might have been the source of the letter-associated s
The Department of Defense, through the Assembled Chemical Weapons Alternatives program, is currently in the process of constructing two full-scale pilot plants at the Pueblo Chemical Depot in Colorado and the Blue Grass Army Depot in Kentucky to destroy the last two remaining inventories of chemical weapons in the U.S. stockpile. These two storage sites together account for about 10 percent of the original U.S. chemical agent stockpile that is in the process of being destroyed in accordance with the international Chemical Weapons Convention treaty. Unlike their predecessors, these facilitie
From the days of biplanes and open cockpits, the air forces of the United States have relied on the mastery of technology. From design to operation, a project can stretch to 20 years and more, with continuous increases in cost. Much of the delay and cost growth afflicting modern United States Air Force (USAF) programs is rooted in the incorporation of advanced technology into major systems acquisition.
Leaders in the Air Force responsible for science and technology and acquisition are trying to determine the optimal way to utilize existing policies, processes, and resources to
The Air Force requires technical skills and expertise across the entire range of activities and processes associated with the development, fielding, and employment of air, space, and cyber operational capabilities. The growing complexity of both traditional and emerging missions is placing new demands on education, training, career development, system acquisition, platform sustainment, and development of operational systems. While in the past the Air Force's technologically intensive mission has been highly attractive to individuals educated in science, technology, engineering, and mathemat
In a world of increasing dependence on information technology, the prevention of cyberattacks on a nation's important computer and communications systems and networks is a problem that looms large. Given the demonstrated limitations of passive cybersecurity defense measures, it is natural to consider the possibility that deterrence might play a useful role in preventing cyberattacks against the United States and its vital interests. At the request of the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, the National Research Council undertook a two-phase project aimed to foster a broad, mult
The events of September 11, 2001 changed perceptions, rearranged national priorities, and produced significant new government entities, including the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) created in 2003. While the principal mission of DHS is to lead efforts to secure the nation against those forces that wish to do harm, the department also has responsibilities in regard to preparation for and response to other hazards and disasters, such as floods, earthquakes, and other "natural" disasters. Whether in the context of preparedness, response or recovery from terrorism, illegal entry to