FAS Roundup: February 13, 2012
New report on future of nuclear power, DoD inspector takes on classification oversight, freedom of the press and much more.
- On February 8, 2012, FAS honored Dr. Steven Chu, U.S. Secretary of Energy, and Dr. Richard A. Meserve, president of the Carnegie Institution for Science, at a dinner event in Washington, DC. Secretary Chu was recognized with the Hans Bethe Award and Dr. Meserve received the inaugural Richard L. Garwin Award for distinguished service. The evening’s Master of Ceremonies was John Holdren, the director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and Science Adviser to the President. The distinguished guests included Congressman Rush Holt, General Brent Scowcroft, Chairman of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) Gregory Jaczko, NRC Commissioners Kristine Svinicki, George Apostolakis and William Ostendorff, and FAS Board Members. Stay tuned to our website next week for video of the event.
- FAS also released a new report produced by FAS and Washington and Lee University at a briefing on Capitol Hill on February 8, 2012. The report, on the future of nuclear power in the United States, was written by a distinguished group of experts who provided insights about the safety, security, building, financing, licensing, regulating, and fueling of nuclear power plants. Speakers at the event included authors Dr. Albert Carr Jr., Mr. Stephen Maloney, Dr. Ivan Oelrich and Ms. Sharon Squassoni. Dr. Charles Ferguson and Dr. Frank Settle, editors of the report, served as moderators of the panel.
New Report on Nuclear Power
- In the wake of the devastating meltdown at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant in Japan, many Americans are now reevaluating the costs and benefits of nuclear energy. If anything, the accident underscores that constant vigilance is needed to ensure nuclear safety. FAS and Washington and Lee University released a new report examining the future of nuclear power power in the United States.
From the Blogs
- Detention of U.S. Persons: What is the Existing Law?: When Congress passed the 2012 National Defense Authorization Act, it included provisions that authorized U.S. armed forces to detain persons who are captured in the conflict with al-Qaeda, the Taliban, or associated forces. However, Congress also said that those provisions did not provide any new authority to detain U.S. citizens or others who may be captured in the United States.
- DoD Inspector General Takes on Classification Oversight: In a move that can only strengthen and improve oversight of the national security classification system, the Department of Defense Inspector General has begun a far-reaching review of Pentagon classification policy. Among other things, the Inspector General review will focus on “efforts by the Department to decrease over-classification.”
- A Profession Nobody’s Heard Of: What does a health physicist do? Health physics is the profession that deals with radiation safety for people and the environment. Currently, there is a shortage of health physicists in the United States, and the majority of those running radiation safety programs are not trained radiation safety professionals. Dr. Y writes about what exactly a health physicist does, and their importance to the scientific community.
- Military Intelligence Professional Bulletin Online: The Military Intelligence Professional Bulletin is a quarterly journal published by the U.S. Army to promote awareness and discussion of current topics in military intelligence. Although unclassified, the Bulletin is not made available online by the Army. Recent volumes can be found on the FAS website.
- Leaks, National Security, and Freedom of the Press: A new book, “Who Watches the Watchman” by Gary Ross, explores the the phenomenon of leaks from multiple angles, including their history, their prevalence and their consequences. Most interestingly, he considers the diverse motivations of leakers and of the reporters who solicit, receive and publish their disclosures. Some of these he finds defensible, and others not.
- The Radium Age: A century ago, people used radium to treat diseases (such as cancer) and even consumed to help one’s overall health. Radium was also used in products such as watch dials and fishing tackle. With today’s hypersensitivity to radiation this is hard to believe – but one of the reasons for today’s hypersensitivity to radiation might actually have something to do with the profligacy of earlier decades.
- China’s Vice President Visits the US, and more from CRS: Secrecy News has obtained new CRS reports on topics such as Iran’s threat to the Strait of Hormuz and Lebanon and the uprising in Syria.
Volunteer Opportunity for DC Members
- FAS will have a booth at the 2nd Annual USA Science and Engineering Festival which will be held on April 28-29 in Washington, DC. We are looking for volunteers to staff our booth-come share your knowledge and career experiences with festival attendees! If you are interested in volunteering, please contact Melanie Stegman at firstname.lastname@example.org.For more information on our booth and the festival, click here.
FAS in the News
- Feb 9: PhysOrg.com, “Carnegie’s Richard Meserve Receives Inaugural Richard Garwin Award”
- Feb 9: EurekAlert, ”Carnegie’s Richard Meserve Recieves Inaugural Garwin Award”
- Feb 8: Government Security News, “Study Says Nuclear Plant Designs Need Stepped Up Attention to Security”
- Feb 8: DefenseNews.com, ”IG Reviewing Overclassification at DOD”
- Feb 7: New York Times – The Lede, “Among Liberties Advocates, Outrage Over Expanded Use of Drones”
- Feb 7: Washington Times, “Drones Over U.S. Gets OK By Congress”
- Feb 6: Mother Jones, “Obama’s Golden Nuclear Option”