The 2011 accident at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant was preventable. The Great East Japan earthquake and the tsunami that followed it were unprecedented events in recent history, but they were not altogether unforeseeable. Stronger regulation across the nuclear power industry could have prevented many of the worst outcomes at Fukushima Daiichi and will [...]
FAS President Dr. Charles Ferguson will be the keynote speaker at a symposium hosted by VIP Global Net, LLC on May 15-16, 2013 at the Mason Inn at George Mason University in Fairfax, VA. The topic of the symposium is “Countering Nuclear and Radiological Threats” and will feature speakers from the Countering Weapons of Mass [...]
The U.S.-Japan Nuclear Working Group, co-chaired by FAS President Dr. Charles Ferguson, has released a new report recommending priorities for the Japanese government following the March 11, 2011 nuclear accident at Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant. The U.S.-Japan Nuclear Working Group is composed of bi-national experts who have come together to examine the broader strategic [...]
Our complete coverage of the BIO 2010 Biosecurity Conference in Chicago can be found in the FAS Biosecurity Blog archives at: http://fas.org/blog/bio/tag/bio2010
Several recurring themes emerged in the presentations by the world’s experts in fields like public health, national security, food defense, biological weapons, and new advances in research. Here is our analysis of some of the themes observed at the conference.
The 2010 Biosecurity convention concluded with a round table discussion of the dual use risks associated with novel technologies, such as synthetic biology and nanotechnology.
Personnel reliability refers to programs intended to reduce the “insider threat”; the prospect that researchers who are permitted to work on hazardous biological agents might misuse that access. This has been a major topic in biosecurity since the 2001 Anthrax attacks, which have been attributed to a researcher at Fort Detrick. They were also the focus of a 2008 NSABB report, which did not recommend that a formal personnel reliability program be instituted for research. This panel sought to evaluate whether these measures are sufficient.
Representatives from industry, NGO’s and the government gathered to discuss ways to manage biological threats at the second day of the 2010 Biosecurity convention. The session focused on the coordination that would be required to respond to biological incidents.
Former US Vice President, and leading climate advocate Al Gore gave the keynote for the full 2010 Biotechnology Industry Organization conference.
The final biosecurity panel of the day was an extended Q&A session with a panel of seven participants from the US government and industry. The panel discussed countermeasures to biological threats, and offered an interesting contrast between where the two sides agreed and differed on the issues.
The third session of the BIO biosecurity conference focused on agricultural biosecurity. If it sometimes seems difficult to defend major population centers against attack, that challenge is only magnified when considering the geographic scale, and economic importance, of the food supply.