Security (S&B/CBRNE) Magazine

SPR 2016

Security & Border Protection and CST & CBRNE Source Book, published jointly, concentrate on WMD response, NGB training, counterterrorism, and border security

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Page 10 of 35 S&BP and CST & CBRNE | Spring 2016 | 9 would say that the threat has broadened in some areas, and some of the former concerns which relaxed after the Cold War have reemerged," Bradley said. When the Soviet Union and the United States entered into a Cold War shortly after the end of WWII, each nation went through a rapid build-up phase of their nuclear arsenals, said Bradley, 51, who worked at Lawrence Livermore and Los Alamos National Laboratories studying various issues related to nuclear energy and weapons prior to joining Argonne. Bradley said the Cold War threat was what was known as "mutually assured destruction" – that is, each nation deliberately possessed an arsenal sufficient to decimate the opponent. While there was always concern about additional nations obtaining nuclear weapons (and, of course, several did) the reality was that as a nation, the United States was concerned primarily with the threat posed by the Soviet Union's arsenal. After the Cold War ended and relations between the two nations thawed, that threat gave way to concerns about the proliferation of nuclear weapons states, state-sponsored terrorism and "dirty bombs." In that regard, things have changed dramatically, he said. Keeping Watch at Home The National Security Program at Argonne receives much of its funding from DOE and NNSA, but also works with industry and other agencies to help ensure protection of the U.S. homeland. Bradley pointed to one example of the broader mission work Argonne is performing: a project involving the New York Police Department and the Fire Department of New York, as well as industry partners and academia, to develop the next generation of first-responder equipment. The goal is to produce easier- to-use equipment that is more reliable while simultaneously providing increased sensitivity and selectivity to the entire gamut of potential radiological and nuclear threats. While the work is challenging and the threats are ever evolving, Bradley said he is encouraged at the progress being made in fighting against the misuse of radioactive materials. "We have made great advances, but there is much more to be done," Bradley said. "The threat we face as a country is very real and very diverse." Bradley pointed to the threat from a radiological dispersion device as an evolving risk that needs to be addressed. While the immediate physical consequences of a dirty bomb don't approach that of a nuclear explosive, the political, psychological and economic consequences would be profound. Additionally, he said, if the power of the atom is used for nefarious purposes, it will drive people, even whole societies, to question whether the benefits of radiological and nuclear applications outweigh the risks. Countless lives have been saved by the use of radioisotopes in medicine, and nuclear power has provided decades of clean energy to billions across the planet. Those critically important contributions are at risk of being reversed if the atom is misused. Influencing a Positive Outlook Bradley said Argonne has a strong commitment to reducing the risks of nuclear proliferation and other threats to our national security. "You can be certain that Argonne will stand ready and eager to contribute its unique scientific and technical expertise to reduce the risk posed by potential misuse of nuclear materials and technology," Bradley said. "The safety of our nation and the world is critically dependent on continuing to address proliferation. Argonne will do its part to ensure the nation continues to address this risk." Nuclear Security Threat Mitigation Lead Art: Keith Bradley, Director of National and Global Security Programs at Argonne, left, discusses a modeling and fow simulation of a nuclear reactor core with colleagues. Argonne is applying its 70 years of reactor expertise to various national security programs. (Argonne)

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