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Cat Litter's Role in Nuclear Leak Still Unproven

June 30, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Laboratories failed to replicate a cat-litter reaction hypothesized to have ruptured a storage drum in an underground nuclear-waste dump, Reuters reports. Neither Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico nor any of the nation's other atomic research centers have produced the type of thermal reaction tentatively blamed for a February ...

Air Force Awards $1.9 Billion Contract for More Antimissile Satellites

June 25, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The U.S. Air Force has awarded a $1.86 billion contract to Lockheed Martin to complete production work on two more missile-defense satellites. The satellites, GEO-5 and GEO-6, will eventually join a constellation of military satellites known as the Space Based Infrared System, which gives the U.S. military around-the-clock intelligence about ...

An Old U.S. Bomber Just Got Some Modern Communications Gear

May 5, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Some aging B-52 nuclear-capable bombers just returned to Air Force units, sporting upgraded and modern communications technology, Foreign Policy reports. The aircraft are part of the service's $1.1 billion CONECT program, which stands for Combat Network Communications Technology. Equipping the bombers with new systems means crew members need no longer ...

Nuclear Accident? Fasten Up Your 'Radiation Belt'

April 9, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow An Israeli company has developed a "StemRad 360 Gamma" belt that could protect its wearer from the effects of gamma radiation in a nuclear emergency. It might not ever be stylish. But the belt could prove to be a lifesaver for first responders who strap it around their midsection in ...

Prosecutors Move to Restrict Access to 'Death Ray' Designs

March 21, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Prosecutors pushed to restrict details on what they called a deadly X-ray weapon, as its alleged inventor faces trial, the Schenectady Daily Gazette reports. Federal prosecutors in New York urged a judge to place the weapon's design under seal, limiting the crucial details to participants in the trial of 49-year-old ...

More Radiation Escapes New Mexico Nuclear-Waste Facility

March 20, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Sensors at a U.S. atomic-waste repository in New Mexico have detected a second release of radiation in less than a month, the Associated Press reports. A brief spike in radioactivity readings occurred on March 11 at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant, the Energy Department said this week. The incident followed ...

China's Hypersonic Glide Vehicle May Fly 10 Times Faster Than Sound

March 17, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow A developmental Chinese hypersonic vehicle could exceed the speed of sound 10 times over, the Taiwanese newspaper China Times reports. China's Sina Military Network provided the attributed maximum flight speed of the WU-14 glide vehicle, and added that the device is designed to hit any location on earth in 60 ...

New App Wants to Help You Read Things Four Times Faster

March 11, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow People are getting excited about Spritz, a new questionably-named speed-reading app that promises readers the ability to read up to 1,000 words per minute — about four times as many words as the average American reads. It even sort of has a celebrity (investor) endorsement. Spritz works by showing one ...

DARPA Wants a Portable System to Identify Biological and Chemical Threats

March 7, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The Pentagon's futuristic research and deelopment arm, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, plans to develop a small and portable system that could reveal and identify chemical or biological threats on the battlefield, the Wired "Danger Room" blog reports. Agency officials call the desired technology the "Laser UV Sources for ...

New Mexico Lets Nuclear Waste Remain Above Ground After Radioactive Leak

March 4, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow New Mexico has extended the time allowed for keeping atomic waste above ground after last month’s radioactive release at an underground repository. The federally run Waste Isolation Pilot Plant remains closed following the February release of a small quantity of radiation from the subterranean dump. In the meantime, dozens of ...