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Radiation Leak Spells Uncertainty for Nuclear Waste Dump

February 28, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow It is unclear how the United States will handle remnants of past nuclear-arms production following recent incidents at its sole burial site in New Mexico. Federal administrators, contractor operators and political figures said it is too early to consider possible consequences of the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant's closure after the ...

Nuclear Site Project Official Fired After Airing Safety Concerns

February 20, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow A senior government contractor was fired from her job this week years after she voiced safety worries about a project to dispose of nuclear-weapons waste. URS Corp. confirmed it had let go of Donna Busche, who in 2011 blew the whistle on concerns that a long-running project in Washington state ...

Early Tests Bode Well for Bioterrorism Treatment

February 11, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow A potential drug for use against Marburg virus has been shown in initial testing to be safe for humans, the Boston Business Journal reported. Pharmaceutical firm Sarepta Therapeutics announced that when the treatment was given in various dosage amounts over two weeks to 40 volunteers in a Phase 1 study, ...

Target Data Breach Has Congress Eying Data-Security Alternatives

February 6, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Congress will consider new approaches to data security in the wake of major data thefts at Target and other retailers, a key House Republican said Wednesday. Rep. Fred Upton—the top Republican on the powerful House Energy and Commerce Committee—suggested that Congress may need to tackle customer data security "differently" than ...

Twice As Many U.S. Missileers Now Implicated in Cheating Probe

January 28, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The number of U.S. nuclear missile-launch officers caught up in a probe into cheating on proficiency exams has roughly doubled in size, the Associated Press reports. The news service cited unidentified U.S. officials as sources of the report. The Pentagon revealed earlier this month that 34 Air Force nuclear missile ...

Experimental Uranium Tech Receives $62 Million Boost from U.S.

January 28, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow A cash-strapped U.S. effort to develop new uranium-enrichment technology is receiving $62 million in federal assistance, the New York Times reports. The fiscal 2014 spending bill signed into law this month sets aside nuclear-weapons funds for work on new equipment at the United States Enrichment Corporation's American Centrifuge Plant in ...

Pentagon Insists Nuclear Missile Launch Code Was Never '00000000'

January 22, 2014 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The Pentagon has denied to Congress that it ever established a nuclear missile launch code of "00000000," despite earlier reports, according to Foreign Policy. The House Armed Services Committee had demanded to know whether media reports were accurate that from 1962 to 1977, the Air Force used an eight-zero authorization ...

Ex-Lab Scientist May Reverse Plea in Nuclear-Secrets Case

December 5, 2013 FROM NEXTGOV arrow A onetime Los Alamos National Laboratory physicist may attempt to reverse his guilty plea on sharing secret nuclear-weapons information, the Associated Press reported on Wednesday. Physicist Leonardo Mascheroni and his wife, Marjorie Roxby Mascheroni, are accused of supplying an undercover federal agent posing as a Venezuelan operative with classified weapons ...

Pentagon Biodefense Project Duplicates HHS Effort

November 25, 2013 FROM NEXTGOV arrow A Defense Department biodefense facility under construction in Florida is widely seen as unnecessarily duplicating work carried out by the Health and Human Services Department, the Los Angeles Times reported on Saturday. The Pentagon plant, once finished, would manufacture medical countermeasures for U.S. troops that could be used against biowarfare ...

Shutdown Said to Cost U.S. Nuclear Agency More Than $300 Million

November 18, 2013 FROM NEXTGOV arrow The recent federal government shutdown is said to have cost the U.S. National Nuclear Security Administration at least $330 million, the Knoxville News Sentinel reported. The agency is a semi-autonomous arm of the Energy Department that oversees the nation's atomic arsenal. Speaking at a conference in Tennessee last week, Don ...