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Category Archives: Defense

NRC Staff Issues Volume 3 of Yucca Mountain Safety Evaluation Report

News release: “The Nuclear Regulatory Commission staff has published Volume 3 of its safety evaluation  report on the proposed underground geologic nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain, Nev. Volume 3 covers the period after a repository at Yucca Mountain would be permanently closed should NRC authorize construction following completion of the remaining steps in the licensing process. Volume 3 contains the staff’s finding that the Department of Energy’s repository design meets
the requirements that apply after the repository is permanently closed, including but not limited to the post-closure performance objectives in NRC’s regulations (in 10 CFR Part 63, Subpart E). These performance objectives include the requirement that the repository be composed of multiple barriers to isolate radioactivity from the environment. The staff also found the proposed repository design meets the NRC’s limits or standards (in 10 CFR Part 63, Subpart L) for individual protection, human intrusion and groundwater protection. The Department of Energy submitted its Yucca Mountain application in June 2008. The NRC staff published Volume 1 (General Information) of the safety evaluation report in August 2010. After DOE moved to withdraw the application and Congress stopped appropriating funds for the NRC’s
review, the agency closed out its application review and published three technical evaluation reports containing the staff’s technical analyses to that point but no regulatory conclusions. The adjudication of nearly 300 contentions filed by various parties contesting the application was also suspended in September 2011. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ordered the NRC in August 2013 to resume the licensing process using currently available funding appropriated from the Nuclear Waste Fund. That court order led to today’s publication of Volume 3. The staff expects to publish volumes 2 (Repository Safety Before Permanent Closure), 4 (Administrative and Programmatic Requirements) and 5 (License Specifications) by January 2015, as they are completed.Publication of Volume 3 does not signal whether the NRC might authorize construction of the repository. A final licensing decision, should funds beyond those currently available be appropriated,could come only after completion of the safety evaluation report, a supplement to the Department of Energy’s environmental impact statement, hearings on contentions in the adjudication, and
Commission review.”

Safeguarding the Personal Information of all People – ODNI

Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) – Safeguarding the Personal Information of all People, July 2014. “As the President said in his speech on January 17, 2014, “the challenges posed by threats like terrorism, proliferation, and cyber-attacks are not going away any time soon, and for our intelligence community to be effective over theContinue Reading

DoD Contract Spending and the Industrial Base, 2000–2013

A Report of the CSIS National Security Program on Industry and Resources, October 2014 “Over the past decade, the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) has issued a series of analytical reports on federal contract spending for national security and across the government. This latest report analyzes contracting for products, services, and research and developmentContinue Reading

DHS Yearbook of Immigration Statistics

“The Yearbook of Immigration Statistics is a compendium of tables that provides data on foreign nationals who, during a fiscal year, were granted lawful permanent residence (i.e., admitted as immigrants or became legal permanent residents), were admitted into the United States on a temporary basis (e.g., tourists, students, or workers), applied for asylum or refugeeContinue Reading

New GAO Reports – Climate Change, Specialty Metals

CLIMATE CHANGE: USDA’s Ongoing Efforts Can Be Enhanced with Better Metrics and More Relevant Information for Farmers, GAO-14-755: Published: Sep 16, 2014. Publicly Released: Oct 16, 2014: “In 2012, the United States produced about $395 billion in agricultural commodities, with about half of this revenue from crop sales and half from livestock. According to the Third National ClimateContinue Reading

Al Qaeda-Affiliated Groups: Middle East and Africa

CRS: Al Qaeda-Affiliated Groups: Middle East and Africa, October 10, 2014. “After more than a decade of combating Al Qaeda in Afghanistan and Pakistan, the United States now faces an increasingly diverse threat from Al Qaeda affiliates in the Middle East and Africa and from emerging groups that have adopted aspects of Al Qaeda’s ideologyContinue Reading

DoD FY 2014 Climate Change Adaptation Roadmap

Department of Defense FY 2014 Climate Change Adaptation Roadmap “Climate change will affect the Department of Defense’s ability to defend the Nation and poses immediate risks to U.S. national security.  The Department is responding to climate change in two ways: adaptation, or efforts to plan for the changes that are occurring or expected to occur;Continue Reading

New GAO Reports – Combatting Nuclear Smuggling, CPSC, Ocean Acidification

COMBATING NUCLEAR SMUGGLING: Risk-Informed Covert Assessments and Oversight of Corrective Actions Could Strengthen Capabilities at the Border, GAO-14-826: Published: Sep 22, 2014. Publicly Released: Oct 14, 2014: CONSUMER PRODUCT SAFETY COMMISSION: Challenges and Options for Responding to New and Emerging Risks, GAO-15-17: Published: Oct 14, 2014. Publicly Released: Oct 14, 2014: “CPSC is responsible for ensuring the safety of thousands ofContinue Reading

Priority Agenda Enhancing the Climate Resilience of America’s Natural Resources

“The interagency Council on Climate Change Preparedness and Resilience, established by Section 6 of the Order, convened a Climate and Natural Resources Working Group (CNRWG) to complete the inventory, assessment, and plan called for in Section 3 of the Order. The CNRWG includes Departments of Defense, Interior, and Agriculture, the Environmental Protection Agency, the National OceanicContinue Reading

U.S. State Department Iraq-Syria Conflict Without Borders Map October 2014

Via Public Intelligence – “The following is part of a series produced by the State Department’s Humanitarian Information Unit.  A map produced in late June for the same series is also available.

Human Rights Protection During Armed Conflict: What, When, and for Whom?

Scobbie, Iain, Human Rights Protection During Armed Conflict: What, When, and for Whom? (October 7, 2014). Erika de Wet & Jann Kleffner (eds), Convergence and Conflicts of Human Rights and International Humanitarian Law in Military Operations (Pretoria University Law Press, Pretoria) Forthcoming. Available for download at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2506793 “This essay seeks to examine some ofContinue Reading

Report claims NSA has operatives in foreign communications companies

“The National Security Agency has had agents in China, Germany, and South Korea working on programs that use “physical subversion” to infiltrate and compromise networks and devices, according to documents obtained by The Intercept. The documents, leaked by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, also indicate that the agency has used “under cover” operatives to gain access toContinue Reading