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SPECIAL REPORT

CBRN Solutions Testing for Military Operations Capabilities and User Experience of the Multipurpose Large-Scale Testing Facility The Clear and Present Danger of Chemical and Biological Weapons The 21st Century Use of Chemical and Biological Weapons Confronting Chemical and Biological Weapons in Use The Future of Biological, Chemical and Nuclear Weapon Destruction and Removal

Sponsored by

Published by Global Business Media


Test your CBRN solutions in near real-world conditions at SUJCHBO, v.v.i. OUR FACILITY: Enables experiments with any of the scheduled chemicals defined by the Chemical Weapons Convention. Meets the requirements for BSL 3 laboratories. Is licensed for handling open and closed sources of ionizing radiation.

NATIONAL INSTITUTE FOR NUCLEAR, CHEMICAL AND BIOLOGICAL PROTECTION (SUJCHBO, v.v.i.) Kamenna 71, 262 31 Milin, Czech Republic Director: Stanislav Bradka, MD., Ph.D. Contact person: Tibor Mikes, Ph.D. Tel: +420602249905 Fax: +420318626055 Email: sujchbo@sujchbo.cz URL: www.sujchbo.cz


SPECIAL REPORT: CBRN SOLUTIONS TESTING FOR MILITARY OPERATIONS

SPECIAL REPORT

CBRN Solutions Testing for Military Operations Capabilities and User Experience of the Multipurpose Large-Scale Testing Facility

Contents

The Clear and Present Danger of Chemical and Biological Weapons The 21st Century Use of Chemical and Biological Weapons Confronting Chemical and Biological Weapons in Use The Future of Biological, Chemical and Nuclear Weapon Destruction and Removal

Foreword

2

Mary Dub, Editor

Capabilities and User Experience of the Multipurpose Large-Scale Testing Facility

3

Stanislav Bradka and Tibor Mikes, SUJCHBO, v.v.i.

The Facility Experience Conclusions

Sponsored by

Published by Global Business Media

Published by Global Business Media Global Business Media Limited 62 The Street Ashtead Surrey KT21 1AT United Kingdom Switchboard: +44 (0)1737 850 939 Fax: +44 (0)1737 851 952 Email: info@globalbusinessmedia.org Website: www.globalbusinessmedia.org Publisher Kevin Bell Business Development Director Marie-Anne Brooks Editor Mary Dub Senior Project Manager Steve Banks Advertising Executives Michael McCarthy Abigail Coombes Production Manager Paul Davies For further information visit: www.globalbusinessmedia.org The opinions and views expressed in the editorial content in this publication are those of the authors alone and do not necessarily represent the views of any organisation with which they may be associated. Material in advertisements and promotional features may be considered to represent the views of the advertisers and promoters. The views and opinions expressed in this publication do not necessarily express the views of the Publishers or the Editor. While every care has been taken in the preparation of this publication, neither the Publishers nor the Editor are responsible for such opinions and views or for any inaccuracies in the articles. Š 2014. The entire contents of this publication are protected by copyright. Full details are available from the Publishers. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior permission of the copyright owner.

The Clear and Present Danger of Chemical and Biological Weapons 6 Mary Dub, Editor

More Recent Updating and Reinforcement of the Geneva Protocol The Importance of Independent Verification Organisation The Nuclear Issue Re-thinking the Nuclear and WMD Free Area Syria and Libya

The 21st Century Use of Chemical and Biological Weapons

8

Don McBarnet, Deputy Editor

Legacy Chemical and Biological Weapons in Iraq Uncertainty in Iraq about the Location and Quantity of Chemical and Biological Weapons The Complexity of the Identification, Decontamination, Transfer, and Destruction Process The Decontamination Process

Confronting Chemical and Biological Weapons in Use

10

Don McBarnet, Deputy Editor

A Variety of Decontamination Processes Decontamination and Destruction in Action in Syria Progress in Removing Syria’s Chemical Weapons Specialist Industrial Backup for the Organisations Removing Chemical Weapons

The Future of Biological, Chemical and Nuclear Weapon Destruction and Removal

12

Mary Dub, Editor

The Global Market for CBRN Capabilities The Emerging Growth of the CBRN Industry The Challenge of the HAZMAT Suit The Trend to COTS Products in the Face of Budget Cuts The Pharmaceutical Challenge for Decontamination WMD Remains a Critical Area for Research and Work

References 14

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SPECIAL REPORT: CBRN SOLUTIONS TESTING FOR MILITARY OPERATIONS

Foreword C

HEMICAL AND biological weapons are

The business of decontaminating and destroying

in use in the 21st century, despite the

chemical weapons used on civilians and soldiers is a

prohibitions of the 1925 Geneva Protocols, which

hazardous and dangerous process. The third piece

appear to have had a restraining effect on their

looks at how the intensity of conflict on the ground,

use in the 20th century. This Special Report

bureaucratic obstruction, and political obfuscation can

looks at the global market for products seeking

all make the business of identifying the chemical agent

to counter the devastating effect of chemical,

in use, decontaminating it and then potentially moving

biological and nuclear weapons. The Report

it for destruction, even more difficult.

reviews the challenging nature of the identification,

The final article looks to the future. The incidence

decontamination and destruction of chemical and

of the use of chemical and biological weapons is

biological weapons.

no longer a low risk event. On-going civil wars and

The opening article focuses on the capability and

instability in the Middle East currently create the danger

user experience of the Multipurpose Large-Scale

of state leaders or non-state actors having access

Testing Facility designed and constructed by the Czech

to and using chemical and biological weapons.

National Institute for Nuclear, Chemical and Biological

So the immediate demand for non-governmental

Protection. It goes on to describe the different types

organisations, research institutes and commercial

of experiments that the institute is capable of carrying

businesses devoted to the process of reducing the

out, and the various parameters that are measured,

risk for civilian and military populations, has never

recorded and verified.

been more important.

The second article examines the way humanitarian law has attempted to restrain and prohibit the use of chemical and biological weapons, with limited success.

Mary Dub Editor

Mary Dub is the editor of this Special Report. She has covered the defence field in the United States and the UK as a television broadcaster, journalist and conference manager.

2 | WWW.DEFENCEINDUSTRYREPORTS.COM


SPECIAL REPORT: CBRN SOLUTIONS TESTING FOR MILITARY OPERATIONS

Capabilities and User Experience of the Multipurpose Large-Scale Testing Facility Stanislav Bradka and Tibor Mikes, SUJCHBO, v.v.i.

CBRN solutions testing in near real-world conditions

T

HE CZECH National Institute for Nuclear, Chemical and Biological Protection (the Institute) designed and constructed a multipurpose large-scale testing facility for its research tasks. It became operational for live agents by the end of 2012. Since then it has been successfully used for testing, among others, for validation of emerging decontamination technologies within the joint experiments of the Institute, producers, end users and other contractors. Validation of decontamination processes requires thorough investigation, and appropriate methods for different scenarios, due to a wide range of variables. Laboratory studies may provide systematic approach to a particular problem and to compare alternative solutions. Their results are an important tool for predicting the performance of an existing or newly designed system but do not assess real-life concerns. High-tech capabilities of the Facility described below can imitate the real-world CBRN conditions for operations. The test environment may include the use of chemical warfare agents, toxic industrial chemicals, biological agents and radioactive matter, as well as any number of other intrusive agents. The Facility offers a way to perform testing under more realistic conditions.

The Facility The multipurpose large-scale testing facility was integrated into the existing research infrastructure of the Institute and equipped with state-of-the-art instrumentation. For safety reasons, its parts are divided into “dirty” and “clean” zones. The dirty zone consists of a testing room, pipeline for liquid waste, and a waste treatment facility. The clean zone includes support, control, and preparatory rooms. The zones are connected via two airlocks

with mutually interlocked doors for the entrance and exit of testing personnel. The most important part of the Facility is a testing room that consists of an airtight containment room of approximately 40x15x7.5 meters with an entrance gate of 4x4 meters. Its internal appliances are selected in accordance with the operations to be carried out. It is currently equipped with two tunnels that can be used independently or can be connected by interfaces or sleeves in parallel or in line. The tunnels, 12 and 6 meters long, both with diameter of 3.4 meters, are made from stainless steel and are furnished according to the test requirements. The room contains, also, auxiliary equipment (e.g. stand-alone HVAC systems with HEPA and charcoal filters), instrumentation, and control systems. The waste treatment facility is connected underground with the testing room by jacketed tubes and is equipped with reactors and a pool for neutralization of liquid and decontamination of the solid waste before its destruction. The supporting, control, and preparatory rooms contain an efficient filtration and ventilation system, spare power supply, and the appropriate instrumentation for operating and controlling the entire facility from the control room. The Facility has its own changing room, observation room, first aid room, and other auxiliary rooms. Support for evaluation of the experiments is provided by well equipped analytical laboratories of the Institute’s corresponding departments. The Facility enables experiments with any of the scheduled chemicals defined by the Chemical Weapons Convention, meets the requirements for BSL 3 laboratories and is licensed for handling open and closed sources of ionizing radiation. It is suitable for: WWW.DEFENCEINDUSTRYREPORTS.COM | 3


SPECIAL REPORT: CBRN SOLUTIONS TESTING FOR MILITARY OPERATIONS

The test environment may include the use of chemical warfare agents, toxic industrial chemicals, biological agents and radioactive matter, as well as any number of other intrusive agents

•S  tudying the behaviour, distribution, dispersion, sorption, etc. of toxic industrial chemicals and chemical warfare agents, most biological agents, some radioactive materials, and validation of various models; •P  erforming the survivability testing and validation trials of versatile defence and security systems and testing the effects of CBRN agents on equipment in sealed airtight chambers for the evaluation of: • individual and collective means of protection, •p  erformance and sensitivity of detectors/ sensors, •e  ffectiveness of complex decontamination systems, decontaminants, and decontamination processes. •E  ducation and training of first responders or persons who may come into contact with dangerous CBRN substances during their work. The performance of experiments and their progress, including the gathering of near realtime data, can be observed from any place in the world via secured Internet connection.

FIGURE 1: PREPARATION OF THE EXPERIMENTS

contaminating test surfaces, which were further treated as samples. After the expiration of exposure time, the samples were either directly decontaminated, or placed into the vehicle in order to simulate the vehicle interior contamination, and decontaminated by the tested technology.

Experience The effectiveness of several state-of-the-art decontamination systems using different technologies and decontaminants was tested on various specimens contaminated with live chemical, biological and radiological agents. The main goal was to verify the theoretical assumptions and laboratory results under operational conditions. Verification of decontamination efficiency was performed in compliance with the requirements of AEP-58 (NATO decontamination triptych). The variables which determine the effectiveness of decontamination include the nature of contaminating agents and decontaminants, contamination density, contact time, surface material, temperature, and many others. Some of them were kept constant during the testing, while others were altered according to the requirements. The technical procedures were developed in cooperation with Marble ChemBio Consulting, using AEP-58 Protocols as a starting point. The experiments were conducted in the above-mentioned tunnels of different size. The tests of the technology under evaluation (represented by different decontamination systems) were performed in the larger tunnel. For contamination of samples and preparation of the decontamination experiments, a compact fume hood and glove box was used. The general test procedure consisted of placing the decontamination systems and, in some cases, other auxiliary equipment, in the tunnel (e.g. personal Skoda car), and subsequently 4 | WWW.DEFENCEINDUSTRYREPORTS.COM

FIGURE 2: SIMULATION OF VEHICLE INTERIOR CONTAMINATION

FIGURE 3: DECONTAMINATION WITH TESTED TECHNOLOGY

Upon completion of the decontamination process, the samples were removed and prepared for analysis. The smaller part of the assembled testing tunnels was used for personal decontamination as well as for the decontamination of used devices and boxes with samples before transferring them to the analytical laboratories outside the testing facility for evaluation. Within the tests, several chemical (VX, GD, HD) and biological agents (spores of Bacillus anthracis and Bacillus globigii), and radioactive lanthanum with short half-life (La140) were used on different materials. CARC test coupons (steel painted with polyurethane paint), coupons


SPECIAL REPORT: CBRN SOLUTIONS TESTING FOR MILITARY OPERATIONS

FIGURE 4: ANALYTICAL LABORATORY FOR THE EVALUATION OF EXPERIMENTS

made of PVC, PMMA and various equipment specimens made of plastic or metal were contaminated. The contamination method was as required by AEP-58. The initial contamination with chemical agents was 5 g/m2. In the case of biological agents, the density of contamination was 1E7 cfu/cm2, and 20 MBq/m2 for radiological contamination, respectively. The radionuclide La140 was used in two different formulations. Reduction of contamination to acceptable threshold levels was required in all the cases.

FIGURE 5: AN EXAMPLE OF CONTAMINATED SAMPLES

The following parameters were measured, recorded and verified: • Initial contamination; •R  esidual contamination of the tested surfaces as well as the residual amount of contaminating agent in the effluents; •V  apour hazard and contact hazard in case of chemical agents; •R  eduction of the surface activity, and exposure of operators within radiological decontamination; • Extraction efficiency; •A  mbient temperature, relative humidity, and reproducibility of the tests. The experiments generated valuable data for the evaluation of decontamination systems effectiveness as well as for the assessment of their

impact on the equipment. In the majority of cases, the decontamination efficiency was very good, achieving residual levels below the measurement threshold for chemical, or more than log 6 reductions for biological agents. In other cases, the decontamination was less optimal. This largely depended on the combination of surface material type and performed treatments. For some kinds of materials, an extra step or time was required to achieve an acceptable level of decontamination. The results from a number of tests with various decontamination systems and decontaminants also demonstrated and proved the suitability of the Facility for bulk systems testing as close as possible to real-world conditions and for validation of emerging protective measures, technologies and state-of-the-art systems.

Conclusions With evolving threats, hazards and security challenges, increasingly sophisticated technologies are needed for the protection of people, infrastructures and the environment. Verification whether the designed military or security-related systems meet the requirements for performance, reliability, accuracy and other indicators in CBRN environment, is impossible in classical laboratories or in the open air in the majority of cases due to their size and/or environmental considerations. Therefore, validation of complex systems in compliance with requirements became an integral part of applied security research. The Institute, within its research tasks, expects to monitor and assess how the existing and emerging technologies respond to the CBRN environment. Testing by the Facility may also be offered to the institutions, manufacturers, experts, consultants, and/or end users within EU and EDA Projects or on the commercial basis.

Contacts National Institute for Nuclear, Chemical and Biological Protection (SUJCHBO), Kamenna 71, 262 31 Milin, Czech Republic; Tel: +420602249905; Fax: +420318626055; Email: sujchbo@sujchbo.cz; www.sujchbo.cz

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SPECIAL REPORT: CBRN SOLUTIONS TESTING FOR MILITARY OPERATIONS

The Clear and Present Danger of Chemical and Biological Weapons Mary Dub, Editor

“What has changed in the 21st century is that, in the hands of terrorists, weapons of mass destruction would be a first resort. These terrible weapons are becoming easier to acquire, build, hide, and transport. Armed with a single vial of a biological agent or a single nuclear weapon, small groups of fanatics, or failing states, could gain the power to threaten great nations, threaten the world peace.” Former President George W. Bush, remarks at the National Defense University, February 11, 20041

Despite the huge loss of life and destructiveness of World War II, and the crimes committed against humanity, the main belligerents did not use chemical or biological weapons against each other

W

ITH 10 years hindsight, President Bush’s view is still prescient, alarmist, but in many ways accurate. The challenge of identifying, decontaminating and destroying chemical and biological weapons stockpiles is a much needed skill. The international community banned the use of chemical and biological weapons after World War I, as part of the Geneva Protocol in 1925, and reinforced the ban in 1972 and 1993 by prohibiting the development, production, stockpiling and transfer of these weapons. The International Committee of the Red Cross summed up the public horror at the use of such weapons in its appeal in February 1918, calling them “barbarous inventions” that can “only be called criminal”. The use of poisonous gas in World War I led to the first international agreement that their use should be banned. And the Geneva Protocol has been effective. Despite the huge loss of life and destructiveness of World War II, and the crimes committed against humanity, the main belligerents did not use chemical or biological weapons against each other. This may have been due to the fear of reprisals using similar weapons, but the 1925 Geneva Protocol had nevertheless established a new and clear norm in international law.2

More Recent Updating and Reinforcement of the Geneva Protocol The 1925 Geneva Protocol was seen as a landmark in international humanitarian law. Further legal instruments followed in the form of international Conventions adopted by many 6 | WWW.DEFENCEINDUSTRYREPORTS.COM

states in 1972 and 1993. The 1972 Convention is often referred to as the Biological Weapons Convention or the Biological and Toxin Weapons Convention (BTWC). This was a major step towards the total elimination of these weapons. As the use of such weapons was already banned by the 1925 Protocol, the Convention prohibited the development, production, stockpiling, acquisition, retention and transfer of such weapons, including their delivery systems, and required their destruction. The Convention also required each country to enact national legislation to enforce these prohibitions. Regular international review conferences of all signatories monitor compliance with the terms of the Convention and adopt recommendations to promote its implementation and effectiveness. What is important here is that the monitoring of the convention, required identification of these weapons. Further, the international community began to demand verification of the convention’s prohibitions. For, of course, these conventions were only be as powerful as their active verification.

The Importance of Independent Verification Organisation International verification measures were made the responsibility of the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, based in The Hague. It provided technical assistance to states in implementing the provisions of the Convention. Each state is also required to set up a national authority to ensure liaison and implementation.3


SPECIAL REPORT: CBRN SOLUTIONS TESTING FOR MILITARY OPERATIONS

CBRNE EXPERIMENTS REQUIRE CLOSE COOPERATION OF VARIOUS SPECIALISTS

The Nuclear Issue Although chemical and biological weapons have been used and stockpiled in the Middle East in the last decade, and nuclear weapons have not, it might be easy to downplay the role of nuclear issues in the 21st century and emphasise the effectiveness of deterrence. However, the production and trade in components for civil and military nuclear use are very much part of global politics and the heavily armed Middle East is a case in point. Almost two decades have passed since the Middle East Resolution – agreed by the 1995 Review and Extension Conference of the Parties to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty – called to rid the region of all weapons of mass destruction (WMD). Yet the Middle East remains a heavily militarised theatre of conflict awash with such capabilities, and is still very far from the goal of disarmament.4 The global movement to promote nuclear disarmament is actively rebuffed. Disarmament, especially under the present regional circumstances characterised by heightened security concerns and hardened security thinking, is seen by some regional states as pure fantasy. For them, even mere talk of disarmament is a non-starter.5

Re-thinking the Nuclear and WMD Free Area The very lack of progress on the WMD-free zone has prompted non-proliferation analysts to think hard about more creative ways to break the diplomatic logjam. Some proposed disaggregating the concept and focusing, in the near term, on the less ambitious goal of a chemical weapons-free zone, a biological weapons-free

zone or both, if possible. Others counselled, in the spirit of pragmatic gradualism, the adoption of conventional arms-control measures as a way of building confidence between rivals.6 But events have intervened.

Syria and Libya In March 2013, powerful evidence began to emerge of a chemical weapon attack in Khan al-Assal, Syria. It was reported in the world press and the New York Times. The incident resulted in at least 26 fatalities including 16 government soldiers and 10 civilians, and more than 86 injuries. Each side in the Syrian conflict blamed the other for the attack, and the Syrian government wanted the United Nations to investigate that site alone. But the United Nations insisted on investigating other sites of suspected chemical attacks, and Syria refused, leading to what UN weapons inspector Angela Kane described as a standstill that lasted months. If United Nations inspectors had been able to visit the site, in the northern town of Khan al-Assal, and confirm that chemical weapons had been used on March 19, she said, the findings might have deterred further attacks, like the one on August 21 that killed hundreds in the Damascus suburb of Ghouta. “In hindsight, I think I regret that,” said Ms. Kane, the high representative for disarmament affairs, who helped broker an agreement to allow investigators into Syria, just before the August attack. “It would have been good if we had investigated. Maybe, by having conclusive proof the first time when it was really used on a larger scale, it might have prevented the others.”7 WWW.DEFENCEINDUSTRYREPORTS.COM | 7


SPECIAL REPORT: CBRN SOLUTIONS TESTING FOR MILITARY OPERATIONS

The 21st Century Use of Chemical and Biological Weapons Don McBarnet, Deputy Editor

The unilateral destruction of chemical munitions by Iraq left uncertainties regarding the types and quantities of weapons it had destroyed

T

HERE ARE complex difficulties associated with working in the field of chemical and biological weapon disarmament. The first hurdle to surpass is identification of whether or not chemical or biological weapons have indeed been used. The testimony of a UN disarmament official working in Khan alAssal and Ghouta describes what she had to contend with. On the team’s first visit to Syria in August (2013), she said, team members came under sniper fire in a buffer zone between government and opposition held areas in the Damascus suburbs. Already encumbered by hazardous materials suits, they worked in triple-digit summer temperatures and spoke to victims in Ghouta just days after they had been poisoned by what the investigators eventually determined was the nerve agent sarin. This sort of investigation had never been done before, Ms. Kane the UN investigator said.8 The UN team later returned to follow up reports of the use of sarin. On both visits, following precise protocols intended to guarantee the authenticity of the evidence, investigators packed samples of blood, hair, soil and weapons’ fragments into special containers. Because hazardous chemicals are barred from private planes, Ms. Kane called on friendly governments – she would not identify them – to fly the samples on their official planes to Europe for testing.

Legacy Chemical and Biological Weapons in Iraq While Syria has and is presenting an immediate problem for the identification, removal, transfer and destruction of its chemical and biological weapons, other countries present other types of issues. Iraq for instance has the legacy of stockpiling and use of chemical and biological weapons used during the war with Iran (1980-1988). UNMOVIC, the United Nations Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission has been overseeing this issue. In 2006, the US Director of National Intelligence 8 | WWW.DEFENCEINDUSTRYREPORTS.COM

declassified key parts from a National Ground Intelligence Center report on the recovery of approximately 500 chemical munitions that contained degraded mustard or sarin nerve agent. The reports indicated that the munitions, recovered since 2003, were of pre-1991 Gulf war origin and that, despite efforts to locate and destroy Iraq’s chemical munitions, more were thought to exist. The declassified points also indicate that, while agents degrade over time, chemical warfare agents remain hazardous and potentially lethal. A previous report (S/2006/342) indicated that, from 1981 to 1991, Iraq had produced some 130,000 munitions filled with chemical agents (mostly used in the Iran-Iraq war or destroyed under United Nations supervision.) It also indicated that the unilateral destruction of chemical munitions by Iraq left uncertainties regarding the types and quantities of weapons it had destroyed. A residue of uncertainty also remains as to chemical munitions that were lost, according to Iraq, after the 1991 Gulf war. Uncertainty in Iraq about the Location and Quantity of Chemical and Biological Weapons During the Iran-Iraq war, Iraqi regular military units in areas of operation received and used both conventional and chemical weapons. Because of the rapid relocation of many of those units after the war and the dozens of locations involved in the handling of the weapons, there is a possibility that chemical munitions had become inadvertently mixed with conventional weapons. Moreover, some chemical munitions filled with chemical warfare agents did not differ in their markings from standard conventional weapons, which made their identification as chemical munitions problematic, not only for United Nations inspectors and later personnel of the Iraq Survey Group, but also for Iraq.9

The Complexity of the Identification, Decontamination, Transfer, and Destruction Process The problem of identification of the use of chemical and biological weapons is illustrated


SPECIAL REPORT: CBRN SOLUTIONS TESTING FOR MILITARY OPERATIONS

TESTING THE PROTECTIVE FUNCTION OF A GAS MASK

by the current war in Syria, where news reporting in April 2014, contains new allegations of the use of these weapons in the civil war. In the intensity of war and the confusion of conflict truth is always the first victim, but the international community cannot duck out of investigating whether or not the reports might be true.10

The Decontamination Process NATO has a chemical and biological weapon decontamination process in conjunction with named independent NATO based laboratories.11 The briefing note for operatives on the ground dealing with chemical and biological weapons draws a distinction between decontamination and detoxification. It describes how to decontaminate means to wash, displace or remove the biological and chemical agents from contaminated surfaces. But it highlights the failure to deal with the toxic agent. Detoxification means to destroy the agent. The briefing note describes various products that can be

used to facilitate the decontamination process. It also describes a process for the decontamination of people. There is a separate process for the decontamination of sensitive equipment, which is defined as avionics, electronics, electrics, optics, video surveillance systems, detection instruments and aircraft/vehicle interiors and associated cargos. These are difficult to decontaminate due to their construction characteristics, component materials, and location. Why do they present such a challenge? The answer is two fold, placing the decision maker in a dilemma. Weaponized chemical and biological agents are designed to resist decontamination by penetrating the surfaces they touch. And worse, decontaminants strong enough to deal with such agents are so harsh that they damage the sensitive equipment they are intended to cleanse. Various products and processes are presented as potentially useful for the task and they are assessed.12

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SPECIAL REPORT: CBRN SOLUTIONS TESTING FOR MILITARY OPERATIONS

Confronting Chemical and Biological Weapons in Use Don McBarnet, Deputy Editor

Chemical and biological weapons are usually delivered into the air, as a smoke, gas or mist and they contaminate the environment in which people are present

B

IOLOGICAL AND chemical weapons are not simple to decontaminate and destroy. Their use in conflict, makes the circumstances of their use and identification an additional factor. However, their application in a civilian context, for example, where sarin was released in an underground train in Tokyo in 1995, is no easier. The reason is that chemical and biological weapons are usually delivered into the air, as a smoke, gas or mist and they contaminate the environment in which people are present. This contamination can, and often does persist. This environmental presence means they can wreak as much damage on the delivering forces as the people who they are intended to harm.

A Variety of Decontamination Processes There is an intense and active scientific debate to optimise the outcome of the decontamination process after the use of biological and chemical weapons. There are physical and chemical processes. Chemical processes involve the use of reactive or catalytic chemicals (sorbents) to neutralize the contaminants.13 There is also the application of enzymes for protection against organophosphate poisoning. This is a concept seen to have exciting potential in the treatment of people exposed to both pesticide and chemical warfare agents (CWA). There are thermal processes like the Karcher field laundry. There are also dry techniques, which include scraping and sorption. Wet techniques include, using specialist equipment like adapted shower systems utilising hose reels, fog nozzles or the rinse/wipe/rinse method. There is a wide range of products on the market which specialist institutes are testing and using in specific cases.

Decontamination and Destruction in Action in Syria Removing the chemical and biological weapon stockpile in Syria is an active and apposite example of the difficulties involved. The New York Times in one paragraph summarises the level of international pressure that had to be applied to even start the process. The Syrian government 10 | WWW.DEFENCEINDUSTRYREPORTS.COM

agreed to renounce its chemical weapons program only after facing worldwide outrage over an August 21 chemical weapons attack in a Damascus suburb, in which each side in the civil war blamed the other. The United States threatened to hit Syrian military installations with missile strikes in response, but dropped the threat when Russia brokered a diplomatic agreement to eliminate the weapons, which led to the Security Council resolution on September 27 2013.14 In October 2013, the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons released an announcement that it had begun the process of destroying Syrian chemical weapons. Under the supervision of experts from the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, supported by the United Nations, Syrian personnel used cutting torches and angle grinders to destroy or disable a range of items. This included missile warheads, aerial bombs and mixing and filling equipment. The process will continue in the coming days. International inspectors from the OPCW supported by a team from the UN are monitoring, verifying and reporting on Syria’s compliance with international demands to destroy chemical weapons stockpiles and production facilities.15

Progress in Removing Syria’s Chemical Weapons Nearly half of Syria’s chemical stockpile for weapons use has now been removed from the war-ravaged country. The OPCW is helping to oversee the elimination of the deadly arsenal. The organization said in a statement that two shipments, including some of the most lethal chemicals from the stockpile, were delivered on March 14 and 17 to the Syrian port of Latakia, where they were transferred to cargo ships, making a total of 10 exported shipments so far. “The latest movements increased the portion of chemicals that have now been removed from Syria for destruction outside the country to more than 45 per cent,” said the statement, issued by the Organization for the Prohibition


SPECIAL REPORT: CBRN SOLUTIONS TESTING FOR MILITARY OPERATIONS

EXPERIMENTS WITH NON-PATHOGENIC BIOLOGICAL AGENTS

of Chemical Weapons, the Hague-based group that is collaborating with the United Nations to ensure the arsenal’s destruction.

Specialist Industrial Backup for the Organisations Removing Chemical Weapons While the conflict-prone international negotiations to allow the removal of the weapons is tortuous, the inspectors and officials on the ground benefit from the specialist support of international institutes and demilitarisation companies. This has been the case in Libya, where Dynasafe International, a leading enterprise in the demilitarisation industry, announced its contribution to the successful completion of the destruction of lethal chemical weapons in Libya. The toxic arms, including artillery shells and aerial bombs, have been eliminated

with Dynasafe designed equipment in collaboration with Parsons Corporation, an international engineering, construction, technical and professional services firm headquartered in California, and UXB International, a Virginia-based explosives remediation company. The last chemical weapon was destroyed on 26 January, 2014, completing the disposal of 1.6 metric tons of weaponized sulphur mustard as declared by Libya to the OPCW in 2012. Speaking about its collaboration with UXB and Parsons Corporaton, Dynasafe International Demil Business Unit Leader and COO Holger Weigel said, “The project had a challenging timeline and the operations team finalized the campaign with an outstanding spirit.” The removal was subject to verification by the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons16.

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SPECIAL REPORT: CBRN SOLUTIONS TESTING FOR MILITARY OPERATIONS

The Future of Biological, Chemical and Nuclear Weapon Destruction and Removal Mary Dub, Editor

The CBRN protection industry is currently in its nascent stage, so it requires considerable funding from the public and private sectors to develop effective counter measures against potential threats

O

N A day when reports of new chemical weapons use fill the news media, it would be facile to state the obvious and point to a future where nuclear non-proliferation treaties are in place, agreed and verified or that protocols on biological and chemical weapons had also been universally observed and respected. Long-standing regional conflicts between fragile states with challenged leaders will not make this a likely outcome, whatever the diplomatic energy put into the dialogue. However, there are signs of hope in terms of the level of international condemnation from powerful states, like Russia, who are still able to exert pressure, for example, on Syria, despite the current international opprobrium of its activities in Crimea. But deterrence and international diplomacy may never be enough. There will undoubtedly be an increasing global demand for companies and institutes that can offer the scientific capability to deliver demilitarisation of chemical and biological weapons.

compound annual growth rate of 4.2% during the forecast period, to reach US$13.7 billion by 2023. CBRN protection equipment is expected to account for the majority of the global CBRN defense market, followed by detection and decontamination systems.

The Global Market for CBRN Capabilities

The Challenge of the HAZMAT Suit

The company ASD has published a report on the medium term global market for CBRN products from 2013. They look at answers to questions like, what are the key drivers behind recent market changes? The ASD report estimates the global CBRN defense market to value US$9 billion in 2013.17 The market consists of CBRN protection, detection, decontamination, disposal, and simulation equipment, and is expected to witness a marginal increase during the forecast period, primarily due to modernization initiatives planned in North America and Europe, and threats from terrorism and hostile neighboring countries in the Asia Pacific and Middle Eastern regions. The market is expected to increase at a

The development of a technically advanced and cost effective prototype protective suit that can also be mass produced is problematic. Advanced protective suits are needed to counter changing threats. The difficulty arises with the need for the suit to be light to minimize the physical load on the wearer, while also being wearable in hot climates. Some companies are working to address the heat/ load/stress issue by aiming for a balance between a generic outfit and a highly technological garment. These innovations require significant funding and with the global economy just emerging from the economic crisis and defense budgets being cut, companies are hard pressed to get the required funding.18

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The Emerging Growth of the CBRN Industry ASD reports that the CBRN protection industry is currently in its nascent stage, so it requires considerable funding from the public and private sectors to develop effective counter measures against potential threats. There have been a number of setbacks to the industry, cancelled programs, cutbacks in research funding, and a focus on other defense sectors. But, to the advantage of the industry, the Project BioShield Act (2004) has helped the private sector to develop medical countermeasures against CBRN terrorism agents and to provide a mechanism for the government to acquire these countermeasures.


SPECIAL REPORT: CBRN SOLUTIONS TESTING FOR MILITARY OPERATIONS

Your needs are individual, our solutions unique. Our technology is one-ofa-kind, yet designed to be adaptable. Carefully constructed to meet your exact requirements, our exclusive solutions provide maximum security, tailor-made. PREPARATION OF SAMPLES

The Trend to COTS Products in the Face of Budget Cuts Some argue that the budget cuts are expected to prompt Departments of Defence to provide war fighters and first responders with products already on the market. These budget constraints are also expected to encourage the modification and refit of existing technologies and equipment in order to enhance the capabilities of CBRN defense forces while maintaining low budgets. The pattern established in the US, the UK, and Japan, demonstrates how budget constraints have pushed procurement departments to opt for dual use COTS products, which enables defense departments to save costs while, at the same time, provides CBRN defense personnel with equipment that offers a range of flexibility to meet multiple scenarios and requirements.19

The Pharmaceutical Challenge for Decontamination Scientist working in the field of identifying and using effective decontaminants are looking for a universally effective decontaminant. They identify a need to develop a universal decontamination formulation that can be used against CBRN contaminants. Another important facet is the ecofriendliness of the system. The decontamination formulation of the future has to be one that generates bare minimum waste and keeps the environment safe. It should contain highly stable

active ingredients and have negligible corrosive properties. Some scientists argue that the way forward might be the use of micro-emulsions and nano systems with high concentration of anionic surfactants. Nanoporous materials, nanosized metal oxide aero-gels with enhanced advantages like high surface area, high reactivity, high surface-to-volume ratio towards CWA could be used.20

WMD Remains a Critical Area for Research and Work It would be utterly realistic to agree with the recent United Nations debate that said, while weapons of mass destruction may be foremost in the minds of many, we must not lose sight of the fact that conventional weapons continue to pose the greatest threat to civilians in most conflicts today. Because military operations are, increasingly, being conducted in populated areas, civilians are particularly exposed to the risk of incidental or indiscriminate death or injury, or destruction of property, caused by the use of explosive weapons with a wide impact area.21 However, it would be wrong to push the presence of chemical and biological weapons to one side when reports of their use are being published at the same time, as press releases announcing their partial removal. Man’s inhumanity to man will consistently need study and scientific support to mitigate its worst effects. www.mils.com

WWW.DEFENCEINDUSTRYREPORTS.COM | 13


SPECIAL REPORT: CBRN SOLUTIONS TESTING FOR MILITARY OPERATIONS

References:

President George W. Bush
Remarks at the National Defense University
February 11, 2004

1

http://www.cfr.org/weapons-of-mass-destruction/remarks-weapons-mass-destruction-proliferation/p6762 Chemical and biological weapons 08-04-2013 Overview http://www.icrc.org/eng/war-and-law/weapons/chemical-biological-weapons/overview-chemical-biological-weapons.htm

2

Chemical and biological weapons 08-04-2013 Overview http://www.icrc.org/eng/war-and-law/weapons/chemical-biological-weapons/overview-chemical-biological-weapons.htm

3

4

Bilal Saab https://www.rusi.org/downloads/assets/201403_NB_Saab.pdf March 2014, Vol. 34, No. 2

5

Bilal Saab https://www.rusi.org/downloads/assets/201403_NB_Saab.pdf March 2014, Vol. 34, No. 2

6

Bilal Saab https://www.rusi.org/downloads/assets/201403_NB_Saab.pdf March 2014, Vol. 34, No. 2

7

Missed Opportunity in Syria Haunts U.N. Official Richard Perry/The New York Times

Angela Kane, the United Nations high representative for disarmament affairs, helped get weapons inspectors sent into Syria.

By RICK GLADSTONE and SOMINI SENGUPTA Published: October 2, 2013

8

Missed Opportunity in Syria Haunts U.N. Official Richard Perry/The New York Times

Angela Kane, the United Nations high representative for disarmament affairs, helped get weapons inspectors sent into Syria.

By RICK GLADSTONE and SOMINI SENGUPTA Published: October 2, 2013

9

http://www.un.org/depts/unmovic/new/documents/technical_documents/s-2006-701-munitions.pdf United Nations Security Council United Nations Monitoring, Verification and Inspection Commission Note by the Secretary-General S/2006/701

10

France backs claims that Syrian forces have used chemical weapons recently. François Hollande says France has ‘information’ that toxic gases have been used against opposition in recent attacks - Martin Chulov in Beirut theguardian.com, Sunday 20 April 2014 16.25 BSThttp://www. theguardian.com/world/2014/apr/20/france-syrian-forces-chemical-weapons

11

NATO declassified power point CBRN Decontamination and Detoxification Systems UP 994-150 05.07.2010

12

NATO declassified power point CBRN Decontamination and Detoxification Systems UP 994-150 05.07.2010

13

Defence Science Journal, Vol. 63, No. 5, September 2013, pp. 487-496  2013, DESIDOC

Review paper Recent Advances in decontamination of chemical Warfare Agents, Abdul Wadood Khan, Sabna Kotta, Shahid Husain Ansari, Javed Ali, and Rakesh Kumar Sharma* Jamia Hamdard, Hamdard Nagar, New Delhi-110 062, India *Institute of Nuclear Medicine and Allied Sciences, New Delhi-110 054, India 14

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/20/world/middleeast/syria-chemical.html?_r=0 Gains Reported in Removing Syrian Chemical Supplies By RICK GLADSTONEMARCH 19, 2014

15

Syria Chemical Weapons Destruction Begins Press release by the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons and the United Nations

Damascus, 6 October 2013: http://www.un.org/sg/offthecuff/index.asp?nid=3120

16

LONDON, United Kingdom, 18 February 2014 http://www.dynasafe.com/demil-systems/dynasafe-equipment-destroys-libyan-chemical-weapons - Dynasafe equipment destroys Libyan chemical weapons: Dynasafe International provided equipment for the destruction of Libyan chemical weapons in conjunction with US-based UXB International and Parsons Corporation.

17

https://www.asdreports.com/shopexd.asp?id=71855 Publish date : Jul 2013 -The Global CBRN Defense Market 2013-2023

18

https://www.asdreports.com/shopexd.asp?id=71855 Publish date : Jul 2013 -The Global CBRN Defense Market 2013-2023

19

https://www.asdreports.com/shopexd.asp?id=71855 Publish date : Jul 2013 -The Global CBRN Defense Market 2013-2023

20

Defence Science Journal, Vol. 63, No. 5, September 2013, pp. 487-496 2013, DESIDOC. Review paper Recent Advances in decontamination of chemical Warfare Agents -Abdul Wadood Khan, Sabna Kotta, Shahid Husain Ansari, Javed Ali, and Rakesh Kumar Sharma* - Jamia Hamdard, Hamdard Nagar, New Delhi-110 062, India *Institute of Nuclear Medicine and Allied Sciences, New Delhi-110 054, India

21

http://www.icrc.org/eng/resources/documents/statement/2013/united-nations-weapons-statement-2013-10-16.htm

General debate on all disarmament and international security agenda items. United Nations, General Assembly, 68th session, First Committee, statement by the ICRC, New York, 16 October 2013.

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