Tuesday, October 22, 2013

POTRBLOG Reverse Engineers U.S. Radiological Disaster CONOPS & Identifies Nuclear Threats

Back in May we warned that the U.S. Government was making significant preparations for a Nuclear / Radiological Disaster , since then we have been analyzing the large number of recent Federal Solicitations related to Project BioShield for insight into  U.S. Government's threat matrixCongress renewed Project BioShield in March as part of the Pandemic All Hazards Preparedness Reauthorization Act of 2013, a direct result of the H7N9 Hemorrhagic Bird Flu outbreak in China.

 As one can envision,  the focus is on Pandemic Avian Influenza, however there are also Medical Counter Measures (MCM)  budget line items for the whole Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear (CBRN) threat spectrum. The mix of these line items (and how treatments overlap) increases the difficulty of figuring out specifically which scenarios the U.S. Government perceives as likely / significant threats.

But with much diligence, we have been able to look at the released solicitations and reverse decompose their requirements into the Concept of Operations which created them. When time becomes available, we will go into more detail, and provide source links for the analysis (and likely a video too). But for the moment, an executive summary of the radiological  risk planning we have surmised will have to suffice.

Executive Summary:
Radiological Disaster Vignettes (in no particular order)

(1) Fukushima: Large scale treatment of U.S. Military personnel stationed in Tokyo for Acute Radiation Sickness resulting from rapidly escalating Nuclear activity at Fukushima

(2) Limited tactical nuclear exchange outside of CONUS

(3) Nagasaki scale Terrorist attack on US Soil via improvised Plutonium Fizzle device

(4) Chernobyl style incident at a US Nuclear Site

 All of the above threat scenarios fit the CONOPS of the logistical, supply chain, and medical treatment constraints evident in the RECENT Federal solicitations we have examined.  


  1. Leukine as a hemorrhagic flu treatment poses significant risks:

    1. Thrombosomes are being budgeted under the civilian Nuclear Response, but logistically their use primarily makes sense against H7N9 Pandemic Flu. ie Pandemic related blood donation shortages, combined with increased need/ demand. Its use also logistically makes sense for US Forces based overseas in radiological zones. Where its use makes the least sense is in a local scale civilian nuclear incident, as the supply chain of fresh blood products should not be logistically affected.

  2. Leukine as awarded, and manufactured by Sanofi in Bridgewater NJ will not work as a thrombosome. "Edema, capillary leak syndrome, pleural and/or pericardial effusion, sequestration of granulocytes in the pulmonary circulation, and dyspnea have been reported in patients after Leukine administration. Occasional transient supraventricular arrhythmia has been reported during Leukine administration. Leukine has induced the elevation of serum creatinine or bilirubin and hepatic enzymes in some patients. Monitoring of renal and hepatic function in patients with preexisting renal or hepatic dysfunction is recommended at least every other week during Leukine administration."

    1. I should have had a better segway, some of the drugs that BARDA is funding are duel use; and some are primarily useful for things other than what they have been budgeted under. Primary among them are thrombosomes by Cellphire which just got a $57 million in funding from BARDA; see

    2. Thank you for your diligent digging. I'm with ya.