NATO’s CBRN (chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear) Doctrine outlines the Alliance’s commitment to countering CBRN threats of all types from state and non-state sources. Allied leaders agreed upon it at the 2018 and 2021 Summits, and it remains a key component of our strategic defense and deterrence posture. The CBRN threat is evolving, including through innovation that enables new chemical and biological materials, lowers the barriers to proliferation, and introduces destabilizing delivery systems, as well as by emerging technologies in detection, forensics, decontamination, personal and collective protection, knowledge management, medical countermeasures, and other critical areas. As such, NATO will maintain the highest scientific and technical cooperation levels to identify and mitigate these risks.
Allies and partners are encouraged to build and enhance their CBRN defense capabilities through information exchange, planning, joint training, and exercises. As part of this effort, Allies can consider creating a financial reserve that can be used to foster host nation and partner CBRN defense efforts, as needed. Similarly, NATO will support and facilitate Allies and partners in their efforts to meet UN Security Council Resolutions on the proliferation of WMD and other international non-proliferation obligations. This could include helping Allies to implement the JCBRND-CDG’s Adaptive Approach to Non-Proliferation or providing assistance in different ways, as required.
The Alliance will also improve its outreach and cooperation with the United Nations (UN), regional multilateral organizations, and other international bodies that address WMD proliferation, such as the EU and UN Security Council. These organizations are often the first international organizations to respond to CBRN incidents. They can be a crucial link for Allies in their response.
What are the levels of decontamination CBRN?
There are several levels of decontamination – the most obvious being removing hazardous material from equipment or humans. The job has many facets, including using chemicals and electrochemical means to remove, reduce, and/or recycle contaminants from the air and soil.
EPA is proud to be involved with a targeted initiative to identify and promote the most relevant and technologically-driven CBRN decontamination innovations that will benefit our partners and their stakeholders. This is achieved by engaging the community of technology developers, iipers, and regulators in two workshops.The most important lesson from the process is that there are no one-size-fits-all solutions but rather a plethora of innovative products and services that should be considered in an integrated fashion.
What are CBRN threats and hazards?
CBRN threats and hazards include the potential for terrorists to use chemical, biological, radiological, or nuclear materials in attacks against civilian targets. This is an increasing global risk as technological innovation and other emerging trends increase the range of potential weapons. Historically, there have been only a few terrorist attacks using chemical and biological agents, including the 1990 attack against Sri Lankan Army forces in India and an attack against Japanese troops in Japan. There has been no known use of radiological or nuclear terrorism by an international terrorist group. However, there are capabilities and materials available for this type of attack.
Aside from terrorists, numerous accidental releases of hazardous chemicals and materials pose a significant public health threat. These events demand robust emergency response and decontamination measures. There are also a variety of medical risks associated with exposure to CBRN materials, especially in the case of biological agents. Exposure to a live agent will result in symptoms and signs that may be delayed for a latency period. This period can cause a delay in the onset of clinically significant symptoms, which is an essential factor in the recognition and establishment of causation. The military and police services in the UK all have some level of CBRN capability, whether through the introduction of new equipment and training or through existing nationwide CBRN response teams. These teams provide support in the event of an incident involving dangerous materials and are required to be re-certified regularly.