Harvard Sussex Program
on chemical and biological warfare armament and arms limitation


The following description was downloaded from the European Commission website, at http://europa.eu.int/comm/research/fp6/ssp/assrbcvul_en.htm on 18 January 2006, and is reproduced here verbatim - though in a few respects it is now in need of updating.

ASSRBCVUL will assess the vulnerability of European society to radiological, biological and chemical terrorist attacks and propose and evaluate countermeasures.

European countries have had long experience of dealing with terrorist attacks, including major atrocities such as the train bombings in Madrid. But since the malicious release of sarin gas in Japan and anthrax spores in the US, governments now have to face the new possibility of terrorists deploying radiological, biological or chemical (RBC) agents. Such attacks could cause extensive injury and loss of life, as well as widespread economic damage and social disruption. How vulnerable is a modern interconnected society like the European Union to such attacks? What should we do to guard against them?

The ASSRBCVUL coordination action will:

· Assemble a methodology to assess the impact of RBC terrorism on European society
· Generate an accurate and up-to-date intelligence estimate of the RBC terrorism threat
· Analyse the actual vulnerability of EU society and its critical infrastructure to the threat of RBC terrorism
· Produce an up-to-date list of existing and foreseen RBC terrorism countermeasures
· Use the vulnerability analysis to assess the potential of these countermeasures
· Suggest an optimal mix of existing and potentially new countermeasures

Results from ASSRBCVUL are expected to:
· Compile the latest data on the possible threat of RBC terror attacks to inform decision-making
· Assist policy-makers in planning and assessing counter-terrorism measures at national, EU and international levels
Contribute to the development of European research policy in the area of counter-terrorism

The deliverables in this project are reports intended for a select audience. They will be delivered as follows:
· Working paper on model description - February 2005
· Working papers on threat analysis, vulnerabilities and countermeasures - June 2005
· Working paper on relevant scenarios - October 2005
· Interim report - December 2005
· Working paper on assessment of countermeasures - October 2006
Final report - February 2007

Some of the project's findings will be made available through different means, such as:
· At symposia including the US-EU bilateral conference on combating terrorism
· Press releases for the general public
· Possible public website and newsletters
Meeting between consortium members and representatives from EU Member States

Project acronym: ASSRBCVUL
Project's official full title: Assessment of the vulnerabilities of modern societies to terrorist acts employing radiological, biological or chemical agents with the view to assist in developing preventative and suppressive crisis management strategies
Research priority: 2.7 - civil protection
Specific webpage: Not yet available
Proposal/contract no: 502476 Start date: 01/03/04
Kick off meeting: March 2004, Madrid Completion date: 28/02/07 European
Commission scientific officer: Paul Vossen (paul.vossen@cec.eu.int)

Name: Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research
Abbreviated Name: TNO
Address: Prins Maurits Laboratory, PO Box 45, 2280 AA Rijswijk (ZH)
Country: Netherlands
Tel: +31 15 284 3512
Fax: +31 15 284 3963
Website: http://www.pml.tno.nl

Name: Compagnie Européenne d'Intelligence Stratégique
Abbreviated Name: CEIS
Country: France

Name: Centro Nacional de Biotecnologia
Abbreviated Name: CSIC
Country: Spain

Name: University of Sussex
Abbreviated Name: UofS
Country: United Kingdom

Name: EU JRC - Institute for Prospective Technological Studies
Abbreviated Name: IPTS
Country: Spain

Name: Swedish Defence Research Agency
Abbreviated Name: FOI
Country: Sweden