Critical Infrastructure Protection & Resilience Europe

Katja Kiukas

Katja Kiukas
Product Manager, Bio Detection & CBRN Systems; Application Specialist, Building CBRN Monitoring
Environics Oy
Finland


Mrs. Katja Kiukas, MSc in cell biology, BBA in environmental and risk management, has gained over 10 years of application, business and technology oriented expertise in the field of Bio Detection and CBRN Monitoring Systems for naval vessels, land vehicles, area monitoring and critical infrastructure protection. During her career at Environics Oy, Katja Kiukas has taken responsibilities in the R & D, product management and sales and marketing of bio detection and identification solutions and EnviScreen CBRN Systems. Furthermore, she has been involved in the European Union FP7 Project Bio-Protect and Project ENCIRCLE under the EU Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme. During the last two years, she has been working as a Product Manager for Bio Detection and CBRN Systems and as an Application Specialist for Building CBRN Monitoring in a Finnish company, Environics Oy that provides solutions from hand-held detectors to turnkey systems for CBRN monitoring.

Presentation: CBRN Threats in Buildings – Preparedness and Protection Instead of Forgotten Vulnerabilities

Governmental, educational, cultural and financial buildings are examples of attractive targets of critical infrastructure for terrorism. Countries worldwide are currently facing challenging threat environments, in which terrorist groups are in constant search for new methods to cause panic, disruption and loss of lives and money. The possibility for use of chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear (CBRN) threat agents has stayed mainly in the shadow of news breaking terror tactics like vehicle ramming, knife attacks and explosives. However, although CBRN events are typically low in frequency and probability, they may be high in consequences, when the threat agents end up in the hands of well-trained and determined lone wolves, sympathizers or active members of terrorist groups – especially, if there is no protection or preparedness to detect and tackle these type of attacks at the early stage.

Buildings are vulnerable to indoor and outdoor releases of CBRN threat agents, since they are enclosed spaces that gather masses of people for long periods of time, receive mail and cargo and have high occupant density compared to outdoor areas. Furthermore, HVAC systems and movement of people can effectively transport harmful airborne material throughout the facilities. Enclosed spaces with rather stable atmospheric conditions can retain high agent concentrations and reduce the amount and durability requirements for the release agents.
A well-defined, predictive strategy that covers phases from design to deployment helps to implement appropriate and proportional CBRN protection, safety and security measures for buildings. In the changing threat environment, it is vital to identify the sources of possible threats and the most vulnerable assets and locations most likely to be targeted. Similarly, it is important to determine automated responses to tackle these threats and processes and capabilities that require improvement. One of the goals in building protection should be reduction of vulnerabilities to accidental and intentional CBRN releases and their consequences by combining passive and active protective measures. This can be achieved with enhanced physical and operational safety and security, mechanical response systems and CBRN sensor systems that are integrated cost-effectively to existing building management platforms.