Researchers at the Dept. of Energy's Sandia National Laboratories have developed modeling and simulation tools for assessing the vulnerability of buildings to chemical and biological attacks.

The project began after the 1995 sarin gas release in Tokyo's subway system, which sparked fears that chemical and biological attacks could be a future trend.

According to researcher Richard Griffith, the model, known as KCNBC, uses a building's CAD plans and the properties of chemical and biological agent—such as anthrax, smallpox, sarin and mustard gas—to simulate how each would flow and deposit on surfaces over time. The software produces a movie showing agent transport and concentration. It has been applied to several facilities, including an eight-story federal courthouse, a military command and control center and a large airport terminal.

Sandia spokeswoman Chris Burroughs says the software is not commercially available because "they're concerned about it getting into the wrong hands." Inquiries should be made to Griffith by e-mail at