Radiological events can cause massive casualties and destructive consequences for several years after the event has occurred. Hence, it is essential to understand the radiological weapons and losses each type of weapons can cause to understand these hazards. In general, radiological events pose significant risks since they can impact national security, national economy, national public health and safety, and require immense administrative effort and financial resources to recover.
Radiological disasters can have very acute health and psychological effects. Understanding the hazards of radiological events requires familiarization with the impact of radiological weapons. The primary threat of radiological weapons is acute radiation exposure of 1.25 Gy, which is sufficient to cause a significant injury in a short period (Curling and Lodge, 2016). One of the most well-known types of radiological weapons is called the “Dirty Bomb”. This disruptive weapon can expose harmful amounts of radiation that can cause sickness or even death and leave the area uninhabitable for many years (Curling and Lodge, 2016).
However, this term is often used interchangeably with several other types of radiological weapons. Primary dispersal mechanisms of radiological weapons include RED (Radiation Exposure Device), explosive RDD (Radiation Dispersal Device), aerosol RDD, ingestion RDD, immersion RDD (Curling and Lodge, 2016). Each dispersal method produces a different impact, with the most severe consequences being the latter mechanisms.
Government officials can endorse several potential methods of protecting or prevent the hazards of radiological events. The government should consider radiological weapons a credible threat to national security and analyze the risks each RDD device poses. First, responsible actors should make acquiring radioactive material challenging so that the malicious actors will not access them. Secondly, governments should educate the public about the hazards of radiological attacks. Due to the vague public knowledge, the public confuses nuclear attacks with radiological ones, which leads to extensive panic. Thus, raising awareness about the different effects of radiological weapons can alleviate the difficulties of preventing and recovering from a radiological event.
Curling, C. A., & Lodge, A. (2016). Review of radioisotopes as radiological weapons. Institute for Defense Analyses. Web.