Securing Radioactive Materials
than 21,000 medical, industrial, and academic facilities in the U.S. are
licensed to use radioactive materials, and there are many similar sites around
the world. The materials are used for various purposes, including medical and
veterinary treatments, industrial applications, and academic research. There is great concern at agencies such as
the Department of Homeland Security, the FBI and Interpol, among others, that
nuclear materials may be used as Weapons of Mass Disruption by terrorists or can be released by a natural disaster such
as an earthquake or hurricane. In the
wrong hands, they could be used in a radioactive dispersal device (RDD), a
so-called “dirty bomb,” or be released into the environment through other
means. Under extreme conditions, they
can cause fatalities, serious injuries, and environmental damage, which could
require costly decontamination or abandonment of valuable locations. Deployment of an RDD could cause disruption
of commerce, denial of critical services and infrastructure, or loss of access
to public locations.
web site is devoted to reducing the threat to the United States by increasing
the security for sites that store and use radioactive materials. Unlike bomb
grade materials, such as are of concern in Iran, North Korea and other rogue
nations, Medical, Industrial and Academic Nuclear
(MIAN) materials are not capable of causing an atomic explosion. However, even
though a Radioactive Material Dispersal Device (RDD) is not a weapon of mass
destruction, such as a nuclear warhead or atomic bomb that utilizes either
fission or fusion of highly refined nuclear materials, an RDD is a weapon of
mass disruption or a disruptive radiation device (DRD). While a DRD is unlikely
to cause large numbers of fatalities or serious injuries, it could have
devastating economic consequences caused by the denial of access to key
critical infrastructure components.
information contained on this site is intended to assist in increasing the
security of all sites where such materials are stored and reducing the threat
of having these materials, which can be life saving, used against us.
of the Site:
contains a number of resources for increasing the security of radioactive
materials (go to Downloads page).
- First, a PowerPoint presentation is provided that
explains the background of the project and describes how the increased
security programs are used.
- Second, copies of the Phase I and Phase II reports are
provided. The reports are free and can be viewed on the web site or a PDF
copy can be downloaded to your computer. You will need Adobe Reader.
- Third, a link to Amazon.com is provided where a
companion book, written by members of the team, can be purchased for a
nominal fee. This book, over 200 pages in length, provides a wealth of
information about how terrorists can and will use MIAN materials for their
- Fourth, links to two (2) IAEA publications are provided
to allow access to up-to-date security information regarding radioactive
- Finally, ESP Calc, a calculational MS Excel file, is
provided to allow a licensee to assess their own radioactive materials at
their own facilities to determine whether enhanced security should be
December 01, 2013