Aug 2013 Radiation Journal cover

Insider Threats: A Call for Greater Vigilance

When the defense for acts of insider espionage is personal conscience, at least some people show sympathy for the accused. The publicity given to such lone-actor miscreants – coupled with the growing development of and dependence on cyber capabilities – is reason enough for considerable concern in both the public and private sectors of government.

The Pursuit of Nukes: No Job for Amateurs

Unsecured and non-declared nuclear and radiological materials make a deadly combination, particularly attractive to terrorists. Forestalling the threat of any attack using weapons of mass destruction requires careful consideration of not only the sources of the materials used and the technological capabilities of those building such weapons but also the security at facilities where the materials may be stored.

Radioactive Sources - An Invisible Hazard

Medical and industrial facilities, universities and colleges, cargo containers, and floodwaters have something in common with nuclear power plants – all of them can be a source of nuclear radiation. Knowing where radiation might be “hiding” within a community is the first step that emergency managers should take to protect those who are most likely to be in contact with those sources.

Passenger Air Travel - When the Bullets Run Out

In a passenger aircraft, there is nowhere to run when something suddenly goes wrong. Which is the primary reason that U.S. air marshals are now flying, strategically seated, on many domestic and international flights to thwart a possible terrorist threat against the aircraft and its passengers. The air marshals are armed – but their principal weapons are excellent training and continued situational awareness.

Nuclear Meltdown - The Need for Timely & Honest Information

Similarities can be drawn between two nuclear disasters that occurred 27 years apart, in different countries. Dealing with a nuclear disaster in the United States or elsewhere still requires having accurate information – which must be delivered in time to help emergency responders deal with potentially major consequences. As long as nuclear plants exist, so does the potential threat of a meltdown.

Special Decontamination Considerations: Bridging the Gap

Following exposure to radiological or other hazardous materials, decontamination efforts often focus on the people directly involved, but other concerns also must be considered – the use of weapons and/or possible harm to animals, for example. Pennsylvania’s Lehigh County has developed a best practices approach to ensuring that response teams are prepared to cope with non-routine decontamination situations.

Staple Foods, Grain Tonnages & Daring Rescues

It takes special equipment, and specially trained people, to rescue anyone trapped in a massive silo containing thousands of bushels of grain. Knowing what to do and how to do it – safely and successfully – could prevent fatalities caused by suffocation, toxic inhalation, or even an explosion.
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