Presentation on theme: "DEVELOPING REALISTIC DIRTY BOMB EXERCISES Dirty bombs were a problem long before 9-11. 1987, the Iraqi government tested a one-ton radiological bomb. The."— Presentation transcript:
DEVELOPING REALISTIC DIRTY BOMB EXERCISES Dirty bombs were a problem long before 9-11. 1987, the Iraqi government tested a one-ton radiological bomb. The Iraqi tests confirmed that a dirty bomb is not effective as a WMD and that its main value is as a psychological weapon In 1995 Chechen rebels buried a dirty bomb in a Park in Moscow threatening to detonate one in the future if their demands were not met.
DEVELOPING REALISTIC DIRTY BOMB EXERCISES Scenarios have two important end uses. Development of drill and exercise data to be used in field training and tabletop exercises. Risk communications. Unrealistic scenarios will result and in poor training and poor performance.
DEVELOPING REALISTIC DIRTY BOMB EXERCISES NOT THE DESIRED RESULT “A few minutes into the simulated exercise, a leader of the drill pleaded for some action, warning that radiation was killing people and hospitals were being overwhelmed. This bothered me, because it is well documented by all our official agencies that the radioactivity in dirty bombs is unlikely to seriously hurt anyone. People not injured by the conventional explosion itself could walk away and be out of danger.”
DEVELOPING REALISTIC DIRTY BOMB EXERCISES If you train people to panic they will panic. Emergency responders were panicking due to a lack of information regarding the actual hazards of the radioactive material released. This diverted them from tasks that were more important and caused unnecessary protective measures to be put in place. This drill demonstrated that the participating response organizations had not prepared for this hazard.
DEVELOPING REALISTIC DIRTY BOMB EXERCISES Scenarios reviewed in 2003 revealed a number where the event resulted in lethal levels of radiation exposure over very large areas. Some used spent fuel as a source term. Over blown scenarios may instill a tendency to overreact or fear in the responders.
DEVELOPING REALISTIC DIRTY BOMB EXERCISES The calculation of doses from the release of radioactive material depends on pre-knowledge of the source term or extensive sampling. As the source term will be unknown the only data readily available to first responders will be contamination levels in terms of activity.
DEVELOPING REALISTIC DIRTY BOMB EXERCISES The purpose of dirty bomb is disperse radioactivity and not to destroy or damage the target. It can be used in a stand off mode. A dirty bomb detonated upwind of the selected target area can be as effective as one placed in the immediate vicinity. The objective of any dirty bomb is inflict panic on a public and economic damage by disruption of business in the target and inflict enormous clean up costs by spreading radioactive contamination.
DEVELOPING REALISTIC DIRTY BOMB EXERCISES The September 18, 1987 incident in Goiania Brazil where an orphaned medical source containing 1400 Ci of Cs-137 resulted the death of four people and extensive contamination is often used as an example of potential dirty bomb effects. As the case involved manual dispersal and the individuals contaminated were not aware of the problem for days this case may be misleading.
DEVELOPING REALISTIC DIRTY BOMB EXERCISES Scenarios should address the more likely range of sources and explosives rather than the improbable. The most likely sources to be used for a dirty bomb are those that are easily stolen such as density gauges, well logging sources, radiography sources and medical sources. These have relatively low levels of security when compared to special nuclear material.
Sources are normally encapsulated but these can be opened and the material removed. Cs-137 is often found in an ideal form for dispersal But any form such as a solid metal can be reduced to a powder by easily obtained mechanical or chemical methods. It should be assumed that maker of a dirty bomb has converted the material to an easily dispersed powder.
DEVELOPING REALISTIC DIRTY BOMB EXERCISES The Hotspot code was selected as it is designed for emergency responders. Hotspot has a model for the dispersal of radioactive material due to an explosion. Hotspot can can contamination levels in units that emergency responders are familiar with. Hotspot provides a plot of the area contaminated and calculates the square area.
DEVELOPING REALISTIC DIRTY BOMB EXERCISES Initial surveys are likely to be conducted using a count rate meter with a pancake probe. This style of instrument without a specialized probe can normally detect levels in 1000 dpm/100 cm 2 level of beta-gamma radiation (approximately 100 counts above background). Contamination levels down to 100 dpm / 100 cm 2 can be detected can be detected using the smear technique.
DEVELOPING REALISTIC DIRTY BOMB EXERCISES The Hotspot code was set to determine areas contaminated to 1000 dpm/100 cm 2 and 100 dpm/100 cm 2 by a dirty bomb using a relative low level of explosive. Cases were run for calm nighttime conditions (F Stability) and more average daytime condition (D Stability).
Significant Results From Test Cases A small device, while producing low levels of dose, may contaminate a very large area and make the establishment of contamination control on par with that for a reactor accident. Effective dirty bombs can be quite small in size and could be made that would fit in a trash can or other ordinary looking container.
DEVELOPING REALISTIC DIRTY BOMB EXERCISES The goal of emergency response training is to prepare the responders to effectively mitigate the consequences of the hazardous material released. Scenarios that do not realistically present the major consequence of a dirty bomb attack to the responders being trained fails to meet that goal.
DEVELOPING REALISTIC DIRTY BOMB EXERCISES To provide effective training and risk communications Dirty Bomb scenarios must be based on the more probable source terms, not extremely unlikely cases. Scenarios that produce high levels of dose using extreme source terms can result in negative training as responders may hesitate to enter the immediate due to concerns over acute health effects.
DEVELOPING REALISTIC DIRTY BOMB EXERCISES Industrial and medical radioactive material sources that have relatively low levels of security are more likely to be used in a dirty bomb than special nuclear material.
DEVELOPING REALISTIC DIRTY BOMB EXERCISES A dirty bomb does not need to use large amounts of explosives or radioactive material to be effective. Devices can be placed inside of trashcans or 55- gallon drums. The use of car bombs or truck bombs as the exclusive basis for a dirty bomb can lead to mindset in responders that can result in overlooking the potential for smaller devices.
DEVELOPING REALISTIC DIRTY BOMB EXERCISES The real consequence of any dirty bomb attack is the contamination of large areas at levels that require the evacuation of residents or frightens them in leaving by choice. In order to train responders they need data that relates to their equipment and provides them the means to address contamination control. The impact of a dirty bomb attack will be increased if contamination is allowed to spread by lack of contamination control.
DEVELOPING REALISTIC DIRTY BOMB EXERCISES As the possible range of devices is so large there is no standard dirty bomb to train to. Training needs to addresses that there is a wide range of possible devices and outcomes. Response Organizations may want to use small devices for initial training but higher end for planning. Responders should be brought through a range of devices using a combination of tabletops, field exercises, and classroom instruction.