Homeland Security Watch

News and analysis of critical issues in homeland security

April 8, 2011

Our radioactive imaginations

Filed under: Risk Assessment — by Philip J. Palin on April 8, 2011

Tuesday’s New York Times had a piece entitled Radiation is Everywhere, But How to Rate Harm? It is one of the best, brief summaries of radiation risk that I have read.

The level of fear in response to Fukushima has surprised me.  The nature of this fear strikes me as very difficult to mitigate.

If I was a wanna-be terrorist the level of concern demonstrated recently would certainly motivate renewed attention to use of a Radiological Dispersal Device.  Evidently even a very small risk will be significantly amplified in the media and public imagination.  That is the kind of return-on-investment on which the terrorist typically depends.

In any case, if you missed the original piece in the Tuesday Times, please check out online.

 

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1 Comment »

Comment by William R. Cumming

April 8, 2011 @ 3:30 am

Well radiation scared the FIRE SERVICE in the US from taking the civil defense lead post USSR exploding its atom bomb. After all it [radiation] cannot be felt or seen [or heard] or whatever! The problem of course is not the short term extreme exposure that kills outright within days or weeks but the long term impacts. there is background radiation and it is of some interest to me that EPA efforts to track background radiation levels are not supported by legislation allowing changes in levels to be adquately researched and discussed. Yes RADON took a while to be correctly analyzed and the history of RADON control efforts not yet full documented in any history. Strangely rather simple solutions do exist in some cases to RADON and its emission from certain granitic rock formations. I live on sandy former ocean bottom so have no RADON worries.

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