Radiological weapon

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A radiological weapon or radiological dispersion device (RDD) is any weapon that is designed to spread radioactive material with the intent to kill, and cause disruption upon a city or nation.

It is primarily known as a dirty bomb or salted bomb because it is not a true nuclear weapon and does not yield the same explosive power. It uses conventional explosives to spread radioactive material, most commonly the spent fuels from nuclear power plants or radioactive medical waste.

Contents

Explanation

Radiological weapons have been suggested as a possible weapon of terrorism used to create panic and casualties in densely populated areas. They could also render a great deal of property useless for an extended period, unless costly remediation was undertaken. The radiological source and quality greatly impacts the effectiveness of a radiological weapon.

Factors such as: energy and type of radiation, half-life, longevity, availability, shielding, portability, and the role of the environment will determine the effect of the radiological weapon. Radioisotopes that pose the greatest security risk include: 137
Cs
, used in radiological medical equipment, 60
Co
, 241
Am
, 252
Cf
, 192
Ir
, 238
Pu
, 90
Sr
, and 226
Ra
.

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