[ RadSafe ] Re: Dirty Bomb Material Crosses Border

Jose Julio Rozental joseroze at netvision.net.il
Sat Apr 1 10:07:26 CST 2006

Dear John,

I agree with many of your statement

Threatening  people with exposure and contamination,  depend of the activity
of source,
physical and chemical proprieties.
Isn't the small amount of 150 microcuries  of Cs137 that colleagues are
discussing on this subject that will achieve such purpose.
About radiophobia, and media, also discussed in the list, I have personal
experience dealing
with this two topics, as part of my activities coordinating in Goiania,
the Goiania Radiological Accident. We arrive in the city about two weeks
after the accident and we found places
well contaminated in the center of the town. In Goiania the source was 1350
Ci, 59 TBq. We have monitored 112.000 people and checked by contamination
hundreds of places.  One of the lessons of Goiania to spread fear, panic
and discrimination and economic losses  was the poor lack of public
information on basic concept of nuclear energy. Spread fear and panic is
consequence of the people ignorance. You can't explain basic concept at the
time of the emergency response, not in case of an accident like Goiania, or
in case of a
Dirty Bomb where the source has  activity compatible with sources used in
or industrial application, as industrial radiography.
What is necessary is a different approach on communication, and this apply .
also to developed countries, like  USA as well as to International
Organizations like IAEA.
Many lessons of Goiania were not enough learned, and I am sure, I affirm, if
another similar accident
can be happen again or a Dirty Bomb with a source compatible to spread fear,
and economic losses, many conflicts of all order, political, communication,
social, psychological will repeat again, 20 years after Goiania.
I wrote this to IAEA and now considering what I had the opportunity to read
in this subject I decided to repeat this again.
Dirty Bomb at the moment is only hypothetical and has not been used by
terrorists before, but the possibility exists. Dirty bombs are designed to
spread fear and panic, however the source needs to be in much higher
activity and we need to be prepared not only to technical response, but
basically to manage many parameters associated,
if not well conducted will bring many difficulties to conduct. This we
found in Goiania.

Jose Julio Rozental
joseroze at netvision.net.il

----- Original Message -----
From: "Flood, John" <FloodJR at nv.doe.gov>
To: "Bradt, Clayton (LABOR)" <Clayton.Bradt at labor.state.ny.us>;
<BLHamrick at aol.com>; <ray2hoover at yahoo.com>;
Sent: Friday, March 31, 2006 10:20 PM
Subject: RE: [ RadSafe ] Dirty Bomb Material Crosses Border

> I have proposed this idea on Radsafe in the past - the use of a "dirty
> bomb" would be require a significant change of personality for
> terrorists here in the early 21st century.  A terrorist attack is
> primarily a publicity stunt to focus attention on the cause to which the
> terrorist is devoted.  The standard means of getting that publicity has
> been the body count -  the attack needs to succeed at killing people
> and, if the group responsible isn't obvious at that time, they "claim
> responsibility" to ensure the desired kind of attention.
> To switch to causing economic harm or the threat of a slow death instead
> of immediate would be a complete turnabout.  And use of radioactive
> material to contaminate an area could backfire.  The aftermath -
> assessment of the immediate impact and the cleanup - may be a very good
> demonstration to the public that their fears of radiation never were
> necessary.  I suggest that no terrorist group cares to risk such a
> colossal flop.
> Given the kinds of attacks in recent years - 911, the train systems in
> Europe - terrorist organizations have adequate technical expertise and
> organizational skills to understand the danger to themselves if they try
> to assemble and deliver a large enough dirty bomb to be spectacular, and
> that the likelihood of delivering it undetected is too low to make such
> an attack an attractive prospect.  They should also have enough
> expertise to understand attach with a small dirty bomb could ultimately
> be viewed as laughable by the population they attacked.
> One man's opinion.
> Bob Flood
> Nevada Test Site
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