Malevolent use of radioactive materials: An international exercise in the analysis of gamma-spectrometric data

Publication: Research - peer-reviewJournal article – Annual report year: 2010

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The past years have seen a broadening in the focus of emergency preparedness and first response towards situations involving the malevolent use of radioactive materials in a variety of contexts. Many of these contexts are such that first responders and responsible authorities may be faced with isotopes and activities that present significant challenges with respect to identification and quantification using gamma ray spectrometry. The MALRAD international exercise was designed to provide a practice opportunity for authorities and laboratories to work with synthetic gamma-spectrometric data generated in response to seven hypothetical scenarios involving radioactive materials. Scenarios were based as far as practical upon earlier events and participants had one week to provide as much information as possible about the sources based on the provided data. Results indicate that in cases of single isotopes, irrespective of the detector type involved, all participants were in a position to identify sources and provide estimates of activity. For situations involving shielded sources or special nuclear materials most participants were in a position to provide indications as to what the sources were but only a few participants were in a position to provide detailed information.
Original languageEnglish
JournalApplied Radiation and Isotopes
Publication date2010
Volume68
Issue9
Pages1789-1797
ISSN0969-8043
DOIs
StatePublished
CitationsWeb of Science® Times Cited: 0

Keywords

  • Radiation research and nuclear technologies, Radioecology and tracers
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