Radiological Dispersion Devices: are we prepared?

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


  • Alain Sohier
  • Frank Hardeman

Documents & links


Already before the events of September 11th 2001 concern was raised about the spread of orphan sources and their potential use in Radiological Dispersion Devices by terrorist groups. Although most of the simulated scenarios foresee a rather limited direct health impact to the population, the affected region would suffer from the indirect consequences such as social disruption, cleanup requirements and economic costs. The nature of such a radiological attack would anyway be different compared to conventional radiological accidents, basically because it can happen anywhere at any time. Part of the response resides in a general preparedness scheme incorporating attacks with Radiological Dispersion Devices. Training of different potential intervention teams is essential. The response would consist of a prioritised list of actions adapted to the circumstances. As the psychosocial dimension of the crisis could be worse than the purely radiological one, an adapted communication strategy with the public aspect would be a key issue


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)171-181
JournalJournal of environmental radioactivity
Issue number2-3
Publication statusPublished - May 2006


  • Orphan sources, Radiological Dispersion Device, Radiological and psychosocial consequences, Preparedness and response

ID: 255070