Discovering an Incident: How do you know a radiation incident has occurred? (Text Version)

  1. Is it a radiologicalor nuclear incident?
  2. How do you know a radiation incident has occurred?
    • Obvious in real time
      • Information from local, State, Federal authorities
      • News report
      • Routine, real time radiation monitoring of
        • Industrial radiation sources
        • Planned transport of radiation sources
        • Medical facility radiation sources
      • Personal observation
      • Examples
        • Nuclear explosion
        • Transportation incident
        • Medical facility incident
        • Nuclear power plant / nuclear reactor incident or sabotage
        • Industrial radiation source incident
    • Not obvious in real time
      • Evaluating an explosive incident, HAZMAT team tests for and finds radiation.
      • Monitoring of water, soil, food, air reveals unexpected radiation.
      • Recognizing over time a cluster of victims with radiation-linked clinical signs and symptoms
      • Locating a radiation source outside of expected places, e.g., subway, sports field
      • Examples
        • Radiological Dispersal Device
          • Explosive incident subsequently found to have radiation
          • Non-explosive incident: radiation dispersion into food, water, soil, air
          • Hidden radiological source: Radiological Exposure Device
        • Malicious or unintentional industrial, nuclear reactor, medical facility, or transportation incident discovered after the fact
  3. More details on identifying types of radiation incident

See also: Describing an Incident: Definition, Severity, Phases, Timeline