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Year : 2011  |  Volume : 34  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 47-49

Requirement of trained first responders and national level preparedness for prevention and response to radiological terrorism

Radiation Safety Systems Division, BARC, Mumbai, India

Correspondence Address:
R Sharma
Radiation Safety Systems Division, BARC, Mumbai
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

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The increase in the usage of radioactive sources in various fields and the present scenario of adopting various means of terrorism indicates a possible environment for malicious usage of radioactive sources. Many nations, India inclusive, have to strengthen further it's capability to deal with Nuclear/Radiological Emergencies. The probable radiological Emergency scenario in public domain involves inadvertent melting of radioactive material, transport accident involving radioactive material/sources and presence of orphan sources as reported elsewhere. Explosion of Radiological Dispersal Device (RDDs) or Improvised Nuclear Devices (IND) leading to spread of radioactive contamination in public places have been identified by IAEA as probable radiological threats. The IAEA documents put lot of emphasis, at national level, on training and educational issues related with Radiological Emergencies. The agencies and institutions dealing with radioactive sources have few personnel trained in radiation protection. Experience so far indicates that public awareness is also not adequate in the field of radiological safety which may create difficulties during emergency response in public domain. The major challenges are associated with mitigation, monitoring methodology, contaminated and overexposed casualties, decontamination and media briefing. In this paper, we have identified the educational needs for response to radiological emergency in India with major thrust on training. The paper has also enumerated the available educational and training infrastructure, the human resources, as well as the important stakeholders for development of sustainable education and training programme.

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