AUTHORFerguson, Charles D. / Kazi, Tahseen / Perera, Judith
TITLECommercial Radioactive Sources: Surveying the Security Risks
PUBLISHERCenter for Non-Proliferation Studies
CITYMonterrey, CA
Web Access
Available online from Center for Non- Proliferation Studies

This report is the result of a study which examined the security risks of commercial sources of radiation, determined that security risks do exist, and suggested several ways to lessen those risks. Commercial sources of radiation, according to the study, could potentially be used in radiological dispersal devices (RDD, or “dirty bombs”). The study notes that only a very small number of world-wide commercial radioactive sources are portable, dispersible, and radioactive enough to be feasible for use in RDDs. Also, although there are loopholes in most countries’ export policies, the regulatory controls in the former Soviet Union and developing countries are the weakest. Some of the study’s proposals for lessening the security risk are disposal of disused sources; recovery of dangerous lost, abandoned, or stolen radioactive sources; and help for nations in strengthening weak regulatory controls. Appendices include a table of health consequences of radioactive exposure (by element) and a list of reactors known to produce radioisotopes.

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