An Overview of Plausible Terrorist Events Involving Radioactive Materials Robert Emery, DrPH, CHP, CIH, CSP, RBP, ARM Executive Director, Environmental Health & Safety Associate Professor of Occupational Health Assistant Vice President for Research Administration [email_address]
An Overview of Plausible Terrorist Events Involving Radioactive Materials
Robert Emery, DrPH, CHP, CIH, CSP, RBP, ARM
The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston
Recent terroristic acts involving air piracy and biological agents indicate that domestic acts of terror involving radioactive materials may be a distinct possibility as well. As part of the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston School of Public Health’s ongoing efforts to respond to these terroristic threats, this presentation will describe the foreseeable types of terroristic acts involving radiation. These include, in order of likelihood and plausibility: conventional explosives combined with radioactive materials (referred to as radiation dispersal devices, or ‘dirty bombs’), the use of conventional explosives at a nuclear facility, and the detonation of a tactical nuclear weapon. The effects and public health implications of each type of attack will be described, along with the anticipated emergency response measures, monitoring capabilities, and appropriate protective actions. The actions of a collaborative group of organizations in Houston, Texas to address these threats will also be described. A list of supplemental web based and text references will be provided and ample time will be allotted for questions, answers and discussion.
Dr. Robert Emery is the Executive Director of Environmental Health & Safety for The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston and Associate Professor of Occupational Health at the University of Texas School of Public Health. Bob has over 20 years of experience in the field of health & safety and holds masters degrees in health physics and environmental sciences, and a doctorate in occupational health. Bob is unique in that he possesses national board certification and registration in the four main areas of health & safety; health physics [Certified Health Physicist, CHP], occupational safety [Certified Safety Professional, CSP], industrial hygiene [Certified Industrial Hygienist, CIH], and biological safety [Registered Biosafety Professional, RBP]. In March 2002, he completed the national board examination process for the Associate in Risk Management [ARM] designation. Bob is the author of many peer-reviewed articles on practical health and safety topics and makes frequent presentations on such issues at the local and national level. Bob also recently assumed the role of Assistant Vice President for Research Administration to coordinate the infrastructure in place to support the research enterprise for the Health Science Center