OP#11: Commercial Radioactive Sources: Surveying the Security Risks

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January 2003
Charles D. Ferguson, Tahseen Kazi, and Judith Perera

Occasional Paper #11

Read the full Occasional Paper #11:
Commercial Radioactive Sources: Surveying the Security Risks

This occasional paper focuses on the security of commercial radioactive sources, the sources that represent a significant category of radioactive materials that are widely used throughout the world for beneficial applications in medicine and industry, and–until recently–have not been considered high security risks.

Contents

  • About the Authors
  • Acknowledgements
  • Acronyms
  • Executive Summary
  • Introduction: Setting the Security and Safety Context
  • Radioactive Sources

    • Radioisotope Properties
    • Health Effects from Ionizing Radiation
    • Production Methods
    • Sealed and Unsealed Sources
    • Applications

  • Ranking of Radioactive Sources and Radioisotopes by Security Risk

    • Orphan Sources

  • Radiological Weapons–Radiological Dispersal Devices

    • Definitions
    • Consequences
    • Incidents

  • Lifecycle of Radioactive Sources
  • Overview of the Radioactive Source Production and Distribution Industry

    • Government Reactors and Enterprises
    • Commercial Distributors
    • Prominent Downstream Processors and Distributors
    • Disposal of Disused Sources

  • Regulatory and Industry Efforts to Secure Radioactive Sources

    • Radioactive Source Regulatory and Security Efforts in the United States
    • The Radioactive Source Regulatory and Security System in Argentina
    • Radioactive Source Regulatory and Security Efforts in the European Union
    • International Atomic Energy Agency Efforts to Enhance Source Security
    • Export Controls

  • Conclusions and Recommendations
  • Appendix 1: Probable Health Effects from Exposure to Ionizing Radiation
  • Appendix 2: Reactors Known to Produce Radioisotopes

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