August 12, 2021

Nuclear & Radiation Events

Group Lead: Romeo Fairley, MD, FACEP

Welcome to the Nuclear and Radiation Events niche group. Nuclear or radiation events are a low incidence but significantly high-impact scenario that we must be prepared for. Radiation sources are under constant threat. In 2018, 253 incidents were reported to the International Atomic Energy Agency - Incident and Trafficking Database (ITDB). These events do happen:

  • Fukushima (2011)
  • Alexander Litvinenko homicide (2006)
  • Tokaimura nuclear accident (1999)
  • Tomsk-7 explosion (1993)
  • Goiania accident (1987)
  • Chernobyl (1986)
  • Three Mile Island (1979)

The below resources are meant to help emergency clinicians understand, prepare for, and treat patients of nuclear and radiation events. This website will be updated as new information becomes available.

If anyone would like to join the niche group or provide additional information, please see the contact form below.

Resources

Center for Disease Control and Prevention
Radiological Emergencies: Toolkit for Emergency Services Clinicians

NukeMap
Interactive web-based mapping system that allows users to visualize nuclear detonations, damage patterns, and casualties from various nuclear bomb sizes.

Radiation Injury Treatment Network (RITN)
The Radiation Injury Treatment Network® comprises medical centers with expertise in the management of bone marrow failure which are preparing to care for patients with Acute Radiation Syndrome following a mass casualty disaster.

RadNet
United States Environmental Protection Agency project to monitor the nation's air, precipitation and drinking water to track radiation in the environment. Over time, RadNet sample testing and monitoring results show the fluctuations in normal background levels of environmental radiation. The RadNet system will also detect higher than normal radiation levels during a radiological incident. The website allows near real-time data visualization.

Center for Radiological Nuclear Training (CTOS)
Provides First Responder CBRNE Training in unique, authentic, and safe weapons of mass destruction venues using realistic training scenarios.

Radiation Emergency Assistance Center/Training Site (REAC/TS)
U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) asset and a leader in emergency medical response to radiological/nuclear incidents, providing emergency response, advice and consultation for the National Nuclear Security Administration’s (NNSA) Office of Counterterrorism and Counterproliferation. REAC/TS is located at the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education in Tennessee.

Armed Forces Radiobiology Research Institute (AFFRI)
The AFRRI mission is to preserve and protect the health and performance of U.S. military personnel through research and training that advance understanding of the effects of ionizing radiation. This mission includes education and training to maintain a pool of qualified radiation biologists; and basic and applied research to identify and perform early development of measures to prevent, assess and treat radiation injury. AFRRI research thrusts include medical countermeasures, diagnosis of injury (biodosimetry), low dose/low dose rate/late effects, internalized radionuclides, and combined injury.

Hotspot Health Physics Software
Software package from the Lawrence Livermore National Lab, created to provide emergency response personnel and emergency planners with a fast, field-portable set of software tools for evaluating incidents involving radioactive material. The software is also used for safety analyses of facilities handling nuclear material.

Radon Zones Map
Map of Radon Zones in the United States based on Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) data.

Crisis & Emergency Risk Communication (CERC)
CDC’s Crisis and Emergency Risk Communication (CERC) draws from lessons learned during past public health emergencies and research in the fields of public health, psychology, and emergency risk communication. CDC’s CERC program provides trainings, tools, and resources to help health communicators, emergency responders, and leaders of organizations communicate effectively during emergencies.

Response to Radiation Events
Powerpoint presentation.


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