As part of our work to prevent catastrophic attacks with weapons of mass destruction and disruption, NTI partners with governments and industry on strategies to better secure radiological materials that could be stolen and used to build “dirty bombs.”
Today, thousands of sites in more than 150 countries house sealed radiological sources that are typically used in commercial or medical devices, ranging from power sources for batteries to industrial gauges to blood irradiation equipment. In what seems a cruel paradox, the very same radiological isotopes used for life-saving blood transfusions and cancer treatments also can be used to build bombs that could release high levels of radiation, contaminate a city, and cost tens of billions of dollars in clean-up.
NTI has launched an initiative to eliminate one of the most lethal types of radioactive sources, the cesium-137 used in blood irradiators, and replace it with safe, effective alternative technologies.
isn’t the only issue associated with cesium-137 and other potentially dangerous
radiological sources used widely in medicine, industry, and agriculture. Due to
the lack of effective regulatory controls globally, radioactive sources often
go missing – another compelling reason why they should be replaced, where
feasible, with safe, alternative technologies. These uncontrolled radioactive sources
are commonly called “orphan sources.”