Operational Guidelines and Their Application within a Framework for Consequence Management of a Radiological Dispersal Device Incident

W.C. Conklin1; S.L. Domotor2; and A. Wallo2 (1US Department of Homeland Security; 2US Department of Energy)

The government's ability to respond to a radiological terrorist incident has been a central focus since the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001. At the direction of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, the interagency Consequence Management Subgroup (CMS) of the Radiological Dispersal Device (RDD)/Improvised Nuclear Device (IND) Preparedness Working Group has been addressing this issue. The CMS identified Protective Action Guides (PAGs) appropriate for early and intermediate phases of response; proposed a risk management framework for addressing long-term cleanup and recovery that incorporates the principles of optimization, stakeholder involvement and shared accountability; and highlighted needs and concepts for Operational Guidelines to implement the PAGs. These three elements are being published in the Federal Register for public comment. Operational Guidelines are derived levels of radiation or radionuclides that can be measured in the field and compared to the PAGs to quickly determine if protective actions are needed. Although some exist (e.g., Derived Intervention Levels for food), many more Guidelines are needed. The interagency Operational Guidelines Task Group (OGT), an element of the CMS, developed Operational Guidelines for a range of property likely impacted by an RDD incident. The strategic objective is to provide Guidelines that can be incorporated into Federal and state response documents and used by decision makers and first responders. Guidelines were derived for seven groups (A-G). Guiding principles were agreed upon by the OGT as a foundation for the consensus-based approach used to develop the Guidelines. Agency representatives serve as Lead Coordinators for guiding the development of each Guidelines group. The Operational Guidelines, in concert with the PAGs and risk framework, should prove valuable in managing the consequences of a radiological terrorist incident.

Return to Session list.