Experience with the Department of Justice Threat and Risk Assessment on a Medical Campus


M. R. Kendig, R. J. Vetter


The Department of Justice developed a tool for assessment of threats and risks associated with potential targets involving a variety of civilian activities. The tool could be used to evaluate a variety of targets, including city utilities, transportation, special events, and institutions, including research facilities and hospitals. We used this tool to evaluate threats and risks to an academic medical center that utilizes a variety of radiation sources, including several self-shielded irradiators. This risk assessment was intended to supplement, not replace, the vulnerability analysis required by the Joint Commission of Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations. The risk assessment of radiation sources was conducted in conjunction with a risk assessment of other potential vulnerabilities, including utilities, building ventilation systems, building entrances, emergency department, and others. The risk assessment team included representatives of the medical center as well as members of local law enforcement, local fire department, and emergency medical services. The team concluded that the vulnerability of radiation sources at the medical center was low compared to other potential targets. The team also concluded that the most vulnerable time for a potential terrorist act involving a radiation source used in medicine or research was at the time of delivery of the source. This paper will describe our experience and reasons that lead to the conclusion that the risk to radiation sources was low.


This abstract was presented at the 38th Annual Midyear Meeting, "Materials Control and Security: Risk Assessment, Handling, and Detection", Materials Control and Security Risk Assessments Session, 2/13/2005 - 2/16/2005, held in New Orleans, LA.

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