A dirty bomb is a speculative radiological weapon that combines radioactive material with conventional explosives. The purpose of the weapon is to contaminate the area around the explosion with radioactive material, hence the attribute "dirty".
Though a radiological dispersal device (RDD) would be designed to disperse radioactive material over a large area, a bomb that uses conventional explosives would probably have far more lethal effect than the radioactive material. At levels created from probable sources, not enough radiation would be present to cause severe illness or death. A test explosion and subsequent calculations done by the United States Department of Energy found that assuming nothing is done to clean up the affected area and everyone stays in the affected area for one year, the radiation exposure would be "fairly high", but not fatal. Recent analysis of the nuclear fallout from the Chernobyl disaster confirms this, showing that the effect on many people in the surrounding area, although not those in close proximity, was almost negligible.
Since a dirty bomb is unlikely to cause many deaths, many do not consider this to be a weapon of mass destruction. Its purpose would presumably be to create psychological, not physical, harm through ignorance, mass panic, and terror. For this reason dirty bombs are sometimes called "weapons of mass disruption". Additionally, containment and decontamination of thousands of victims, as well as decontamination of the affected area might require considerable time and expense, rendering areas partly unusable and causing economic damage.
Other articles related to "dirty bomb":
... In 2004, Mahmood led an investigation into exposing the creation of a dirty bomb through the supply of the fictitious substance red mercury to three men from a supposed terrorist ...
... The present assessment of the possibility of terrorists using a dirty bomb is based on cases involving one terrorist organization, namely Al-Qaeda ... because the attempts by this group to acquire a dirty bomb are the most well-described in the literature, in part due to the attention this group received for their ... that he was an Al-Qaeda terrorist planning to detonate a dirty bomb in the U.S ...
Famous quotes containing the words bomb and/or dirty:
“[A] Dada exhibition. Another one! Whats the matter with everyone wanting to make a museum piece out of Dada? Dada was a bomb ... can you imagine anyone, around half a century after a bomb explodes, wanting to collect the pieces, sticking it together and displaying it?”
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