Day Three: Regional Resiliency and Health Challenges in the Aftermath of Nuclear Terrorism

On February 23, 2010, in New York City, the National Center for Disaster Preparedness at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health (NCDP) convened a unique roundtable of experts to discuss the impacts on a major U.S. city and the surrounding region, of the detonation by terrorists of a 10-kiloton improvised nuclear device. Aware of the immediate impact of such a major catastrophic event, participants were nonetheless asked to focus on potential conditions and challenges in the affected region three days following the attack. The goal of the roundtable was to understand the nature and scope of these challenges and to frame questions considered essential for appropriate planning. Day Three was premised on the notions that (a) while nuclear terrorism is a low probability event, it is by no means far-fetched; (b) consequences would be devastating and (c) emergency response planning to date falls far short in terms of assuring regional readiness at an appropriate scale. A summary of the proceedings of this “not for attribution” conference comprises the body of this report.

Terrorism (CRBNE)