Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science


Department of Systems Engineering and Management

First Advisor

David A. Smith, PhD


A radiological dispersal event (RDE) is the result of a Radiological Dispersal Device (RDD) or a dirty bomb. An RDD is a low‐yield conventional bomb surrounded by radiological material (RM) such as Cesium‐137 or Cobalt‐60. Upon detonation, the blast of the conventional explosive is designed to spread the RM over a wide area. The RM will then be inhaled or ingested by people, or otherwise absorbed into the environment. An RDD is an affordable, feasible, and economically devastating option for terrorist groups. Possible RM could be stolen or acquired cheaply from the millions of radioactive sources used worldwide in industry, for medical purposes and in academic applications. The purpose of this research is to develop a generalized methodology that can be used to assess economic impacts resulting from an RDE, occurring in any location and across any industry. Currently there is no universal approach for measuring the costs or economic impacts on businesses, nor a common framework for estimating an economic impact of a radiological event, leading to inaccurate and unverified estimates. The objective of this research is to aid in the RDE response effort by providing government planners, officials, and key stakeholders with an economic assessment tool which can be used to quantify the economic impacts arising from a RDE, thereby facilitating the strategic decision making process.

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DTIC Accession Number