Radiological and Nuclear Events: Challenges, Countermeasures and Future Perspectives

  • Marco D’ArienzoEmail author
  • Massimo Pinto
  • Sandro Sandri
  • Raffaele Zagarella
Part of the Terrorism, Security, and Computation book series (TESECO)


Over the last few years a broad array of organizations have practiced terrorism with the aim to achieve political, criminal, religious, and ideological goals. These acts have revitalized awareness of the threat of attacks involving chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear weapons. In particular radiological and nuclear methods are likely to be pursued by well organised terrorist groups, particularly those which have access to financial resources. The objective of this paper is to provide the reader with basic knowledge of possible radiological and nuclear events and the potential risks they pose. The document focuses on the characteristics of radiologic and nuclear agents as well as on the basics of response. Ultimately, this article explores how emerging technology has been infusing additional complexity into the global radiological and nuclear threat scenario.


Radiological and nuclear agents CBRN Terrorist attack Weaponization Radiological and nuclear response 



We are grateful to Chatham House, the Royal Institute of International Affairs, for permission to reproduce the table originally published in Unal, B and Aghlani, S, “Use of Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Weapons by Non-State Actors.”, 2016.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marco D’Arienzo
    • 1
    Email author
  • Massimo Pinto
    • 1
  • Sandro Sandri
    • 2
  • Raffaele Zagarella
    • 3
  1. 1.ENEA Casaccia Research Center, Department of Fusion and Technology for Nuclear Safety and SecurityNational Institute of Ionizing Radiation MetrologyRomeItaly
  2. 2.ENEA Frascati Research CenterRadiation Protection InstituteFrascatiItaly
  3. 3.Centro Interforze Studi per le Applicazioni Militari (C.I.S.A.M.)PisaItaly

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