The twenty-first century has witnessed a fair share of turbulence and significant change in regards to radiological threats. The whole planet has faced inevitable collapse in the systems, crumbling of the financial sectors, Emergence of sophisticated terrorism tactics that have caused a high level of unrest and destruction. Homeland security has always been concerned about the possibility of terrorist groups attacking the population using biological, radiological, chemical and nuclear elements that are available in this new era (Mcghee, 2014).

After the September 2011 attack in the United States, the world started to accept the reality of radiological and nuclear events. The Middle East’s recent developments in the deadly radiological and nuclear weapons have awakened the existence of the impending threat of attack through the CBRN materials. The current authorities have a responsibility to plan on how to collaboratively come up with the methods to counter the effects of such attacks (Arienzo, Pinto, Sandri, & Zagarella, 2017). The fact of the matter is that radiological elements cause diseases by either external or internal exposure to radioactive materials that contaminate the environment.

Concerns have been raised by many security groups and analysts about the possibility of terrorist making away with industrial radionuclides for manufacturing radiological weapons that put together materials that are radioactive with existing explosives to cause psychological harm through terror and panic. Generally, radiological elements are materials generated as industrial waste or medical facilities. The ordinary reality is that there is a vast difference between various classes of agents, and therefore nuclear weapons are the only justified weapon of mass destruction because of the extent of trauma it causes both from radiation and physically and the magnitude of damage it causes (Baker, 2016). After the Second World War, classing of agents that are harmful and which are both deadly and which causes trauma has been the norm for many nations.

The beginning entailed nuclear grouping, Chemical and Biological agents at the onset of the cold war. The grouped agent of destruction causes trauma differently and therefore termed by the military as different from the typical weapons of war and hence necessitating new measures of training and protection. The First World War saw extensive use of chemical weapons and also used in 1936 during the Abyssinian campaign. In Germany, the growth of nerve agents at the eve of the Second World War in complete secrecy caused unexpected threat and risk. On the same dimension, biological weapons were made, tested and used in large proportion during the same period.

The manufacture of the atomic bomb that was used to bomb Japan was the source of emerging weapon which caused deaths and injuries both physically and radiation trauma. The early 1970’s the classification of NBC was altered by civil formations and military alignments to include radioactive elements, different from the ones produced by nuclear explosions. Towards the end of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, there was an increase in the advancement of bacteriology which gave leverage to intentional let out of pathogens against both populations and the enemies in war.  The ever-increasing global trend of civil war exemplified by the conflict in Syria and other big cities increases the chances of industrial chemicals becoming intentionally or accidentally dangerous to civilians or military (Mapstone & Brett, 2005).

The internet has influenced the increase of knowledge towards the manufacture and use of radiological weapons and heightened by the increasing invention and explosive improvisation in Afghanistan and Iraq (Barnett, Parker, Blodgett, Wierzba, & Links, 2019). The existence of multiple deadly materials that can be used as weapons presents the security personnel trying to protect themselves and civilians against extremist groups a challenge as well as an opportunity for research and innovation to mitigate the threat. The most common risks that terrorists, criminals, and irregular forces use are explosives since they are readily available and are easily usable (Khripunov, 2016). National Consortium on the study of terrorism indicates that there has been more than 170,000 terrorist attacks all over the world since the early 1970s and over 50% used explosives. France is one of the countries that has been attacked using explosives with a percentage of 76.8%, and Iraq is 77.2%, but the number of attacks in France is relatively lower than Iraq. Radioisotopes commonly exist in different forms of nature namely; solid, liquid and dust forms and are usually resistant to the usual environmental factors. The rampant increase in radionuclides increases the accessibility of radiological threats. Radiological, chemical and nuclear agents are classified together as weapons that causes great destruction. The use of that term is not accurate and can mislead in a medical perspective, whereby diagnosis and early treatment can avert potential deaths. A proper understanding of characteristics of a chemical, radiation elements, and biological elements is essential in control of trauma and provision of the right casualty management.



Arienzo, M. D., Pinto, M., Sandri, S., & Zagarella, R. (2017). Radiological and Nuclear Events : Challenges, Countermeasures and Future Perspectives.

Baker, D. J. (2016). Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Hazards : An Overview and Comparison, (1), 209–230.

Barnett, D. J., Parker, C. L., Blodgett, D. W., Wierzba, R. K., & Links, J. M. (2019). Understanding Radiologic and Nuclear Terrorism as Public Health Threats : Preparedness and Response Perspectives *, 1653–1662.


Mapstone, J., & Brett, S. (2005). Radiological weapons : what type of threat ? 223–225.

Mcghee, S. (2014). US Homeland Security, 1–21.