Modern Rapid Warning Systems
Israel is developing a rapid warning system in which civilians will be warned of impending missile strikes via text messaging. Residents of London will soon get warnings or threats of disaster in the same manner.
This type of warning system might have come in handy during recent tornadoes in Oklahoma where sirens are still used to warn citizens that a tornado has touched down. It was reported that the sirens sounded about 15 minutes before the arrival of the tornado and some people may not have heard the warnings; sending out text messages warning people to take cover may have helped some.
Employing Cell Phone Technology To Sniff Out Threats
Sniffing biological, chemical, conventional and nuclear weapons with cell phone sensors is something that is technologically feasible. Purdue University researchers are working on a miniature, cheap radiation detector that could be plugged into cellular phones.
Through triangulation of signals indicating that nuclear materials are present, dirty bombs and other weapons could be quickly located. The Department of Homeland Security is considering deploying such detectors in all cellular telephones as a way to speed up the emergency response to threats.
A company in Israel has developed a smartphone app with a sensor that allows people to detect radioactive waves from cell phones, a highly controversial and publicized potential downside to cell phone technology. The technology can also be applied to potential weapons. A Russian software developer is developing a cell phone wireless attachment that instantly measures radiation levels in the immediate area.
Nuclear Terrorism Ultimately Preventable
IndustryTap recently covered the work of Graham Allison, Professor of Government and Director of the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. The story includes a great video in which he discusses the threat, the likelihood and steps that can be taken to avert disaster. His book “Nuclear Terrorism: the Ultimate Preventable Catastrophe” argues that while attempts to attack US cities are close to being probable, they are ultimately preventable.
Allison’s website, with the same name as his book, provides exhaustive FAQs about nuclear topics, Allison’s bio, and links to the best sources to use to learn about the Nuclear Threat Initiative (NTI). Visitors are encouraged to get involved in the “Safe World Campaign. The NTI site provides an extensive glossary of technical and historical information related to nuclear threats and exhaustive review of the treaties, regimes and organizations relating to arms control, nonproliferation and disarmament.
The site tracks ongoing research in all of these disciplines as well as articles, reports, speeches, testimony, opinions and transcripts analyzing how the organization’s mission is being carried out.
The following image assumes a 10 kiloton nuclear explosion in Boston and describes the effects that would be experienced in a one mile radius around ground zero.
Another good resource is Nuclear Terrorism TV.