The Role of Public Health in a Nuclear or Radiological Terrorism Incident

Bioterrorism, Chemical & Radiation Emergencies
Online Course
1.5 hours
Texas A&M University
Training and Education Collaborative PERLC
Environmental Hazards

Go to training host page. You will leave this site.


There are many things to consider when planning for a nuclear or radiological terrorist incident. First a basic understanding of radiation, how it works, the injury it may cause is vital. Secondly although a terrorism incident would be a rare event, there are other opportunities for a radiological disaster to occur. The preparation and response for both incidents are similar. To plan appropriately, one needs to know the different potential methods for distribution of radiological material. One also needs to understand the risk to the responder as well as the best approach to personal protection and decontamination. Finally, it is important for Public Health to monitor the exposed population for potential long term effects from exposure. By the end of this training, you will be prepared to begin a response plan in the event of a radiological or nuclear incident. The plan will encompass all phases of the Public Health response from first responder to population monitoring.

Learning Objectives: 
  • Explain the basic principles of radiation
  • Describe potential terrorist scenarios
  • Explain population monitoring impact
  • Describe the planning process for public health prior to a radiological incident
  • Describe the initial response roles of public health in a radiological incident
PHEP Capabilities: 
Mass Care
Responder Safety and Health