The Applicability and Non-Applicability
of the IR Manual
to Nuclear War
---------
A Critique (November 2006)
by
Bruce Beach, RSO (Radiological Scientific Officer)
of
MEDICAL MANAGEMENT OF
INTERNALLY RADIOCONTAMINATED PATIENTS

(short name - Internal Radiocontamination Manual
ie. IR Manual)

Table of Contents

    I. Introduction

    II. Twelve Differences for Nuclear WW3

    III. Physician Inexperience

    IV. Sources of Help for Radiological Incidents

      A. 'Decorporation' Drugs

      B. External Radiation Manual

    V. Advantage and Unique Feature of IR Manual

    VI. 'Natural' Sources
      of Internal Radiocontamination

      A. Radiopharmaceuticals

      B. Ubiquitous Naturally-occurring
        Radioactive Potassium (K)-40

      C. Other Naturally Occurring Radionuclides
        Carbon (C)-14 and Tritium (H)-3

      D. Strontium (Sr)-90
        from nuclear weapons testing fallout

      E. Radon (Rn)-222

    VII. 'Catastrophic' Sources
      of Internal Radiocontamination

      A. Nuclear Weapons
        and Destroyed Nuclear Power Plants
        [I-131, Cs-137, Sr-90]

      B. "Radiological Dispersal Devices (RDDs)"

    VIII. Overall Treatment Priority

      A. The First Priority is Blast Injuries

      B. Peacetime Radiation Dose Standards

      C. Low-level Contamination Spread

      D. Decontamination

      E. IR Not Important in Nuclear Weapon Event

    IX. Radiation Detection

      A. Sixteen Radionuclides of Greatest Concern

      B. Radmeters Do Not Identify Radionuclides

      C. Spectrometers Identify Radionuclides

      D. Mass Screening

      E. Geiger-Muller (G-M) detectors,
        ('Geiger counters') - Limited Usefulness

        E1. Radiation Instrument Flooding

        E2. Neutron Dose

      F. Portal Monitors

      G. Pre-screening Decontamination

    X. Post-screening External Decontamination

      A. Gentle Soap and Water Wash

      B. External Decontamination Solutions

      C. Source for Decontamination Solutions

    XI. "Modes of Internalization of Radionuclides"

      A. Inhalation and Swallowing

      B. Embedded Shrapnel (and its treatment)

    XII. "Detection of Internal Radiocontamination"

      A. Alpha Emitters

        A1. Am-241

        A2. Pu-239

        A3. Ra-226

        A4. U-234, U-235, and U-238

      B. "Pure Beta Emitters"

        B1. Sr-90

        B2. Y-90

        B3. P-32

        B4. H-3 (tritium)

      C. "Photon (Gamma and X-ray) Emitters"
        (Am-241, Cs-137, Co-60, Pd-103)
        (Special case of I-131
        and Ir-192)

        C1. Spectral Analysis

    XIII. "Determination of Significant Contamination:
      Use of the Annual Limit on Intake (ALI)"

      A. Definition of Significant

      B. False basis of calculating ALI

      C. Risks of Decorporation Drugs

    XIV. "ESTIMATION OF INTERNAL RADIOCONTAMINATION WITH GAMMA (OR OTHER PHOTON) EMITTERS"

      A. [Quantification of Radiation -
      (various scales of measure)]

        A1. [Roentgen]

        A2. [RAD]

        A3. [REM]

        A4. [Alpha Particles]

        A5. [Gamma Radiation and Beta Particles]

        A6. [Gray and Sievert]

        A7. [Curie]

        A8. [becquerel]

      B. HEC [Humanized Exposure Constants]

    XV. Treatment of Internal Radiocontamination

      A. No All-purpose Decorporation Drug
      (Cocktail)

        A01. americium(Am)-241

        A02. cesium (Cs)-137

        A03. cobalt (Co)-60

        A04. iodine (I)-125

        A05. iodine (I)-131

        A06. iridium (Ir)-192

        A07. palladium (Pd)-103

        A08. phosphorus (P)-32

        A09. plutonium (Pu)-239

        A10. radium (Ra)-226

        A11. strontium (Sr)-90

        A12. tritium (H)-3

        A13. -

        A15. uranium (U)-234, 235, and 238

        A16. yttrium (Y)-90

      B. "MEDICAL FOLLOW-UP FOR
      INTERNALLY CONTAMINATED PATIENTS"

      C. "MEDICAL FOLLOW-UP OF
      EXTERNALLY IRRADIATED PATIENTS"

    XVI. Alphabetical List of Decorporation Drugs
      [Further details of their administration
      and recommended use are given in the IR Manual.]

      A. Ammonium chloride

      B. Calcium (oral)

      C. Calcium-DTPA

      D. Dimercaprol

      E. D-Penicillamine

      F. Potassium iodide

      G. Potassium phosphate

      H. Propylthiouracil

      I. Prussian blue

      J. Sodium alginate

      K. Sodium alginate

      L. Sodium phosphate

      M. Zinc-DTPA

    XVII. Conclusion



I. Introduction

There has recently come to my hand a 66 page 'Word' document dated June, 2006, entitled MEDICAL MANAGEMENT OF INTERNALLY RADIOCONTAMINATED PATIENTS, referred to herein as the Internal Radiocontamination Manual or IR Manual for short. It was developed by a substantial number of Ph.D.s, M.D.s, and other qualified individuals connected with certain medical and emergency agencies in Los Angeles and funded by the Department of Homeland Security.

I make the complete manual available as a .pdf at:
Internal Radiocontamination Manual

The manual is the first truly new presentation on the treatment of radiologically contaminated patients that I have seen in years and I have read it with interest to see what bearing it might have upon treating the survivors of a nuclear holocaust (nuclear WW3), which is of course my primary interest.

The document does not itself address that eventuality but addresses radiological catastrophes that might affect hundreds to hundreds of thousands of individuals, rather than the millions, possibly billions, of radiologically involved individuals that will be involved in the scenario of nuclear WW3 that I anticipate. Nevertheless, its insights (or more often the limitations placed on its insights by the relatively limited theoretical catastrophes that it deals with) may help us to better anticipate what may be expected in the anticipated greater catastrophe and to design possible responses.

II. Twelve Differences for Nuclear WW3

Consider the following twelve differences that would be determined by the scale and circumstances of a nuclear war itself.

1. A nuclear WW3 holocaust
would of course completely overwhelm
with casualties
all the facilities in the vicinity
of an actual strike.

2. Response facilities in the vicinity
would very often be destroyed.

3. Utilities and services such as
electricity, water, gas, heating,
would likely not be available.

4. Transportation systems would probably fail -
because of destroyed bridges, roadways,
unavailability of fuel or electricity
or personnel to pump or transport fuel.

5. Lack of trained personnel for social control.
(Think of New Orleans police
multiplied by some substantial factor).

6. Outside help would not be available
or coming.

7. Non-availability of supplies and drugs -
and no way to transport them
if they were available somewhere.

8. Serious limitations regarding availability
of communications systems.

9. Total lack of personnel
trained to respond to the situation.

None of the above factors applied
to the scenarios envisioned in the IR Manual -
or at least certainly not to the degree
that would occur with nuclear WW3.

Three more factors
were not considered particularly relevant
to the described scenarios
or at least were not dealt with
in the document.

10. The large number of external gamma radiation burns that would occur from fallout -

11. The massive number of traumatic injuries
that would make consideration of internal radiocontamination irrelevant.

12. The total garbage mix of radionuclides
that would occur with a nuclear weapon -
as compared to the specific isolated elements
that might be created by a 'dirty bomb'.

Indeed, it is the reverse of this latter factor that is the major focus and rationale of the IR Manual in determining exactly which radionuclides one is dealing with and prescribing specific remedies and treatments for the differing ones that might occur.

While these limitations of the IR Manual are severe, for our purpose, nevertheless it does present a number of insights that are beneficial.

III. Physician Inexperience

"Most of the time, especially in a mass casualty situation, the physicians treating such patients will not have had prior education, training, or experience in managing these problems."

[This was their (and the Department of
Homeland Security's) reason for producing ...]

"a manual that covers the important aspects of such management".

IV. Sources of Help for Radiological Incidents

"In addition to medical management, (the IR) manual ... also includes important sources of
help in the event of a radiological incident."

A. 'Decorporation' Drugs

"For example, Los Angeles County has stockpiled drugs that help remove internalized radioactive material from the body. These drugs are called 'decorporation' drugs, and they may be accessed by physicians managing radiocontaminated patients in whom decorporation appears to be clinically appropriate. A number of these drugs are not generally stocked in hospital pharmacies, which is why they have been stockpiled for an emergency."

[It is not likely that sufficient supplies will be stockpiled for the number of mass casualties that will result from nuclear WW3 - nor that they will be available in areas accessible to most survivors.]

B. External Radiation Manual

"The manual is not intended to cover in any significant detail the treatment of externally
irradiated patients who were not radiocontaminated in the process."

"While such management may be essential, other references have covered this topic quite well. One handy reference is

      Medical Management of Radiological Casualties Handbook, 2nd edition,
      Military Medical Operations,
      Armed Forces Radiobiology Research Institute,
      Bethesda, MD, April, 2003."
"To request a copy of this handbook, e-mail
      MEIR@afrri.usuhs.mil
      or telephone (301)295-0316,
      or write to
      Military Medical Operations, AFRRI,
      8901 Wisconsin Avenue,
      Bethesda, MD 20889-5603."

    [Or directly to the clerk responsible.

      Mrs. Cassandra Digby
      digby@afrri.usuhs.mil

    Free printed copies of the handbook are made available only to authorized military personnel.]

However, you can download a free .pdf copy from:

http://www.afrri.usuhs.mil/www/outreach/pdf/2edmmrchandbook.pdf

and it is also available free
in .pdf format
on the webpal.org website at:

External Radiocontamination Manual

V. Advantage and Unique Feature of IR Manual

"(The IR manual that is the subject of this critique)... has one advantage and one unique feature. The advantage is that it is short and simple, except that it includes detailed information about the use of decorporation drugs and was written specifically for Emergency Medicine physicians."

"The unique feature is that research was performed to create a simple procedure to estimate internal photon-emitting radionuclide contamination in exposed persons, and that this procedure may be used anywhere. Humanized exposure rate constants were determined for a variety of radionuclides to facilitate the estimation of the degree of radiocontamination. This information may then be used to decide whether decorporation drug therapy is appropriate."

"No other publication at present contains these procedures, as they were developed for this manual."

VI. 'Natural' Sources
of Internal Radiocontamination

    A. Radiopharmaceuticals

    "Persons may become internally radiocontaminated in a number of situations. The most common one is intentional, comprising the millions of patients a year who are given radiopharmaceuticals for nuclear medicine procedures."

    B. Ubiquitous Naturally-occurring
    Radioactive Potassium (K)-40

    "Trace quantities of radiocontamination are present in everyone because of the ubiquitous existence of naturally-occurring radioactive potassium (K)-40 in all plant and animal foods and all sources of potassium."

    C. Other Naturally Occurring Radionuclides
    Carbon (C)-14 and Tritium (H)-3

    "There are also tiny quantities of other naturally occurring radionuclides in all of us, such as carbon (C)-14 and tritium (H)-3."

    D. Strontium (Sr)-90
    from nuclear weapons testing fallout

    "And, there are tiny amounts of radionuclides such as strontium (Sr)-90 from nuclear weapons fallout and some nuclear accidents that contaminate us as well."

    E. Radon (Rn)-222

    "The largest contributor to background radiation is radon (Rn)-222, which we all breathe in, all the time."

    "Contamination events can occur accidentally in laboratory and industrial settings, usually affecting small numbers of workers ..."

VII. 'Catastrophic' Sources
of Internal Radiocontamination

    A. Nuclear Weapons
    and Destroyed Nuclear Power Plants
    [I-131, Cs-137, Sr-90]

    "The radionuclides of [immediate] major concern in a nuclear weapons blast or a destroyed nuclear power plant are I-131 and Cs-137."

[There should also be long-term concern with Cs-137 and Sr-90.
I deal with these, however, in other writings
as they are the two principle radionuclides
of major long-term concern.]

    B. "Radiological Dispersal Devices (RDDs)"

    "The technical name for a dirty bomb (as might be used by a terrorist) is a Radiological Dispersal Device (RDD), and this is basically conventional explosives laced with radioactive material."

    "Radiological dispersal devices (RDDs) are candidates for terrorist acts. RDDs include
    radioactive material mixed with conventional explosives ("dirty bombs"), radioactive material released insidiously, as with an aerosol, or radioactive material surreptitiously placed, such as in a public water supply or food source."

    "After persons are externally decontaminated following an RDD event and their significant non-radiation injuries are addressed, it becomes necessary to evaluate them for internal contamination with radioactive material."

    [External radiation decontamination procedures will be found in the External Radiation Manual ].

    "[Internal radiation contamination] evaluation will also be necessary for uninjured persons at some distance from the event who nevertheless are concerned about internal radiocontamination, in part from prevailing wind currents. The primary reason for this evaluation is to identify patients with significant internal radiocontamination who could benefit from the use of decorporation drugs, that is, drugs that aid in the removal of radiocontaminants from the body. Generally speaking, the sooner decorporation drug therapy is begun, the more effective it is."

    "Radiation absorbed dose resulting from exposure to the radionuclides that can potentially be employed for a RDD is due to both external and internal components. The external dose component is due to proximity to the sources and the internal dose component is due to intake by inhalation, ingestion, or through the skin. Only the internal dose component due to inhalation will be considered here. We are aware that the body retention of many of the radionuclides may vary as a function of age, gender, body weight, etc."

VIII. Overall Treatment Priority

    A. The First Priority is Blast Injuries

    "From a medical standpoint, the treatment of blast injuries takes precedence over the radiation contamination considerations."

    "It is unlikely that any patient will be radioactive enough to be any danger to medical personnel. The only exception would be a patient with radioactive shrapnel from a huge radioactive source. It is therefore wise to monitor these patients with an instrument that can detect high activities, such as an ion chamber."

    B. Peacetime Radiation Dose Standards

    "The maximum permissible dose to a radiation worker each year is 5 rem."

    [This is a civilian peacetime health standard and the civilian non-radiation worker standards are even much lower - especially for children and women of child bearing age.

    Even for peacetime, the standards are based upon unreasonable premises and the standards used in the IR Manual are totally inapplicable in time of nuclear war.]

    "In an emergency, doses of 50-75 rem may be accepted by individuals involved in lifesaving activities."

    [Or higher.
    Consideration needs to also be given
    to the period over which the radiation is received
    and healing factors that are involved.]

    C. Low-level Contamination Spread

    "... radiation meters or not, it is very probable that the Emergency Department and other parts of the hospital will become contaminated, likely with low levels of radioactive material that are not a significant threat to anyone."

    D. Decontamination

    "Removal of the patient's clothing usually takes care of most of the external contamination. Identify a shielded place in which bags of radioactive clothing may be temporarily stored. A large closet or small room, with additional concrete blocks as needed, would work well."

    [A commonly overlooked hazard
    is a room that is on the other side of the wall
    that the closet backs onto.]

    E. IR Not Important in Nuclear Weapon Event

    [In the case of nuclear weapons]
    "... external radiation, radiation burns, and blast injuries will completely overshadow internal radiocontamination, which will be of relatively minor importance."

    [In case of nuclear war, it is anticipated that a great number of 'blast injuries' will result from glass shards - at some considerable distance from the blast, and there may be a lot of damage from thermal radiation. Radiation burns, per se, of the nature found with the bombs in Japan, is not expected to be prevalent because of the efficiency of the newer weapons and that very little immediate radiation will escape from the larger crater. External radiation burns from fallout, however, is another MAJOR matter. For that subject see the above recommend External Radiation Manual.]

    "Nuclear fission (differently from a dirty bomb - RDD) results in the formation of several hundred different radionuclides, many of which have short halflives. Long term internal radiocontamination with such radionuclides as Sr-90 and Cs-137 may be seen, but probably not at high levels."

[The Cs and Sr radionuclides will present one of the post-nuclear war challenges in the food chain, in that they will become a long-term source and threat of internal radiocontamination, but that is another and different matter from that which the IR Manual addresses regarding immediate radiocontamination from events such as RDDs.]

IX. Radiation Detection

"Detecting the presence of radioactive material and identifying the radionuclide(s) present is the first step in treating patients."

    A. Sixteen Radionuclides of Greatest Concern

    "The radionuclides with which we are most concerned are:

      americium(Am)-241,
      cesium (Cs)-137,
      cobalt (Co)-60,
      iodine (I)-125,
      iodine (I)-131,
      iridium (Ir)-192,
      palladium (Pd)-103,
      phosphorus (P)-32,
      plutonium (Pu)-239,
      radium (Ra)-226,
      strontium (Sr)-90,
      tritium (H)-3,
      uranium (U)-234, 235, and 238, and
      yttrium (Y)-90."

    "These radionuclides emit alpha particles (helium nuclei), and/or beta particles (electrons arising in the nucleus), and/or photons (gamma rays, which arise in the nucleus, or x-rays, which arise from orbital electron transitions). In addition, beta-emitters emit bremsstrahlung or "braking radiation" which consists of secondary photons emitted as the beta particles interact with matter."

    B. Radmeters Do Not Identify Radionuclides

    "The radiation equipment used by HAZMAT teams and others to detect radiation does not identify the radionuclide(s) present. It just detects radioactivity. While this is all that is needed to know to begin external decontamination of patients, it is necessary to know which radionuclides are present [in case of an RDD] in order to estimate internal body burden and institute appropriate treatment, if needed. It will also be necessary to have such information for various public health activities, such as monitoring food and water."

    C. Spectrometers Identify Radionuclides

    "The easiest way to identify a radionuclide is by the characteristic energies of its photons and their relative frequencies. This is performed with a device called a spectrometer, coupled with a computer program that identifies radionuclides by their spectra."

    "Spectrometers may be stationary or portable. There are various kinds of radiation detection materials used in spectrometers, but it is enough to know that these devices are commonly possessed by radiation regulators, some industries, and many universities and teaching hospitals."

    "It is therefore reasonable to expect that once radioactive material is detected, it will likely take a number of hours to perhaps a day to identify the radionuclide(s) in question. Useful portable spectrometers include the ICS-4000 (see
    www.xrf.com), EasySpec by Canberra Industries, and GR-130 miniSPEC by Exploranium."

    D. Mass Screening

    "In order to protect Emergency Departments from an onslaught of uninjured patients when attention must be paid to injured ones, there must be a rational and publicly acceptable plan for screening uninjured persons for radiocontamination."

    "Sports stadiums and other locations with ample parking make good screening centers."

    [Parking will probably be irrelevant after a nuclear war because there will probably be very few vehicles moving anyway - possibly from the result of EMP (although there is a difference of opinion regarding that) but certainly from the lack of fuel and because of other factors.]

    "Screening equipment, such as Geiger-Muller (G-M) detectors, ion chambers, and portal monitors, and persons trained to use this equipment, must be available."

    [Which again, is all very improbable after a nuclear war because North America has not made such preparation a policy.]

    E. Geiger-Muller (G-M) detectors,
    ('Geiger counters') - Limited Usefulness

    "G-M detectors ('Geiger counters') are the cheapest and simplest devices for screening, and the most commonly available. However, they are not necessarily very accurate. GM detectors are calibrated yearly, usually against a Cs-137 source of known activity. So, they are accurate for a Cs-137 event, but will be quite inaccurate for pure beta emitters, low photon energy emitters, and alpha emitters. For this reason, use of G-M detectors for screening is not very useful quantitatively. Those who appear to be contaminated (their levels are at least three times the background levels) will need to be evaluated with other equipment or by other means, depending upon the radionuclide(s) involved."

      E1. Radiation Instrument Flooding

      "Patients should ... be monitored quickly to make sure that they are not a hazard to others. It is important to remember that G-M detectors are sensitive instruments that flood at significant radiation levels."

      "By 'flooding' we mean that they cannot function properly with the high countrate presented to them. Most will register "zero". They may thus indicate that no radiation is present, when in fact the opposite is true. When monitoring patients with a G-M detector, start the monitoring at a significant distance from the patient, and at the highest setting, e.g. "x 100", and then come closer. If the radiation readings fall as you get closer, have your health physicist bring an ion chamber that can give accurate readings at high radiation levels."

      E2. Neutron Dose

      "There is one other rare exception to the assumption that the radioactivity on or in the patient will not be a significant hazard to the medical personnel. If there is a criticality accident and a worker gets a very high neutron dose, the neutrons may activate non-radioactive atoms in the patient's body and create radioactive ones. With fatal doses from such an accident, the patient may be highly radioactive."

    F. Portal Monitors

    "In order to avoid having a hospital's garbage truck refused entry to a landfill, many hospitals in Los Angeles County installed portal monitors to check their trucks before leaving the hospital. These detectors are quite sensitive, and may be used to screen people as well as garbage trucks."

    "For those hospitals which have them, calibrating them and planning to use them for screening people could be part of their RDD disaster plan."

    G. Pre-screening Decontamination

    "Due to the fact that there will inevitably be some delay before mass screening of uninjured persons is available, those uninjured persons in proximity to the radioactive material release event should go home, shower and wash their hair, wash their clothes in the washing machine, clean their shoes with a wet paper towel which should then be discarded, and then get screened. They may bring their newly-washed clothes and cleaned shoes along in a plastic bag to make sure that they are no longer significantly contaminated."

    "Removal of all clothing will generally remove about 90% of external contamination, and the treatment of injuries takes precedence over radiocontamination issues."

    "It is highly unlikely that residual radiation levels from the patient will constitute a hazard to medical personnel."

X. Post-screening External Decontamination

    A. Gentle Soap and Water Wash

    "Assuming that a patient's non-radiation injuries are stabilized, decontamination of the patient should follow. Often soap and warm water are all that are necessary to remove most of the remaining external contamination."

    "Never rub the skin so as to cause an abrasion, because external radioactive material can now become absorbed and internalized."

    "If soap and water do not remove all the contamination, there is the possibility that the contamination is internal. As most internal contamination comes in through inhalation and swallowing, the main areas of radioactivity will be the chest and abdomen."

    B. External Decontamination Solutions

    "If residual radioactivity is on extremities or other areas that appear to represent external contamination, it is recommended that mass action decontamination solutions be used. These agents have been used to clean contaminated surfaces, and have been approved by the FDA for use on intact skin."

    "There are three different solutions to choose from, and the choice depends upon the radioactive element involved. If the radioactive material has not yet been identified, try all three and see which works."

    C. Source for Decontamination Solutions

    "A set of the three mass effect decontamination solutions (for halogens, actinides, and transition metals) is available, complete with instructions, from Dr. John Kuperus, a nuclear pharmacist in Tampa, FL. He may be reached at:

      John Kuperus, Ph.D., R.Ph.
      Radiation Decontamination Solutions, LLC
      101A Dunbar Ave.
      Oldsmar, FL 33634
      Telephone: (800)995-4363 ext. 267
      FAX: (800)697-5250
      101A Dunbar Ave.
      Oldsmar, FL 34677
      813-854-5100
      813-854-8120 fax
      info@RadDecon.com

      [Information is also available
      at the website:
      www.RadDecon.com

      and from the RadDecon representative
      Bruce Schmidt
      (813) 854-5100]

XI. "Modes of Internalization of Radionuclides"

    A. Inhalation and Swallowing

    "Radioactive material may be inhaled, either as gases or particulates. Some will end up being swallowed, from mouth contamination, ciliary movement in the bronchial system that moves particulates to the mouth, or the eating or drinking of contaminated food."

    [It is this latter -
    the eating or drinking of contaminated food -
    that will be the greatest concern
    (regarding internal radionuclide contamination)
    in the longer term post-holocaust situation -
    but as stated previously
    that longer term subject is covered by myself -
    elsewhere.]

    "Inhaled radioactive gases have varying amounts of absorption into the blood. Inhaled particulates that are not coughed out or swept out by cilia can be gradually solubilized to some extent, and then absorbed, or deposited eventually in the tracheobronchial lymph nodes, where they stay virtually indefinitely."

    "Radioactive material that is swallowed can be absorbed to some extent, depending upon what it is, and unabsorbed radioactive material is excreted in stool. Of material that is absorbed, some may be deposited in a variety of organs, and some may be excreted in urine."

    B. Embedded Shrapnel (and its treatment)

    "In addition, radioactive shrapnel from the destruction of a sealed source of radioactive material can become embedded in a wound."

    "The treatment of radioactive shrapnel is its surgical removal, as quickly as possible."

    "Precise localization with CT or gamma camera should be undertaken to minimize time spent in exploration. The shrapnel should only be touched with instruments, not fingers, and should be placed in a lead container (called a "pig") for shielding purposes."

XII. "Detection of Internal Radiocontamination"

"Detecting the presence of radioactive material and identifying the radionuclide(s) present is the first step in treating patients."

"Some internalized radionuclides will be easily detected in persons with simple external
radiation detectors. Others will require nasal swabs as an indication of inhalation, and/or
urine and stool samples."

Note: Dose rate measurements need to be background-subtracted. Background in Los Angeles averages about 0.02 mR/h and ranges from approximately 0.009 - 0.04 mR/h. Background should be measured on each instrument prior to use.

    A. Alpha Emitters

    "Of the sixteen radionuclides with which we are chiefly concerned, six are alpha emitters. They are :

      Am-241,
      Pu-239,
      Ra-226,
      U-234,
      U-235, and
      U-238."

    "The energies of the alphas are roughly similar, and travel only about 100 microns in tissue. Therefore, alpha particles arising internally cannot be externally detected. However, all six alpha emitters also emit photons (gamma rays and/or x-rays) that may be detected and identified by portable spectrometers (e.g the ICS-4000)."

    "All of these radionuclides are best detected outside the body as some of these photons are low energy and easily absorbed. Alpha particles are very biologically damaging, and the quantities permitted internally in radiation workers are very low."

    "Even if there is an externally detectable photon, the quantity one needs to measure is so low that nasal swabs and excreta are probably the best way to detect all of them."

      A1. Am-241

      "Am-241 also emits a rather low energy photon, about 60 kev, and this can be externally detected. However, approximately every 5 cm (2 inches) of water (or tissue, approximately) reduces the intensity of the photons to half. That is, the half value layer of 60 kev photons in water is 5 cm. The photon intensity may thus be low enough that nasal swabs and excreta are still indicated for quantitation."

      "Patients should have 24 hr urine collections shortly after exposure and then at 10 and 100 days post exposure."

      Dosimetry methods are based on the concepts of ICRP 48 and ICRP 67. Fractional uptake to blood from GI tract is assumed to be 5 x 10-4, as recommended in ICRP publications 67 and 78. The basic ICRP 48 model for distribution and retention of americium in the body is described as follows. For dissolved (ionic form) americium reaching the transfer compartment (i.e., the bloodstream), 50% of the activity distributes to the bone with a clearance half-time of 50 years and 30% to the liver with a clearance half-time of 9 years. Activity deposited in bone is assumed to be deposited uniformly over bone surfaces of both cortical and trabecular bone. A small fraction is permanently retained in the gonads (0.035% for testes and 0.011% for ovaries). The remaining 20% is assumed to go directly to excretion or short-term holdup in other body tissues.

      A2. Pu-239

      "Pu-239 emits low percentage or low energy photons that are very difficult to detect inside the patient. Nasal swabs and excreta are the best ways to detect it. Nasal swabs may revert to background as early as 30-60 minutes post exposure. If patients are mouth breathers, the swabs will never be positive. Twenty-four hour urine samples should be collected after complete external decontamination to avoid collecting misleading evidence of internal contamination. Urine samples should be obtained shortly after exposure and again at 10 and 100 days post exposure."

      "Plutonium is actually found as a mixture of radioisotopes. The small quantity of Pu-241 present decays to Am-241, which has a 60 kev photon which may be detected externally. However, it is necessary to know the fractional isotopic composition of the Pu-239 in order to use the counts of the 60 kev photons to back calculate the quantity of Pu-239 present internally. Such analyses need to be performed in highly specialized laboratories such as the DOE labs in Hanford, WA or the Livermore Laboratory in CA."

      [While the specific isotopes covered in the IR Manual are generally not applicable to nuclear weapons and the aftermath of a nuclear war, the requirement for "highly specialized laboratories" again shows the improbability of being able to implement, in the aftermath of nuclear WW3, the type of responses recommended in the IR Manual.]

      A3. Ra-226

      "Ra-226 emits low percentage or low energy photons that are difficult to detect inside the patient. Nasal swabs and excreta are the best ways to detect it."

      A4. U-234, U-235, and U-238

      "U-234, U-235, and U-238 have such long halflives that they may be detected chemically more easily than radiologically. In any case, nasal swabs and excreta are the best ways to detect them. Due to environmental uranium in soil, plants, water, and animals, about 0.6 microgram/day is expected in the urine of ordinary adults. This is the median at Hanford, WA. Levels up to 0.2 microgram/day are considered environmental in origin. ... Spot urine samples taken several days after exposure and at about 10 and 100 days post exposure will be useful for chemical analyses. Chemical toxicity to the kidneys is more important than radiation effects. Direct in vivo chest counting with a planar Ge detector will often work but such equipment is hard to find."

    B. "Pure Beta Emitters"

    "Pure beta emitters do not have associated gamma rays. They therefore cannot readily be identified by a spectrometer. As beta particles (electrons arising in the nucleus from radioactive decay) produce some low energy photons as they interact with matter ('bremsstrahlung', or 'braking radiation'), they may be detected with radiation detectors such as G-M counters. The beta particles themselves only travel on the order of a few
    mm in tissue (the higher the energy, the farther they travel), and these are thus absorbed in the body and seldom detected externally. They are easily absorbed by tissue, metal, glass, and plastic. If a G-M counter detects radioactivity, cover the detector with its cap (or turn the probe upside down if there is no cap or cover) and see if there is any more radioactivity detected. If not, the beta particles and bremsstrahlung have been absorbed by the cover or cap or the metal casing around the detector, and that basically tells you that you likely are dealing with a pure beta emitter."

    "The pure beta emitters that are a likely concern with RDDs are

        Sr-90,
        Y-90,
        H-3 (tritium),
        and P-32."

      B1. Sr-90

      "Sr-90 decays to Y-90, which is also radioactive. They are both pure beta emitters and are generally found in equilibrium together.

      B2. Y-90

      (All Sr-90 sources are in equilibrium with Y-90, having approximately equal activities of both radionuclides.) The presence of Cs-137 in decayed fission products suggests the presence of Sr-90 as well. A urine sample should be taken shortly after exposure, and others at later times, such as 14 and 60 days."

      "Ion chamber readings or whole body counting in a gamma camera or whole body counter calibrated for bremsstrahlung may also be done to estimate internal radioactive burden."

      B3. P-32

      "P-32 has a halflife of only two weeks, and is not a very serious RDD threat. A urine sample soon after exposure and others at approximately 7 and 14 days would be helpful."

      "Bremsstrahlung counting by an ion chamber, gamma camera or a whole body counter may also be used."

      B4. H-3 (tritium)

      "Tritium has an extremely weak beta, requires a liquid scintillation counter for detection (a G-M counter will not work), and is also not a very serious RDD threat. Therefore, if you suspect internal contamination with a pure beta emitter, a good bet is Sr-90/Y-90."

      "However if tritium is suspected, a urine sample should be collected at least 2 hours after exposure and again at 10 days post exposure. As tritium is normally occurring in nature, it may be helpful to use a urine sample of a non-exposed family member to estimate "background"."

    C. "Photon (Gamma and X-ray) Emitters"
    (Am-241, Cs-137, Co-60, Pd-103)
    (Special case of
    iodine (I)-131
    and iridium (Ir)-192
    )

    "Photon emitters emit at characteristic energies and may be identified by their energy spectrum, as long as the energies are high enough to pass through the body without significant absorption and the probability of emission per disintegration is high enough to be practical. They may also emit alpha or beta particles."

    "Of the radionuclides of concern,

        Am-241,
        Cs-137,
        Co-60,

    (are photon emitters)"

    "Pd-103 has very low energy photon emission and is unlikely to be externally detected."

    [The K iodides are a special case at iodine (I)-125 and iodine (I)-131]

      C1. Spectral Analysis

      "Portable spectrometers such as the ICX-4000 come with built-in spectra and the ability to immediately identify the photon emitter. In the event of contamination with a mixture of radionuclides, simple spectral identification is often much more difficult."

      " The Department of Energy (DOE) has two laboratories which operate 24/7 and perform advanced spectral analysis on the spectrum you e-mail them. The ICX-400 spectrum can be converted to a computer file and e-mailed. In order to access the DOE Triage Program for Radionuclide Identification, telephone (202)586-8100 and ask for the Emergency Response Officer (ERO) in charge of Triage information. E-mail the spectrum to both triage.data@hq.doe.gov and triage.data@llnl.gov."

      Your Radiation Safety Officer (RSO) or Medical Physicist can probably take care of this. (All hospitals using radiation-producing machines and/or radioactive material have RSOs. Hospitals with Radiation Oncology services usually have a Medical Physicist.)

XIII. "Determination of Significant Contamination:
Use of the Annual Limit on Intake (ALI)"

    A. Definition of Significant

    "Once the radionuclide(s) involved in the radiological incident have been identified, it will be possible to determine a method for ascertaining whether persons are internally contaminated to a significant extent."

    "'Significant' is provisionally defined herein as being greater than the maximum quantity of internal radiocontamination permitted for radiation workers per year (the "annual limit on intake", or ALI)."

    "... is determined by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), and appears in 10 CFR Part 20 ... in [the] document for the radionuclides of concern."

    "This is a hugely conservative approach with many approximations and inaccuracies,"

    "... in a mass casualty setting, 'significant' may be taken to mean ten times [or even much more] that level, especially if resources are scarce."

    [To repeat: The peacetime standards are based upon unreasonable premises even for peacetime and the standards used in the IR Manual are totally inapplicable in time of nuclear war.]

    B. False basis of calculating ALI

    "ALI ... are calculated based upon a theoretical increased risk of cancer starting from an oversimplification suggesting that any amount of radiation can cause cancer, and the less radiation one receives, the lower the probability of such a cancer occurring."

    "In fact, low doses of radiation have not been convincingly associated with increased cancer"

    "... there is even an hormetic response in numerous situations (that is, low radiation doses result in a protective effect and result in less cancer than in persons absorbing no extra radiation dose at all)."

    C. Risks of Decorporation Drugs

    "While some decorporation drugs have few, if any, side effects, others have definite risks."

    "There is therefore the need to weigh the risks of the drugs, which are known, against the supposed risks of the radiation, which, at low doses, may have no actual risk at all."

"Therefore, it is not necessarily good medicine to be conservative and treat even very low levels of radiocontamination because one may do more harm with the treatment than by doing nothing."

XIV. "ESTIMATION OF INTERNAL RADIOCONTAMINATION
GAMMA (OR OTHER PHOTON) EMITTERS"

"Estimating the activity [level] of internal radionuclidic contamination is the next step in determining whether the use of decorporation drugs is advisable."

"Every photon-emitting radionuclide emits a characteristic quantity of radiation over a given time at a given radioactivity level as measured at a given distance from the source of the radioactivity. The source is generally assumed to be an unshielded point source. The characteristic quantity of radiation may be measured or calculated knowing the energy of the emissions and the yield of those emissions per radioactive decay."

    A. [Quantification of Radiation -
    (various scales of measure)]

      A1. [Roentgen]

      "The quantity of radiation used is the roentgen, abbreviated R. Smaller quantities are a thousandth of a roentgen, a mR, or a millionth of a roentgen, a ěR. The roentgen is defined as a quantity of radiation that causes a given amount of ionization in air at standard temperature and pressure."

      A2. [RAD]

      "The radiation absorbed dose, abbreviated rad, is defined as the absorption of 100 ergs per gram of anything."

      A3. [REM]

      "The radiation absorbed dose corrected for the degree of harmfulness is called the roentgen-equivalent man, or rem."

      "For all photons and beta particles, no correction for degree of harmfulness is needed."

      A4. [Alpha Particles]

      "For alpha particles, the correction factor commonly used is 20. Because there is virtually no radiation repair of densely packed alpha particle damage, one rad of alpha radiation is equal to 20 rem."

      A5. [Gamma Radiation and Beta Particles]

      "For photons and beta particles, one rad equals one rem. One roentgen (R) is approximately one rad due to how the units were defined. One R of a photon or beta emitter is approximately one rad or one rem, and the units are often assumed to be interchangeable for health physics purposes."

      A6. [Gray and Sievert]

      "In most of the rest of the world, the gray(Gy) and sievert (Sv) are used. One Gy = 100 rad, and 1 Sv = 100 rem."

      A7. [Curie]

      "The commonly used unit of radioactivity in the USA is the curie, abbreviated Ci. One thousandth of a Ci is one mCi, and one millionth of a Ci is one ěCi. A Ci is 3.7x1010 disintegrations/sec."

      A8. [becquerel]

      "Most of the rest of the world uses a more modern unit, the becquerel (Bq). One Bq is one disintegration/sec. This is such a tiny amount that the unit corresponding to a million (mega) Bq is often used, the MBq. One MBq = 27 ěCi and 1 mCi = 37 MBq."

    "The characteristic quantity of radiation described in the first paragraph, above, is called the specific gamma ray constant. These can be looked up in health physics books. If a drop of a known radionuclide fell on the floor, one could measure the radiation at any measured distance and back calculate the quantity of radioactivity on the floor if one knew the specific gamma ray constant. The units of the specific gamma ray constant are commonly expressed as either R-cm2/mCi-hr or mR-cm2/ěCi-hr."

    B. HEC [Humanized Exposure Constants]

    "In the event of a radiological incident, one would like to measure the radiation dose rate at a measured distance from a person, and do the same sort of calculation to find out how many ěCi are in the person."

    [A large part of the IR Manual is comprised of tables and measures of HEC for various nuclides - but they are not included in this critique and anyone interested in those details needs to refer to the IR Manual itself.]

    "For this we need humanized gamma ray constants (or humanized exposure constants) for people of different sizes. These values cannot be looked up anywhere, as they do not exist. Until now. The research performed for (the IR Manual) includes these calculations. They will permit the estimation of internal radioactivity in a person by measuring the radiation dose rate from the person with a calibrated ion chamber. An ion chamber is a common instrument in any hospital that performs nuclear medicine therapy. However, we need one that will read very low levels of radiation. Ion chambers can read in R/hr, mR/hr, and ěR/hr. The nuclear medicine department equipment will probably read mainly in mR/hr. For most of the radionuclides and activities with which we are interested, one would need a ěR meter."

    "All dose rates at one ALI at two days are below one mR/hr except for 1-131, which is about 1.5 mR/hr."

    "If your hospital has a gamma camera calibrated for the radionuclide involved in the incident, along with correction factors for human tissue absorption, then that will be more accurate than the following ion chamber procedure. However, at the time of the writing of this (the IR) manual, this does not seem to have been done anywhere. If your hospital has a calibrated whole body counter that would probably be the most accurate method of all to use. However, it is highly unlikely to have one. If it has a calibrated portal monitor, this would also be reasonably accurate to use.

    "The humanized exposure constants were calculated using the predicted biodistribution of each radionuclide of interest in the body two days after the radiological event. If the relative biodistribution in the individual remains the same or nearly the same for times after two days, the humanized exposure constants are still good, even if there has been excretion."

    "A mass correction factor has been added to accommodate people of all sizes. The mass
    correction factor is multiplied by the humanized exposure constant to give a corrected humanized exposure constant for a person weighing other than 70 kg. Use of these correction factors tends to be conservative because they accurately reflect weight change but not height change."

    "The humanized exposure constants are only good if the measurements are made 1 cm from the skin at the level of the xiphoid process, or in the case of the two radionuclides of iodine, 1 cm from the skin of the neck."

    "A very useful value has been calculated, which is the dose rate (mR/hr) from a 70 kg person containing one ALI two days after the radiological event. For this value to be fairly accurate at times earlier or later than two days, the relative biodistribution in the body should not have changed significantly, there may not have been any significant excretion, and there may not be any significant loss of activity due to natural radioactive decay. If one is making measurements at times other than two days, and it is not known that the two-day value is accurate, divide the measured mR/hr reading on the ion chamber by the humanized exposure constant and that will yield ěCi of internal contamination."

    "While it might be very useful to generate tables of these dose rate values for a person containing one ALI at other times in addition to two days, the generation of such tables was beyond the scope of this effort. However, it is possible to do this, and may be done in the future."

    "The value of two days was selected for this (the IR) manual as that was seen as the earliest that mass screening could take place, assuming a detailed plan was in existence and that radiation professionals had been recruited, trained in the emergency procedures, and sworn in as volunteers."

    [All of which is a fantasy regarding RDDs for most of North American and certainly a total fantasy regarding nuclear WW3, which as I point out largely makes the whole the matter an exercise in futility.]

    "In order to accurately assess the internal dose component, after radionuclide identification, it is necessary to estimate the activity of the radionuclide in the body. For this purpose, 'humanized' gamma ray constants are required that reflect not only the biodistribution of the radionuclide in the body but also account for attenuation. Such constants have never been tabulated and are essential, along with suitable exposure measurements (using for example, calibrated ionization chamber survey meters, whole body counters, portal monitors, or gamma cameras), to estimate the internal radiocontamination activity for a particular radionuclide. We are calling these "humanized exposure constants" because they apply to gamma rays, x-rays, and bremsstrahlung."

    "The determination of humanized exposure constants involves the following two steps:

      (1) determination of the biokinetic behavior of the radiocontaminant in the body;

      and

      (2) creation of anthropomorphic mathematical models and Monte Carlo radiation transport simulations to determine the humanized constants for various radionuclides."

    "To perform step 1, the most appropriate biokinetic model for each radionuclide is needed. In addition to various ICRP reports, we have used as a reference the Hanford Internal Dosimetry Program (HIDP) within the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory."

    "Methods and Models of the Hanford Internal Dosimetry Program. January 31, 2003 available online at:"

          www.pnl.gov/eshs/pub/pnnl860.html

    "The accurate estimation of internal radiocontamination involves the appropriate dose rate measurement conversion to activity intake using the humanized constants. Decorporation drug treatment decisions, if any, can be made by comparison of the estimated activity intake to the Annual Limit on Intake for the particular radionuclide."

[The IR Manual contains detailed methods for determining the HEC using anthropomorphic geometric models and monte carlo radiation transport simulations. Those interested in continuing such research - may refer there.]

XV. Treatment of Internal Radiocontamination

MEDICAL MANAGEMENT FOR INTERNAL CONTAMINATION BY
SPECIFIC RADIONUCLIDE

Alphabetical List of Radioelement and Decorporation Treatment Summary

[Specific details for treatment, such as dosages, are in the IR Manual]

    A. No All-purpose Decorporation Drug
    (Cocktail)

    "There is no all-purpose decorporation drug 'cocktail' to take that will protect against all internal radiocontamination possibilities."

      A01. americium(Am)-241

      [Recommended treatment] "parenteral Ca-DTPA, Zn-DTPA."

      "Am-241 has a physical half-life of 432.2 years and decays by á emission (it emits several photons which can be detected, most notably a gamma ray with an energy of 59.54 keV)."

      "The annual limit on intake (ALI) for 241Am due to inhalation is 0.22 kBq (0.006 ěCi) pursuant to Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC)"

      "Americium deposited in the pulmonary parenchyma after inhalation of the oxide is mostly cleared with a half-time of 10-20 days (80%), but the clearance half-time of the remaining material has been estimated to vary between a few tens of days to almost 1000 days. These differences may reflect the degree of solubility of the Am-241 in lung fluids which, in turn, is a reflection of the composition of the oxide. According to ICRP 30, a clearance half-time of 28 days was estimated in a worker who had inhaled Am-241 in the oxide form."

      A02. cesium (Cs)-137

      [Recommended treatment:] "oral Prussian blue."

      "Cs-137 has a physical half-life of 30 years and decays by â- emission. Dosimetry methods used for radiocesium are based on the concepts of ICRP 30. From the blood, the activity is distributed uniformly in the body with no organ or tissues exhibiting a higher concentration."

      "The annual limit on intake (ALI) for 137Cs due to inhalation is 7.4 MBq (200 ěCi) pursuant to Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC)"

      "Cesium-137 is assumed to be completely and rapidly absorbed into the systemic circulation from both the respiratory and GI tracts. Some of the cesium is excreted into the intestine, reabsorbed from the gut into the blood, then goes to the liver, where some of it is excreted via bile into the intestine, reabsorbed from the gut into the blood, then to the liver, where some is excreted again into the gut (enterohepatic circulation)."

      "The body retention of 137Cs is described as consisting of two components. Using the ICRP 30 model (two component biokinetic model with 10% of the initial intake exhibiting a clearance half-time of 2 days and 90% exhibiting a longer half-time of 110 days)"

      "(The ICRP 30 systemic model is also used in the more recent ICRP publications 68 and 78. Publication 78 notes that the biological clearance half-time from the transfer compartment to the systemic compartment is 0.25 days and that females may exhibit significantly shorter retention half-times in the long-term compartment than males.) For systemic excretion, according to ICRP 54, it is assumed that 80% of the 137Cs intake is excreted in the urine and 20% in feces since the main pathway of 137Cs excretion is known to be through glomerular filtration in the kidneys."

      "There are sufficient data to identify an alternate function to the above systemic retention function. Based on the average measured data as given by the IAEA (Dosimetric and Medical Aspects of the Radiological Accident in Goiânia in 1987, IAEA-TECDOC-1009) and the FDA label in 137Cs-contaminated adults as a result of the Goiânia incident (short halftime component of 2 days and longer mean half-time component of 80 days), the (resulting) biokinetic model is used (in the IR Manual) to estimate the whole body retention, R(t), of cesium:"

      A03. cobalt (Co)-60

      [Recommended treatment:] "there is no good decorporation agent recognized for radionuclides of cobalt. Penicillamine could be tried, but it did not work in mice. Cobaltous DTPA reduced radioactive cobalt concentration by about 1/3 in mice, but it has never been tried in humans and it is not presently available."

      "The annual limits on intake (ALI) for 60Co due to inhalation are 7.4 MBq (200 ěCi) and 1.11 MBq (30 ěCi) for Class W and Y, respectively."

      A04. iodine (I)-125

      "I-125 has a low energy photon emission which is poorly detected except if it is in the thyroid. Due to the thin tissue layer between the thyroid and an external detector, enough of the photons get through to permit detection and possible identification. However, with low activities present it may well be missed."

      "Procedure for Iodine-125"

      "There are no mass correction factors for radionuclides of iodine. After two days, almost all the radioiodine in the body is in the thyroid. Ion chamber measurements are made one cm from the surface of the neck."

      "Workers who are cleaning up the environmental contamination and getting re-exposed should have KI administered before engaging in cleanup activities."

      "I-125 has a physical half-life of 60.14 days and decays by electron capture (it emits several x-rays which can be detected, most notably at energies of 27.20 keV, 27.47 keV, and 31.0 keV)."

      "The annual limit on intake (ALI) for 125I due to inhalation is 2.22 MBq (60 ěCi)."

      A05. iodine (I)-131

      [Recommended treatment:] "Potassium Iodide (KI) for Radioactive Iodine Internal Contamination."

      "KI within about first 4 hours. Consider PTU."

      "If [KI or its equivalent] isn't used within four to six hours, it will have significantly decreased effectiveness, and that effectiveness will approach zero after about 12-24 hours."

      "Procedure for Iodine-131"

      "Your hospital has stockpiled only 20 doses of KI. What should you do with the KI? Without waiting for any ion chamber measurements, consider giving each newborn in the hospital nursery one dose of 16.25 mg KI. For the first two weeks of life, newborns have about a 75% thyroid uptake of internal iodine, as opposed to an uptake afterwards of about 15%, which is an average adult uptake as well."

      "There are no mass correction factors for radionuclides of iodine. After two days, almost all the radioiodine in the body is in the thyroid. Ion chamber measurements are made one cm from the surface of the neck."

      "I-131 is a photon emitters which may be identified by its spectrum."

      "The annual limit on intake (ALI) for 131I due to inhalation is 1.85 MBq (50 ěCi) pursuant to Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) requirements."

      "I-131 has a physical half-life of 8.04 days and decays by â- emission. The biokinetic model described in ICRP 30 is used to estimate the whole body retention."

      "The gastrointestinal uptake (f1) factor for all forms of iodine is 1.0. Of the iodine entering the systemic compartment, a fraction, 0.3, is assumed to be translocated to the thyroid, while the remainder (0.7) is assumed to go directly to excretion. Iodine in the thyroid is assumed to be retained with a biological half-life of 80 days."

      "We believe that the Monte Carlo results for the radioiodines are not realistic since the phantom thyroid could not be centered at a distance closer than 2.5 cm from the anterior surface of the neck. Thus, we will use the Monte Carlo results for all radionuclides in the following sections of this report (the IR Manual) except for the radioiodines, where we will use the approximate results as generated by the methods discussed"

      "The dose rate measurement should be made at the level of the xiphoid process at a distance of 1 cm from the contaminated individual for all considered radionuclides with the exception of the radioiodines. For both 125I and 131I, the dose rate measurement should be made at the level of the thyroid gland at a distance of 1 cm since essentially all activity remaining at day 2 will be located in the thyroid."

      A06. iridium (Ir)-192

      [Recommended treatment:] "Unfortunately, there is no known decorporation therapy for iridium. Oral penicillamine might work, but no one knows."

      "Ir-192 is a photon emitters which may be identified by its spectrum."

      "The annual limits on intake (ALI) for 192Ir due to inhalation are 11.1 MBq (300 ěCi), 14.8 MBq (400 ěCi), and 7.4 MBq (200 ěCi) for Class D, W, and Y, respectively."

      "Procedure for Iridium-192"

      "Ir-192 has a physical half-life of 73.831 days and decays by electron capture and â- emission. The biokinetic model described in ICRP 30 is used to estimate the whole body retention, R(t), of iridium:"

      "It is assumed that of the iridium leaving the transfer compartment fractions 0.2, 0.04 and 0.02 are translocated to liver, kidney and spleen, respectively. A further fraction, 0.54, is assumed to be uniformly distributed throughout all other organs and tissues of the body. The remaining fraction of iridium leaving the transfer compartment is assumed to go directly to excreta. Of iridium deposited in any organ or tissue of the body fractions 0.2 and 0.8 are assumed to be retained with biological half-lives of 8 and 200 days, respectively."

      A07. palladium (Pd)-103

      [Recommended treatment:] "there is no known decorporation drug for palladium, even if action was indicated, all one could do is try oral penicillamine."

      "Procedure for Palladium-103"

      "Pd-103 has a physical half-life of 16.991 days and decays by electron capture (it emits xrays that may be detectable with energies of approximately 20 keV). The biokinetic model described in ICRP 30 is used to estimate the whole body retention, R(t), of palladium:"

      "The retention of palladium in the body is assumed to be approximated by a single exponential with a biological half-life of 15 days. Of the palladium leaving the transfer compartment, it is assumed that 0.3 goes directly to excretion, 0.45 is translocated to the liver, 0.15 is translocated to the kidneys, 0.07 is translocated to mineral bone (Pd-103 is assumed to be uniformly distributed throughout the volume of mineral bone) and 0.03 is uniformly distributed throughout all other organs and tissues of the body. Palladium translocated to any organ or tissue is assumed to be retained there with a biological halflife of 15 days."

      "The annual limits on intake (ALI) for 103Pd due to inhalation are 222 MBq (6000 ěCi), 148 MBq (4000 ěCi), and 148 MBq (4000 ěCi) Class D, W and Y, respectively."

      A08. phosphorus (P)-32

      [Recommended treatment:] "oral Na phosphate or K phosphate."

      Procedure for Phosphorus-32

      "P-32 has a physical half-life of 14.26 days and decays by â- emission (its bremsstrahlung photons may be detectable); specific bremsstrahlung constant, ĂP-32 = 4.05 x 10-3 R cm2 /mCi h in soft tissue and 1.08 x 10-2 R cm2/mCi h in bone (Zanzonico et al. JNM 1999; 40:1024-1028)."

      "The annual limits on intake (ALI) for 32P due to inhalation are 33.3 MBq (900 ěCi) and 14.8 MBq (400 ěCi) Class D and W, respectively."

      "The biokinetic model described in ICRP 30 is used to estimate the whole body retention, R(t), of phosphorus:"

      "... associated with blood plasma, intracellular fluids, soft tissues and mineral bone, respectively. Phosphorus entering the transfer compartment is assumed to be retained there with a half-life of 0.5 days. Of this, 0.15 is assumed to go directly to excretion, 0.15 to intracellular fluids where it is retained with a half-life of 2 days, 0.40 to soft tissue where it is assumed to be retained with a half-life of 19 days and 0.30 to mineral bone where it is assumed to be permanently retained. P-32 going either to intracellular fluids or to soft tissues is assumed to be uniformly distributed throughout all organs and tissues of the body excluding mineral bone, where it is assumed to be retained on the bone surfaces."

      A09. plutonium (Pu)-239

      [Recommended treatment:] "parenteral Ca-DTPA, Zn-DTPA."

      "Non-photon-emitting radionuclide that cannot be detected within the body by an external detector"

      "The annual limit on intake (ALI) for 239Pu due to inhalation is 0.22 kBq (0.006 ěCi) and 0.74 kBq (0.02 ěCi) for inhalation class W and Y, respectively"

      "Pu-239 has a physical half-life of 24,110 years and decays by á emission. For dissolved (ionic form) plutonium reaching the transfer compartment (i.e., the bloodstream), the ICRP 30 model distributes 45% to the bone surfaces from which it clears with a biological half-time of 50 years and 45% to the liver with a biological clearance half-time of 20 years. The activity deposition in bone is assumed to be uniformly distributed over the bone surfaces of both cortical and trabecular bone. A small radioactivity fraction is permanently retained in the gonads (0.035% for testes and 0.011% for ovaries). The remaining 10% is assumed to go directly to excretion; for purposes of dosimetry this component is considered to be an insignificant contributor to effective dose equivalent and is generally ignored."

      A10. radium (Ra)-226

      [Recommended treatment:] "oral calcium to reduce gastrointestinal absorption and increase urinary excretion. Alginates are also useful to reduce gastrointestinal absorption."

      "Non-photon-emitting radionuclide that cannot be detected within the body by an external detector"

      "The annual limit on intake (ALI) for 226Ra due to inhalation is 22.2 kBq (0.6 ěCi)"

      "Ra-226 has a physical half-life of 1600 years and decays by á emission. Since radium is an alkaline earth element, it can be assumed that the biokinetic model is the same as for strontium."

      A11. strontium (Sr)-90

      [Recommended treatment:] "intravenous calcium gluconate, oral ammonium chloride for acidification."

      Alginates are useful to reduce gastrointestinal absorption.

      "Procedure for Strontium-90"

      "In working through the case of Sr-90, it is important to realize that Sr-90 decays into Y-90, that Y-90 is radioactive and much easier to detect than Sr-90, that Y-90 has a much shorter halflife (64 hrs) than Sr-90 (28 yrs), and that Sr-90 and Y-90 activities reach equilibrium after about two weeks starting with pure Sr-90. This means that if you start with a 1000 Ci source of Sr-90, after about two weeks the source will also contain about 1000 Ci of Y-90, and that this equilibrium will remain the same as the Sr-90 decays."

      "After 28 years, for example, the source will contain 500 Ci of Sr-90 and 500 Ci of Y-90. Notice that the humanized exposure constant for Y-90 is about ten times higher than that of Sr-90. This means that if one has an equal mixture of the two radionuclides, almost all of what one measures will be due to the Y-90."

      "The annual limit on intake (ALI) for 90Sr due to inhalation is 0.74 MBq (20 ěCi) pursuant to Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) requirements."

      "One more point about ALIs needs to be made. The ALI is calculated assuming that it is the only source of radiation to the individual. If there is more than one radionuclide present, then the ALI is lowered proportionally. In this case there are two radionuclides present in approximately equal activities, so the ALI of each is reduced by half."

      "Sr-90 has a physical half-life of 29.12 years and decays by â- emission (its bremsstrahlung photons may be detectable); specific bremsstrahlung constant, ĂSr-90 = 1.05 x 10-3 R cm2 /mCi h in soft tissue and 3.0 x 10-3 R cm2/mCi h in bone (determined using method of Zanzonico et al. JNM 1999; 40:1024-1028). The biokinetic model used for the distribution, retention, and excretion of stable strontium is the ICRP alkaline earth model. It is assumed that stable strontium is uniformly distributed throughout the bone volume, where it is retained and internally recycled according to a series of exponential terms. The alkaline earth excretion model assumes that the fraction of excreted uptake occurring by the urinary pathway and by the fecal pathway is 0.8 and 0.2, respectively."

      "Urine sample analysis is the easiest and most common bioassay method. Direct in vivo detection is possible by bremsstrahlung counting (indications are that a retained quantity in the skeleton of about 100 nCi might be detectable by head counting; however, there is no calibration for this measurement). The absorption coefficient (f1) used for the GI tract absorption of readily transportable (inhalation class D) forms of strontium is 0.3 (for class Y, the ICRP 30 value of 0.01 should be used)."

      A12. tritium (H)-3

      [Recommended treatment:] "force water to promote diuresis."

      "Non-photon-emitting radionuclide that cannot be detected within the body by an external detector"

      "H-3 has a physical half-life of 12.33 years and decays by â- emission. The metabolic model for tritium is described in ICRP 30. Tritiated water is assumed to be uniformly distributed among all soft tissues at any time following intake. Its retention, R(t), is described as a single exponential with an effective clearance half-time of 10 days:"

      "The annual limit on intake (ALI) for 3H due to inhalation is 2.96 GBq (80 mCi)"

      A13. -

      A15. uranium (U)-234, 235, and 238

      [Recommended treatment:] "Ca-DTPA and Zn-DTPA within 4 hours only. Na bicarbonate to alkalinize urine."

      "Non-photon-emitting radionuclides that cannot be detected within the body by an external detector"

      "The annual limits on intake (ALI) for 234U due to inhalation are 37 kBq (1 ěCi for bone surfaces), 25.9 kBq (0.7 ěCi), and 1.48 kBq (0.04 ěCi) Class D, W and Y, respectively. The annual limits on intake (ALI) for 235U due to inhalation are 37 kBq (1 ěCi for bone surfaces), 29.6 kBq (0.8 ěCi), and 1.48 kBq (0.04 ěCi) Class D, W and Y, respectively."

      "The annual limits on intake (ALI) for 238U due to inhalation are 37 kBq (1 ěCi for bone surfaces), 29.6 kBq (0.8 ěCi), and 1.48 kBq (0.04 ěCi) Class D, W and Y, respectively."

      "U-234 has a physical half-life of 2.455x105 years and decays by á emission; U-235 has a physical half-life of 7.038x108 years and decays by á emission; and U-238 has a physical half-life of 4.468x109 years and decays by á emission. For material entering the systemic circulation, fractions 0.2 and 0.023 are assumed to go to mineral bone and be retained there with half-lives of 20 and 5000 days, respectively; fractions 0.12 and 0.00052 are assumed to go to the kidneys and to be retained with half-lives of 6 and 1500 days, respectively; and fractions 0.12 and 0.00052 are assumed to go to all other tissues of the body. The remaining fraction of the uranium entering the systemic circulation, 0.54, is assumed to go directly to excretion."

      A16. yttrium (Y)-90

      [Recommended treatment:] "parenteral Ca-DTPA, Zn-DTPA."

      "Procedure for Yttrium-90"

      "While almost any source of Sr-90 will contain Y-90 in equilibrium, it is possible to remove the Y-90 and therefore have essentially pure Y-90. It is not used as a sealed source, but, for example, in radiopharmaceutical therapy attached to monoclonal antibodies."

      Y-90 has a physical half-life of 64 hours and decays by â- emission (its bremsstrahlung photons may be detectable); specific bremsstrahlung constant, ĂY-90 = 5.64 x 10-3 R cm2/mCi h in soft tissue and 1.50 x 10-2 R cm2/mCi h in bone (Zanzonico et al. JNM 1999; 40:1024-1028). The biokinetic model described in ICRP 30 is used to estimate the whole body retention, R(t), of yttrium:"

      "Of the yttrium leaving the transfer compartment 0.25 goes directly to excreta, 0.5 is translocated to the skeleton, 0.15 is translocated to the liver and 0.1 is uniformly distributed throughout all other organs and tissues of the body. It is also assumed that yttrium not going from the transfer compartment directly to excretion is retained indefinitely in the body."

[Further specifics for dealing with specific radionuclide contamination are to be found in the IR Manual itself.

However, since in the immediate after effects of a nuclear war they will have little relevance they will not be dealt with here.]

    B. "MEDICAL FOLLOW-UP FOR
    INTERNALLY CONTAMINATED PATIENTS"

    "For patients who were shown to have internal contamination levels below the ALI, no medical follow-up is appropriate. These patients have very low levels for which there is no evidence of adverse effects. They need reassurance, possibly repeated reassurance, but no further studies or work-up. While many may hysterically demand studies to detect cancers, the radiation levels associated with such studies, such as CT scans, x-ray contrast studies, and some nuclear medicine procedures, may well exceed the radiation dose received in the initial radiation incident."

    "Those who received decorporation drugs should have repeat measurements to determine whether or not treatment needs to be continued. These measurements may also help to establish biological halflife or halflives, which could later be used in making dosimetry estimates."

    "Patients who received contamination levels above the ALI, and those to whom decorporation drugs were administered, need fairly accurate measurements of internal radioactivity levels and then calculated dosimetry estimates. The measurements may be
    performed at the hospital if there are calibrated gamma cameras. Otherwise, they need to go to specialized facilities which have such cameras or to whole body counting facilities."

    "In Los Angeles County, the only appropriate whole body counter is at UCLA. There is another at the V.A. Wadsworth, but it is not certain how useful it would be. Once the internal contamination activity is known, and details of the kinetics are worked out from multiple counts at different times or multiple urine samples at different times, the data may be used to calculate radiation absorbed dose. These calculations are specialized, and would probably not be able to be done by professionals in community hospitals. However, they may be done by selected individuals in large teaching hospitals, by medical physics consultants, or by individuals employed by the DOE. Once the radiation absorbed dose estimates are in, a radiation biologist should be able to predict effects. Depending upon these predictions, further medical tests or measurements over time may be warranted."

    "Emergency Departments may become the collectors of urine samples, blood samples, and the like, and careful labeling and dating of the samples must be performed, even if the analyses are done elsewhere. Labels should contain the patient's name and identifying number (hospital ID number, Social Security number, driver's license state and number, etc.), type of sample, date of collection, date of exposure, and the name and address of the hospital. Labels should be printed up ahead of time with the headings and the hospital's name and address. Presumably the hospital will have contact information for the patient, and discussion of the dosimetry information and risk of adverse events should be done with the patient by the physician in the Emergency Department or other designated physician after that information is made available from outside laboratories, consultants, and/or other experts."

    "Emergency Departments may also have to direct patients to mental health and other specialists for post traumatic stress disorder or hysterical fear of radiation. Hopefully such services will be available."

    "In the event that some patients absorbed high doses of radiation, high enough to manifest the acute radiation syndrome, the Emergency Medicine physician should refer the patient to a Hematologist-Oncologist, as this is the specialty most capable of treating the acute bone marrow syndrome. An excellent review of the treatment of the radiation-induced acute bone marrow syndrome (and other acute radiation syndromes and effects) is Waselenko JK, MacVittie TJ, Blakely WF, et al.: Medical management of the acute radiation syndrome: recommendations of the strategic national stockpile radiation working group."

    C. "MEDICAL FOLLOW-UP OF
    EXTERNALLY IRRADIATED PATIENTS"

    "Depending upon the type of radiological incident, there may be patients who absorbed radiation without being internally or externally contaminated with radioactive material."

    "For example, a large sealed source may be abandoned or maliciously placed in a public area in an unshielded situation. While no radioactivity may escape, radiation, mainly gamma rays or other photon radiations, may get through the source covering and irradiate persons. Such irradiated persons are, of course, not radioactive. Their radiation absorbed doses must be estimated using clinical symptoms and hematological panels."

    "For example, if the onset of vomiting is less than 12 hours after exposure, the corresponding radiation absorbed dose is 200-2000 rads. The lethal dose for 50% of the young, healthy adult population at 60 days is approximately 325 rads, while for children, the elderly, and the chronically ill it is lower, down to about 200 rads."

    [The above is a good rule of thumb for triage.]

    "If a blood smear shows depletion of peripheral blood lymphocytes less than 1.5 weeks after irradiation, the corresponding radiation absorbed dose is about 200-800 rads."

    [Recommended treatment:] "Cytogenetic bioassay is the best method for determining radiation absorbed dose, but it is only done in a few laboratories in the country. One such place is the Armed Forces Radiobiology Research Institute, Bethesda, MD 20889-5603, http://www.afrri.usuhs.mil.

    "The federal government is making provisions for the establishment of five or six laboratories nationwide which can accept these tasks. Assuming that provisions are made for using this or another facility for cytogenetic bioassay, the samples should be collected as follows: 10 ml of peripheral blood is drawn from the irradiated patient into a lithiumheparin or EDTA tube at about 24 hours or later after the exposure incident. The blood sample should immediately be kept at 4?›C and be transported at this temperature to the cytogenetic laboratory. In a mass casualty situation, this is probably not feasible unless a system to accomplish this has been set up ahead of time."

    "If patients have received a combination of external irradiation and internal contamination, then both cytogenetic bioassay and determination of internal activity, kinetics, and dosimetry must be performed to establish total radiation absorbed dose."

    "Patients who may have absorbed large doses (over 200 rads) on the basis of time to vomiting, peripheral lymphocyte depletion, or radiation survey measurements made at the scene should be referred to a Hematologist-Oncologist for management of the effects of possible bone marrow depletion."

XVI. Alphabetical List of Decorporation Drugs

[Further details of their administration
and recommend use
are given in the IR Manual]

    A. Ammonium chloride

    "This orally administered salt causes acidification of the blood, and is useful for the removal of strontium from the body, especially when combined with intravenous calcium gluconate."

    B. Calcium (oral)

    "A variety of oral calcium supplements are available. One commonly used one is TumsR. There are numerous others. Calcium is an alkaline earth, as are strontium, barium, and radium, and a mass effect from calcium can interfere with absorption of the other alkaline earths, and compete with their deposition in bone. In the event of internal contamination with Sr-90 or Ra-226, generous doses of oral calcium preparations should be beneficial."

    C. Calcium-DTPA

    "This is a powerful and stable chelating agent, which has been used primarily to remove plutonium and americium. It chelates transuranic (Z>92) metals (plutonium, americium, curium, californium, and neptunium), rare earths such as cerium, yttrium, lanthanum, promethium, and scandium), and some transition metals (such as zirconium and niobium)."

    D. Dimercaprol

    "(British antilewisite, BAL): This agent effectively chelates radioactive and stable nuclides of mercury, lead, arsenic, gold, bismuth, chromium, and nickel. It is quite toxic, however, with about 50% of patients given 6 mg/kg IM developing reactions."

    E. D-Penicillamine

    "This drug chelates nuclides of copper, iron, mercury, lead, gold, and possibly other heavy metals. The chelated metals are excreted in the urine. While this drug is relatively non-toxic, it probably has only limited usefulness for radionuclide decorporation, saving perhaps only 1/3 of the total radiation absorbed dose that would have occurred without treatment."

    F. Potassium iodide

    "Useful for blocking radioiodine uptake by the thyroid, but needs to be administered almost immediately after intake. It is virtually useless after 12 hours following a contamination event. Adult dose is 130 mg p.o. ASAP and repeat dose daily as long as the contamination lingers in the environment. For children 4 to18y, the dose is 65 mg p.o.; 1 month to 3y, 32.5 mg, and <1 month, 16.25 mg mixed with a liquid such as low fat milk."

    G. Potassium phosphate

    "This drug would be used to block uptake of radioactive phosphate."

    H. Propylthiouracil

    "This drug is useful to decrease the thyroid's retention of radioiodine, and may be considered if it is too late for KI to be effective."

    I. Prussian blue

    "This oral ion-exchange drug is indicated for decorporation of cesium, thallium, and rubidium, and has been shown to be highly effective for Cs-137 contamination. It is benign, with the exception of occasional constipation. Stool turns blue. Usual dose starts at 0.5 g capsule, 2 caps p.o. tid for up to 3 weeks or longer as required. Doses up to 10-12 g/day for significantly contaminated adults may be used."

    [Prussian blue works by combining with thallium and radiocesium in the intestines. The combination is then removed from the body through stool elimination..

    By removing thallim or Cs-137, damage to the body organs and tissues is lessened.

    PEOPLE SHOULD NOT TAKE PRUSSIAN BLUE ARTIST'S DYE IN AN ATTEMPT TO TREAT THEMSELVES. THIS TYPE OF BLUE IS NOT MADE FOR THE PURPOSE OF REMOVING Ca-137 FROM THE BODY.

    Prussian blue was first produced as a blue dye in 1704, and has been used by artists and manufacturers since that time. The dye got its name from its use as a dye for Prussian military uniforms.

    Since the 1960's Prussian blue has been used to treat individuals who have been internally contaminated with radioactive Cesium isotopes... mainly Cs-137, and non-radioactive thallium, which was up until recently used in rat poison. It may be prescribed for individuals any time after for persons internally contaminated with the substances.

    ACTION:

    Prussian blue traps radioactive cesium and thallium in the intestines, and keeps them from being reabsorbed by the body. The radioactive materials then move through the intestinal tract and all eliminated from the body...passed through bowel movements. Prussian blue reduces the biological half life of Cesium to about 28 days.

    TOXICITY:

    Prussian blue is safe for most adults, including pregnant women, and children (2 yrs), and older. Women who are breastfeeding their babies should NOT do so if they are contaminated with Cesium isotopes. Individuals who have had constipation, blockages in the intestines, or major stomach problems should be sure to tell their physician before taking Prussian blue. Before taking Prussian blue, patients should also tell their doctor of all medications they are currently taking, prescription drugs as well as Over the Counter medications. More detailed information is available through the US Food and Drug Administration.

    You may call Centers for Disease Control for information about Prussian blue at a Public Response Line 1-800-311-3435, or visit http://www.cdc.gov/ for information.

    PACKAGING:

    Prussian blue is packaged under the name "Radiogardase", and there are other names for it now on the market. Radiogardase is the brand name. It comes in 500 mg. capsules. The company that manufactures Radiogardase is HEYL Chemish-pharmazeutische Fabrik GmbH & Co. KG.

    The information here was compiled by a private individual and I have tried to acquire Prussian blue from a recommended source but have so far been unsuccessful and it may be that it is only available with prescription.]

    J. Sodium alginate

    "A derivative of kelp used in the manufacture of ice cream. Oral alginates efficiently bind strontium in the gastrointestinal tract, and prevent its absorption. The dose is 10 gm powder in a 30 cc vial, add water and drink."

    [Quite often I have received emails from people telling me about some drug or health food that will protect one from radiation. Kelp and Kelp based compounds has been one popular one. Most usually, indeed I think in my experience I can say always, those people reporting them to me, or those promoting the - drugs, compounds, health foods, whatever - have very little comprehension about the nature of radiation and how it works (or worse yet, simply have some monetary interest in promoting it). Even highly concentrated drugs, as should be evident to anyone who has read this critique, are usually applicable to a single radionuclide and will offer no protection against intense gamma radiation. They are absolutely not an alternative to a fallout shelter.]

    K. Sodium bicarbonate

    "Used to alkalinize the urine after uranium intake, which protects the kidneys from uranium deposition. Oral or intravenous, take as needed to maintain alkaline urine. The intravenous formulation is 8.9%, 100 or 200 cc vials."

    L. Sodium phosphate

    "See potassium phosphate. Also used for radioactive phosphate decorporation."

    M. Zinc-DTPA

    "See Calcium-DTPA."

XVII. Conclusion

Since much, even by far most, of the information in the IR Manual is not applicable to nuclear war, it would appear that this critique is largely an exercise in futility. However, I felt it necessary to write it in order to demonstrate conversance with the material in the IR Manual and to indeed show why that material is largely inapplicable to nuclear war.

Let us review and summarize those reasons - aside from the "twelve differences between nuclear war and a terrorist attack" as dealt with in Section II of this critique.

Firstly, a RDD (Radiation Dispersal Device) would more than likely be dispersing a specific radionuclide, and not the 'garbage mix' that would come out of a nuclear explosion. While there may be some external gamma radiation associated with a RDD, the primary concern in the IR Manual is in dealing with internally absorbed alpha and beta particles, whereas conversely, the major radiation concern in case of a nuclear weapon is that of external gamma radiation resulting from fallout.

Secondly, the long-term effects of a RDD are probably going to be quite limited in scope whereas the widespread usage of nuclear weapons could cause a major long-term concern with cesium (Cs)-137 and strontium (Sr)-90. This latter long-term concern, and its solutions, is a subject that I deal with in other webpages and elsewhere.

Thirdly, the IR Manual demonstrates throughout, the impossibility of providing mass medical response in case of such a massive catastrophe such as a nuclear war. The manual repeatedly points out the rarity of special diagnostic and analytical equipment it what is a highly technological locality, and the necessity even there to call upon even more rarefied resources on a national level.

The IR Manual recognizes the lack of available expertise, and indeed that was a major motivation in its creation. Moreover, the degree of preparation that sustained the manual's development, is reflected in the local stocking of some limited supplies of decorporation drugs such as is probably a rarity reflected in few of the states in the US.

Even given such preparation as exists for the locale in which the manual was developed, it is notable in the manual how often, regarding the sixteen relevant nuclides, it notes that either (a) no treatment is known or (b) that the treatment may well be a worse hazard than the contamination itself.

Given all that - then what should we conclude? We should conclude that a RDD terrorist attack is highly insignificant compared to a nuclear weapon - and certainly the wide use of nuclear weapons such as in nuclear WW3. This is not to say that the use of a RDD would not be highly effective in generating fear and causing social and economic disruption - but simply that we need to hold it in perspective.

If in our perspective we then jump to the conclusion that nuclear war is unsurvivable then I find that perspective also irrelevant because my intention here is to address the future survivors of the nuclear war.

What those survivors will need to understand is that even if they had the resources (which they won't) to deal with internal contamination by radionuclides, that will not be a significant problem. That is not speaking just relatively, but rather essentially, because of the distinction between the nature of the two types of weapons involved.

To a large degree the medical problems associated with a nuclear war will be self-limiting, although having a very large and inclusive limit. The lack of facilities to deal with catastrophic situations will mean that many, many, many people will simply die from what would not have otherwise been catastrophic injuries such as broken glass shards, (that will in turn bring on fatal infections), or radiation burns from fallout that could have been treated with intensive fluids and such, or the pandemics that will arise from the breakdown of the public health infrastructure.

Even then, those problems may prove minor as compared to problems of exposure, starvation, social panic, the widespread release of socio-psychopaths upon society, and many other ills. But eventually, an equilibrium will begin to appear (as more and more people die), between the surviving treatment facilities, personnel and resources, and the far fewer survivors there will be from a nuclear war. Much later still, with the reconstruction of society, new facilities, personnel and resources will be available.

The purpose of this critique, as with my other papers, websites and material, is to help ameliorate the intermediate situation in the recovery period, and to create the base and framework for that later reconstruction. To that end I have felt it necessary to demonstrate prior comprehension of what may well become misdirected conventional wisdom that others will try to implement in practice and policy.