Back in the bad old days of the Cold War, a major concern was operating in and around a battlefield that had been contaminated with nuclear detonations. As a result, the U.S. military has built a considerable expertise on dealing with widespread contamination that it is now beginning to apply to civilian assistance programs.
These three manuals lay out the tactics, techniques, and procedures for the avoidance of, protection from, and decontamination from nuclear and radiological (as well as chemical and biological) contamination. Three worthy reads and references as the story in Japan grows.
- FM 3-11.3 Multiservice Tactics, Techniques, and Procedures for Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Contamination Avoidance
- FM 3-11.4 Multiservice Tactics, Techniques, and Procedures for Nuclear, Biological, and Chemical Protection
- FM 3-11.5 CBRN Decontamination: Multiservice Tactics, Techniques, and Procedures for Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Decontamination
Continuing our Atomic Cafe theme in deference to events in Japan, the U.S. Army has published the operational procedures that it follows when providing assistance after a nuclear accident or incident. My bet would be that the Japanese Self Defense Forces are working from a playbook not too dissimilar from this one.
- World’s worst nuclear accidents (cbsnews.com)
In 2007 Council on Foreign Relations fellow Charles Ferguson published this erudite and compact report on the global expansion of nuclear energy. As with the Carnegie report, Ferguson looks closely at the proliferation question, but also delves into some of the wider issues that would accompany a sudden spurt in global reactor construction. Given some of the operational challenges faced by the Japanese power companies that are coming to new light in the wake of the Fukushima crisis, Ferguson looks like he was right on.
To get a free copy of a report for which the CFR otherwise would charge you $10, simply click on the “DOWNLOAD THE FULL TEXT OF THE REPORT” link below the purchase button. The download is free.
- Does Japan Crisis Put U.S. Nuclear Energy Push at Risk? (abcnews.go.com)
- Nuclear energy? Hmm…look at the Japanese experience (slightlyturquoise.wordpress.com)
- What happens now to the nuclear ‘Renaissance’? (financialpost.com)
Sharon Squassoni of The Carnegie Endowment examines the limitations of nuclear energy in the face of growing support for a new reactor construction in the U.S. Originally written as a policy brief for candidates in the 2008 U.S. presidential election, the work takes on a new relevance given the debate sparked by the Fukushima crisis.
Free pdf publication.