CBRNE

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CBRNE is an acronym for Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, and Explosive materials. These materials are very dangerous, and can hurt many people. When they are used on purpose, CBRNE materials are weapons of mass destruction. However, CBRNE events can also happen accidentally.[1]

A report from the White House in 2011 said "there is no greater danger to the [United States] than a terrorist attack with a weapon of mass destruction."[2] Because CBRNE weapons are so dangerous, countries around the world are working on preventing CBRNE attacks, and learning how to react to them if they do happen.[3]

Types of CBRNE weapons[change | change source]

Chemical[change | change source]

The main types of chemical weapons are:[3]

International laws make it illegal to use chemical weapons. However, terrorists have ignored these laws. For example, in 1995, terrorists attacked the subway in Tokyo, Japan, with sarin.[2]

Biological[change | change source]

The goal of biological weapons is to get as many people sick with infectious diseases as possible. Types of biological weapons include:[1][3]

In 2001, a terrorist used a biological weapon against the United States by sending letters filled with anthrax through the mail to many different people.[1] Ricin has also been sent through the mail as a biological attack.[2]

Radiological[change | change source]

A radiological weapon is any kind of weapon that spreads radiation. For example:

  • A dirty bomb which uses radioactive material to cause lasting effect on the environment
  • Contaminating food or water supplies with radioactive contamination

In 2006, Alexander Litvinenko, a former Russian spy, was murdered when someone put polonium-210, a radioactive material, in his food.[1]

The White House's report says that there is radiological material all around the world that is not guarded.[2]

The "mushroom cloud" caused by the nuclear bomb that hit Nagasaki rose 11mi (18km) above the ground

Nuclear[change | change source]

N is for Nuclear explosion. This can occur one of two ways Fissure and Fusion. Fissure occurs when an atom is spliced apart forming two new atoms. This causes a discharge of energy. Fusion on the other hand forces two atoms together. The process breaks apart the atoms and fuses them together. The reaction discharges energy. Many countries have tested nuclear weapons. World War II, the United States dropped two nuclear bombs on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. In Hiroshima, the nuclear bomb destroyed 4.7 square miles (12 km2) of the city,[4] and killed 60,000 to 80,000 people right away. More people later died from radiation sickness and cancer caused by radiation, so historians think about 135,000 people were killed by the one nuclear bomb that hit Hiroshima.[5]

In Nagasaki, the nuclear bomb created about 3,900 °C (7,050 °F) of heat, and winds as fast as 1,005 km/h (624 mph).[6] It killed somewhere between 39,000 and 80,000 people.[7]

The United Nations later made the use of Nuclear weapons illegal which is largely due to the radiation that is brought along with as well as earthquakes and other natural disasters. While true to this day many countries still manufacture these weapons today.

Explosives[change | change source]

E as in explosives stands for high-yield explosive. High-yield explosive is materials that rapidly release large amounts of energy and produce a pressure shock wave during detonation.

High-Yield Explosions can occur in labs and hospitals that contain compressed gas. One highly explosive gas is Acetylene which is commonly found under pressure to containment and later use. There are types of liquids like Nitroglycerin that can be subjected to pressure explosion as well.

Accidental CBRNE events[change | change source]

Examples of accidental CBRNE events include:[1]

Photo gallery[change | change source]

References[change | change source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 "What is CBRN?" (PDF). ceep.ca. The Centre for Excellence in Emergency Preparedness (Ontario). Retrieved February 3, 2016.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 National Science and Technology Council Committee on Homeland and National Security, Subcommittee on Standards (May 2011). A National Strategy for CBRNE Standards (PDF) (Report). Office of Science and Technology Policy. p. 4. Retrieved February 3, 2016.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 Hayer, Robert J. (January 10, 2006). Introduction to CBRNE Terrorism: An Awareness Primer and Preparedness Guide for Emergency Response (PDF) (Report). The Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Response Association. Retrieved February 3, 2016.
  4. "U.S. Strategic Bombing Survey: The Effects of the Atomic Bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, June 19, 1946. President's Secretary's File, Truman Papers". Harry S. Truman Library & Museum. p. 9. Retrieved February 3, 2016.
  5. "Fact File: Hiroshima and Nagasaki". bbc.co.uk. BBC. September 2005. Retrieved February 3, 2016.
  6. Crane, Conrad C.; Van Rhyn, Mark E. "The Atomic Bomb (6 and 9 August 1945)". PBS: The War. PBS. Retrieved February 3, 2016.
  7. "Hiroshima, Nagasaki, and Subsequent Weapons Testing". World Nuclear Association. December 2014. Retrieved February 3, 2015.