A conceptual model for determining the level of impact from a radiological dispersal event


  • David A. Smith, PhD
  • Daniel T. Holt, PhD
  • Audeen Fentiman, PhD




integrated risk assessment, level of impact, radiological dispersal event, terrorism


Emergency managers’ responses to and during myriad crises are critical. Recovery actions, which affect both humans and the environment, are often guided by a risk assessment. Current risk assessment methods, unfortunately, address human health and ecological issues independently.We introduce a framework to guide the development of an assessment that spans precrisis and postcrisis periods. This framework is introduced by examining a nefarious event that could have a negative effect on human health and the environment—a radiological dispersal event initiated by terrorists. Through this example, a general method that allows the quick assessment of risk, comparison of options, and prioritization of recovery actions is explained.

Author Biographies

David A. Smith, PhD

Assistant Professor of Environmental Sciences, Department of Systems and Engineering Management, Air Force Institute of Technology, Dayton, Ohio.

Daniel T. Holt, PhD

Associate Professor of Management, Department of Systems and Engineering Management, Air Force Institute of Technology, Dayton, Ohio.

Audeen Fentiman, PhD

Professor of Nuclear Engineering, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana.


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How to Cite

Smith, PhD, D. A., D. T. Holt, PhD, and A. Fentiman, PhD. “A Conceptual Model for Determining the Level of Impact from a Radiological Dispersal Event”. Journal of Emergency Management, vol. 8, no. 1, Jan. 2010, pp. 25-36, doi:10.5055/jem.2010.0002.