The Scientific, Domestic & International Policy Challenges Of WMDs & Terror Part II: Nuclear, Radiological, High Explosives & Toxic Chemical Agents

Course Number: 
Graduate Education
Quarter Hours: 
3-4 Quarter Hours
Course Description: 
This course will address technical and policy issues associated with weapons, which may be used in warfare, terrorist actions, or criminal activity. The information on the agents covered within this course is designed to provide a comprehensive understanding of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) when combined with the companion course on biological weapons and biological terrorism, "The Scientific, Domestic and International Policy Challenges of Weapons of Mass Destruction and Terror Part 1: The Emerging Threat of Biological Weapons and Bioterrorism." Students will learn how and why distinctions are made between each of the types of devices, such as nuclear versus radiological and chemical versus biological. They will have expert instruction on the physical and chemical effects of each type of weapon and their medical consequences. Information on the current state of the art for detection and containment of the hazards pre- and post-use of these weapons will be presented. An important aspect will be describing the medical effects of each modality. Information will be provided on treatments and therapies that currently exist and the research that is being conducted to improve treatment modalities. The available means of protection pre- and post incident, both for personnel who must respond to these hazards and measures to protect the general public and property will be explored. The concept and importance of psychological casualties and measures that can or should be taken will also be presented. Many of these agents have severe environmental consequences, which will also be discussed. The course will also address geopolitical and domestic legal issues associated with prevention and response to WMD incidents. This will include information on international treaties and domestic regulations governing the legality of production, transport and use of these agents in both the military and commerce. Issues concerning dual use or subversion of legitimate commercial activities will be examined. Information on the issues and means for detection, treaty verification, counter proliferation, deployment and examples of their use to date will also be presented. Administrative aspects of the national emergency response plans, legal authority of Federal, State and local governments and criminal investigation will be covered.