'Dirty Bomb' Research at Tech - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

2/14/03

'Dirty Bomb' Research at Tech

"We've literally walked all of the areas with a geiger counter and equipment to find the most radioactive places," said Texas Tech Professor Robert Baker. His three man team is studying the impact of nuclear fallout.

In 1986, the name of a Russian city became synonymous with disaster. Chernobyl. Site of a nuclear power plant meltdown. The radioactive clouds killed 4,000. Another 135,000 evacuated. Fast forward to 2003, with the threat of terrorists using a 'dirty bomb' on American soil. What can the U.S. learn from Chernobyl to prepare for nuclear clouds?

"I think the most immediate thing you'd want to know is how do we deal with evacuation? How do we deal with putting people in secure places? How do we deal with the impact on buildings that have windows and so forth, the duct tape and plastic bags you're hearing in the news all the time," said Professor Baker.

All questions with answers lying at Chernobyl. Congress this week funded the study with a million dollars. Money earmarked for a massive study of Pripyat, now a modern ghost-town outside of Chernobyl.

"Pripyat was considered to be the most modern city in the former Soviet Union and so how it was impacted in a passive way by radio-nucleoids that the air currents moved through is really valuable knowledge in trying to understand how a dirty bomb will interface with a city," he said.

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