New Report: Non-radioisotopic Alternative Technologies White Paper

The counterterrorism intelligence gathered following the September 11th attacks significantly increased concerns related to the security of sealed sources and their potential use in a radiological dispersion device (RDD), which disperses radioactive material over a large area, or a radiation exposure device (RED), which could be hidden in a public area to expose people to radiation. The Energy Policy Act of 2005 (EPAct) established the Interagency Task Force on Radiation Source Protection and Security (Task Force) to evaluate and provide recommendations to the President and Congress relating to the security of radioactive sources in the United States from potential terrorist threats. The Task Force was required to report any “alternative technologies that may perform some or all of the functions performed by devices or processes that employ radiation sources.” The 2014 and 2018 Task Force reports noted that, while the viability of alternative technologies for some applications has improved significantly, there are still limitations to the widespread implementation of most applications.

This report describes the status of the development and voluntary adoption of technologies with the potential to effectively replace risk-significant radioactive sources integral to industrial, medical, and research applications.