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NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine.

This study was supported by a contract between the National Academy of Sciences and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (Contract HSHQDC-08-C-00014). Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the organizations or agencies that provided support for this project.

International Standard Book Number-13: 978-0-309-13088-2

International Standard Book Number-10: 0-309-13088-3

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Copyright 2009 by the National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.

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The serpent has been a symbol of long life, healing, and knowledge among almost all cultures and religions since the beginning of recorded history. The serpent adopted as a logotype by the Institute of Medicine is a relief carving from ancient Greece, now held by the Staatliche Museen in Berlin.

COVER: The cover depicts a schematic model of the effects of detonating a 10-kiloton (kt) nuclear device at ground level in the central business district of a large metropolitan area. The circles around ground zero represent areas of extensive immediate damage from the blast (red), thermal (orange), and radiation (yellow) effects of the detonation. For illustrative purposes, the circles are not drawn to scale (in a 10-kt detonation, they would be nearly overlapping). The long elliptical contour lines emanating from ground zero represent the area where radioactive fallout would settle soon after a detonation, after being carried by atmospheric winds. The red ellipse represents the area in which the short exposure of anyone outdoors immediately after the detonation would probably be lethal. The orange and yellow ellipses represent areas of progressively less radiation. The H’s are hospitals and represent the likelihood that some hospitals, which tend to concentrate in the downtown of most central cities, would likely be affected negatively by a 10-kt nuclear detonation—some by the immediate effects, others by the fallout, and some by both.

Suggested citation: IOM (Institute of Medicine). 2009. Assessing medical preparedness to respond to a terrorist nuclear event: Workshop report. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.

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