Radiological Weapons (‘Dirty Bombs’)
Radiological weapons disperse radioactive materials with a conventional device rather than with a nuclear explosion. DuringWorldWar II, the United States initiated a research program to determine the feasibility of dispersing radioactive material with the use of conventional weapons. More recently, Iraq has acknowledged to the United Nations that it explored the use of radiologicalweapons against Iran. Iraq reportedly tested a radiological bomb meant to weaken enemy forces by inducing radiation sickness but abandoned this type of weapon because radiation levels created were not sufficiently high. Although radiological weapons, if used, would not likely kill large numbers of people, they would likely cause vast disruption, even after areas contaminated with radioactivity had been decontaminated.