In news– Defence Minister of India has recently expressed concerns over the alleged threat of the use of ‘dirty bombs’ in the ongoing war with Ukraine.
What is Dirty Bomb?
- The term ‘dirty bomb’ refers to explosive devices that disperse radioactive material, such as Uranium, or Plutonium, after being triggered when the conventional explosives detonate.
- It is different from nuclear bombs as it doesn’t need highly refined radioactive material.
- It can be made using radioactive materials from hospitals, nuclear power stations, and even research laboratories. They can be transported quite easily as well.
- Moreover, it doesn’t create a radiation cloud as in the case of a nuclear bomb. Instead, it scatters the radioactive material over a radius spanning a few hundred metres.
- There is no recorded use of ‘dirty bombs’. They have, so far, been tested only.
- They are designed to disperse radioactive material over a certain area.
- The purpose of the weapon is to contaminate the area around the dispersal agent/conventional explosion with radioactive material, serving primarily as an area denial device against civilians.
- The aftermath of the use of such an explosive device can be devastating for the area and the clean-up could be highly expensive and time-consuming.
- It may well be rendered unusable for a long time, depending on the amount of radioactive material used in the bomb.