NBC INCIDENTS 11
A decade later following the close of the cold war, NBC attacksprogress to become a growing threat. Specifically, the enhancingproliferation of chemical and biological agents is not possible torule out, because of the somewhat simple manufacture contrary tonuclear agents. In addition, the developing industrialization poses asubstantial threat potential. NBC stands for Nuclear, Biologicaland Chemical Attacks. They are massive attacks, intended atcausing harm to human beings. The employment of NBC attacks againstcitizens and the military is not an advent notion. Several agentswere employed close to a century ago in the First World War. Variouscountries and terrorist associations are presently engaged in anendeavor to produce an arsenal of nuclear, biological and chemicalagents to be applied as weapons in mass destruction. Publicperception all over the globe has advanced over the years due toconsequences of various mass destruction incidents arising from NBCattacks. The paper is a research on various characteristics of NBCincidents and their consequences. It begins by providing adescription of each of the attacks, details some of the NBC incidentswitnessed in the world and their consequences.
Nuclear attack regards to the application of a device, which createsa nuclear explosion. The nuclear explosion arises from an unregulatedchain effect, which gashes atomic nuclei, fission, creating a severeheat wave, air pressure, radiation as well as light. This follows thedischarge of radioactive particles (Bhushan& Katyal, 2002).In cases where the explosion happens on ground, the radioactiveparticles create a mushroom cloud containing debris, dust, andfallout, which exposes individuals to radiation. Nuclear attacksresults in considerable deaths, harm and damage to infrastructure dueto heat and discharge of explosions (Bhushan& Katyal, 2002).Other outcomes are radiological consequences arising from the mainnuclear radiation, as well as fallout. Fallout settles following theattack and its explosion. Attacks are classified depending on theenergy amount produced. For instance, a terrorist attack isanticipated to result in kilotons, while major military attacks areclassified in megatons (Bhushan& Katyal, 2002).
The affected region is dependent on the energy produced by the agent,geography of the explosion place, the explosions altitude, andclimate conditions. Radioactive fallouts disperse in an unevenoblique sequence towards the wind direction (Bhushan& Katyal, 2002).The most hazardous fallout could happen close to the explosion regionin a span of minutes after the blast. However, fallout, whichcomprises of lethal radiation amounts, might be deposited miles away.Fallout may possibly move many miles, yet the absorption as well asemission dose drop with the spread and passing of time. The immenseheat of nuclear attacks results in fires all through surroundingblast regions (Bhushan& Katyal, 2002).Damaged constructions, power lines, telephone lines, gas leakages,destroyed roads and water regions among others make up the riskyconditions, which could prevail. The mixing of radioactive rudimentscreated during a nuclear blast is intricate having temporary andlasting isotopes, which makes it possible to merely approximateradioactive decay.
Biological attack is the intended dissemination of pathogens, orbiotoxin against animals, plantations and people (Bhushan& Katyal, 2002).Pathogens are agents that cause illnesses. Biotoxins are toxicsubstances. A biological attack targeting human beings might beintended to result in sickness, fatality, apprehension, disturbingsociety, as well as economic harm. Attacks on animals and plantationslead to economic harm, lack of trust in food supplies, andpossibility of fatalities. There are numerous manners employed in theexecution of biological attacks. Aerosol dispersal involvesdisseminating the agents in air through sprayers. The agent ismeasured to ensure that upon release it will cause the intended harm,or infections on humans (Bhushan& Katyal, 2002).It might happen on open air or an enclosed region. For instance, theattack may be executed through release of the agent via a building’sventilation, subway or aeroplanes. It requires a lot of skill inprocessing biological agents to make maximum use of the impact ofaerosol dispersal. It is possible to contaminate water or food withtoxins. Human carriers may also disperse biological attacks throughbody fluids (Bhushan& Katyal, 2002).
Dissimilar to nuclear and chemical attacks, biological attacks mightbe hard to identify for a long period, which is dependent on theagent, until a point when humans, animals or crops depict signs ofthe illness (Payment, 2006).In instances where there are no spontaneous indications of attacks,like illustrated with the anthrax letters, a biological attack maypossibly initially become notable through local health care personnelassessing a sequence of a unique disease. The challenge withbiological attacks is that there could be doubts concerning crucialissues like the precise area or extreme of the first release,biological agent employed, and possibility of more releases (Payment,2006). In the incidence of aerosol discharge, the affectedregion relies on the amount of agent dispersed, if the dispersal isin an enclosed or open region, and weather. Agents dispersed openlyare affected by factors like wind, which would make it improbable totrace the initial area of attack.
Chemical attack involves spreading toxic chemicals aimed at causingharm. A wide array of chemicals might be manufactured for militarypurposes, while some are biological in nature like ricin (Payment,2006). Toxicity differs depending on chemical attacks thatresult in immediate harm, while others take a while to cause harm.The intensity of an attack is dependent on the chemical’sconcentration when released. Different variables influence theconcentration of chemicals involving wind and volatility. Releasingchemicals in regions that are closed like buildings and subways, maydeliver amounts high to result in massive fatalities and harm(Payment, 2006). In regionsthat are open, the toxic substance becomes less concentrated due tospread. For massive harm to be achieved in an open region, thechemicals will have to be dispersed in large amounts. It is possibleto detect chemical attacks. Individuals exposed to the attacks depictsimilar signs like eye irritation or they may chock.
Although it is easy to release the chemical agents to air and causetoxicity to human environments, chemical attacks may have a lifetimeeffect (Payment, 2006). Theymay cause foods to be completely toxic, even without altering thelook and taste of foods. When the foods are distributed to people indifferent regions, they cause harm to the body system in slow paces.For instance, ricin is a poison derived from castor beans, whicharises from waste made during the production of castor oil (Payment,2006). Its release to food supplies in large numbers may nothave a direct effect on consumers rather, is a slow process ofattack. Harmful chemicals may also be employed in contaminatingwater. It is possible to add chemicals to water sources, which may gounnoticed and later consumed by humans. The main peril with chemicalattacks is that they contaminate the air making it difficult tobreathe clean air. As a result, those affected die faster becausethey are unable to get clean air as fast as possible.
There have been numerous incidents of NBC attacks all over theworld. The Tokyo Subway Attack of 1995, normally termed, asthe Subway Sarin Incident by Japanese media is an illustration(Okumura, Suzuki & Fukuda, 1998). The incident involved therelease of a colorless, unscented and greatly poisonous nerve gas,sarin to Tokyo’s subway structure. It led to the fatality of twelvepersons and thousands of injuries. Individuals from the Japan-foundedadvent religious group AUM Shinrikyo were linked to the NBCattack (Okumura, Suzuki & Fukuda, 1998). Before the attack,individuals from the AUM were engaged in various noxious offences,which were not resolved by the Japanese administration. It was notuntil they commenced investigations on the subway incident that theywere able to link the group with terror attacks. Sarin attack hadbeen used before 110 miles to the north of central Tokyo. In theincident, the agent was dispersed from a truck parked close to aconstruction complex, murdering eight and causing harm to hundreds.Following investigations, it was concluded that the release had beenplanned in an endeavor to murder judges presiding in a court caseagainst AUM members. However, the judges survived the attacks, butwere among those injured (Okumura, Suzuki & Fukuda, 1998).
The Subway incident happened in the morning after five males boardedthe Tokyo Subway System. They were all carrying bagscontaining sarin and entered different subway lines. All the trainswere headed to Tsukiji station, which is situated in innermost Tokyo(Okumura, Suzuki & Fukuda, 1998). The attackers had calculatedtheir attacks and they dropped the sarin bags on the train floors atthe same time. They perforated the bags prior to their exit from thetrain and station, and fled the area via a gateway vehicle, which waswaiting for them. The liquid in the perforated bags started tovaporize in turn, the fumes affected the passengers. Since none ofthe passengers was aware of the attack, the trains progressed on tothe city center with sick passengers that had already inhaled thetoxic fumes leaving the train at every stopping point (Okumura,Suzuki & Fukuda, 1998). The fumes were dispersed at every stop,either through emitting from the tainted vehicles or via exposure toliquid contaminating persons clothes and shoes. Most of the personsthat were greatly affected by the attack were those exposed to theagent when attempting to help already affected passengers. Among thedead were two subway workers that passed away while endeavoring tothrow away the perforated bags.
In most instances, the injured persons lay on the ground unable tobreath. The attack has been termed as the worst terror attack inJapan’s history (Okumura, Suzuki & Fukuda, 1998). It resultedin widespread disturbance and apprehension in a community, which hadbeen before declared crime free. Based on the attack, it is possibleto conclude that it was a chemical attack. Since the agent wasdispersed in an enclosed region and to unsuspecting passengers, itspread fast. The attack also depicted symptoms characteristic ofchemical attacks, which involve difficulties in breathing as a majorsign. Chemicals released in one region are also possible to causeharm when transported to different regions, as was the case withpassengers that left the train at different stations, and went todifferent places (Okumura, Suzuki & Fukuda, 1998). Following theincident, the world has become more aware of the possibility of NBCattacks even in this century. It is not possible to rule out thatterrorists will not use chemical, biological and nuclear agents tocause harm. The globe has also become more aware of how to deal withchemical attacks, after learning from the inexperienced response ofJapan.
Another incident is the 2001 Anthrax Attacks in America. Theattacks happened a week following the September 11 bombing. Theattack was perpetrated in form of letters, which were sent to anumber of media houses and senators (Hasan,2003). The letters had anthrax spores, which would be inhaledby the individuals that opened the letters. The result of the attackwas the fatality of five persons and infection to seventeen others.The anthrax letters are supposed to have been sent from New Jersey(Hasan, 2003). FBI officialswere able to trace anthrax spores in a town mail situated close toPrinceton University. The letters mailed to media offices comprisedof a loutish brown substance, whereas those mailed to two Americansenators comprised of fine powder (Hasan,2003). The brown substance resulted in skin infections amidthe individuals exposed to the agent. Contrary, the white agentresulted in inhalation difficulties. The inhalation anthrax is morehazardous compared to the one that results in skin infection. Thematerials employed in making the powders were obtained from Amesstrain, which is a bacteria strain. Before the attacks, the bacteriawere regarded as a widespread strain extracted from a cow.
The consequence of the anthrax mailing attack is that many buildinggot contaminated with the agent. AMI one of the offices attacked hadto shift its operations to another building (Hasan,2003). It tool twenty six months to finally ensure that thepostal buildings employed to send the mails were free from anthraxcontamination. The American agency employed in safeguarding thesurrounding invested a lot of money, which was used in cleaning upbuildings. The anthrax attacks together with the September 11 bombinghave resulted in enhanced rises in American administrative fundingfor biological attack study and preparation (Hasan,2003). For instance, bio-warfare linked funding to the bodyresponsible for preventing allergies and infectious illnesses wasincreased. Years following the anthrax attack, victims have notedthat they still depict signs like unexplained tiredness, andinstances of memory and breathe loss. This explains the possiblelasting effects that some NBC attacks may have on victims (Hasan,2003).
In many instances, NBC attacks have resulted in fatalities and harmto the health of the victims. Those that pass away are the victimsthat have been directly exposed to the attacks. This is because ofthe magnitude of agents employed in perpetrating the attacks.Individuals that manage to survive the attacks will always havecomplications. This is especially the case when attacks had effectson their respiratory system. Because a majority of NBC attacks isunexpected, nations are often unprepared on how to respond. As aresult, it takes more time to counter the impact of nuclear,biological and chemical agents. The more time it takes, the more harmis caused to humans, animals and the environment.
The most historic NBC attack is the Hiroshima and Nagasaki. In 1945,the Japanese town of Hiroshima was brought down through a nuclearweapon. The agent was a bomb dropped by America (Bodden,2008). Days later, another bomb was dropped on the town ofNagasaki. The attack has been described as the gravest nuclearbombing, which eradicated 90% of the town, immediately murderingthousands of citizens, later thousands more passed away due toexposure to radiation (Bodden,2008). The bombing took place during the Spanish-American war,when America was determined to defeat Japan. The only possible way totriumph over the nation at the time appeared to be through nuclearattack. America intended to make Japan surrender, and following theinitial attack, Japanese officials were still reluctant, whichcompelled the U.S. to attack once more. The nature of the nuclearagent used in the attack caused radiation miles away, resulting inmassive harm (Bodden, 2008).
In the initial explosion stages, temperatures increased to tens ofmillions degrees. The light released is approximated to be ten timesmore than the sun’s brightness. As the explosions were takingplace, several kinds of radiations like gamma rays, as well as alphaand beta constituents were released from the blast (Bodden,2008). The particles, radiative in nature, enhanced thefatality of the bombings. When released in such immense amounts, theylead to harm, which lasts years. Gamma radiation and neutronsresulted in thousands of incidences of radiation illness in Japan todate. The harm is caused to the human blood, as well as organsresponsible for making blood like the bone marrow, lymph nodes andspleen. In cases of intense radiation, the body organs becamecerotic-causing fatality within the shortest time possible. Studiesdepict that harsh radiation injury happened to all individualssituated within a one-kilometer radius (Bodden,2008).
The main consequence of the nuclear attack has been negativeconsequences on health. During the late 1950s, surviving victimsnoted to have neurotic symptoms arising from nuclear bombing (Bodden,2008). The signs include overall exhaustion, forgetfulness andinability to concentrate. Following surveys conducted on survivors,more signs involved unexplained fatigue arising from the recollectionof events happening during the nuclear bombing. Survivors alsoexplained to suffer from a heightened level of unresponsiveness andinability to move. Extreme cases include stress disorders manifestedin the form of flashbacks, extreme nervousness, nightmares, rage, andsuicidal deliberations among others (Bodden,2008). Notably, have been the numerous birth defects yearslater after the nuclear attacks. These include giving birth tochildren that do not have all the body organs. It is supposed thatthe radiative effect of the bombing progresses to cause suchchallenges amid persons that have inhaled the agents over a longperiod. Exposure to radiation may have as well caused cancer, mentalretardation in newborn children and leukemia fatalities (Bodden,2008).
NBC attacks result in massive fatalities, injuries and destruction.The attacks have been historically employed during world wars.Currently, there have been increasing cases of terrorism withterrorists using terror attack methods intended at causing the mostharm. It is impossible to conclude that the world is free of NBCattacks. Instead, the world should be more cautious of the attacksand endeavor to devise strategies of curbing the aftermaths of theattack. Cases like the Anthrax incident means that predicting thepossibility of the fatal attacks is impossible. Nations must uniteand enact stringent laws, which prohibit the making and use of NBCagents for massive destruction. This way it becomes possible toprotect humans from nuclear, biological and chemical attacks.
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