Robert M. La Follette School of Public Affairs

Cost-Benefit Analysis of Switching from Cesium-Chlorideto X-Ray Blood Irradiators

The authors conduct a cost-benefit analysis of replacing cesium-chloride blood irradiators with x-ray blood irradiators to reduce the threat of cesium-chloride being diverted to a radiological dispersal device, which combines conventional explosives with radioactive material to contaminate people and the environment. Although such a device would not cause mass casualties, it is a potential terrorist weapon because it can deny use of a large area, causing economic losses. Cesium-chloride irradiators have been identified as presenting a significant risk as a domestic source of radiological material for use in radiological dispersal devices. The authors find positive net benefits for switching from cesium-chloride to x-ray irradiators in almost every case; however, because the net benefits are much larger and more certain for older devices, they recommend planning the replacements in phases in order to replace the oldest irradiators first.

Additional Info

  • Volume or issue no.: Cost-Benefit Analysis Public Affairs 881 taught by David Weimer in Fall 2013
  • Author(s): Erik Bakken, Katie Cary, Allison Derrick, Ellen Hildebrand, Kyle Schroeckenthaler, and Malika Taalbi
  • Client Name: Global Threat Reduction Initiative, National Nuclear Security Administration