NIH Strategic Plan and Research Agenda for Medical Countermeasures Against Radiological and Nuclear Threats [open pdf - 2MB]
"In 2004, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services tasked the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) to develop a strategic plan and research agenda to guide all activities of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to develop medical countermeasures against possible terrorist attacks involving radioactive materials. Prior to this, no Federal agency had the mission to develop such products for civilian populations. The NIH Strategic Plan and Research Agenda for Medical Countermeasures against Radiological and Nuclear Threats is the subject of the present report and builds upon and extends NIAID's activities in the biodefense arena. Currently, relatively few medical treatments are available to counter radiological and nuclear threats, and most of those in development will need extensive preclinical testing before they can be evaluated for licensure. Radiological and nuclear threats to the nation are complex, encompassing the detonation of conventional explosives combined with radioactive materials ('dirty bombs'), placement of radioactive sources in public locations, contamination of food and water supplies, attacks on nuclear reactors or sites where radioactive materials are stored, or, in a worst case scenario, the detonation of a nuclear explosive device. Notably, only a small number of radiation countermeasures have been entered into the Strategic National Stockpile (SNS), the purpose of which is to facilitate emergency deployment on a national scale. Many more such agents are needed, based on the range of options that could be employed by terrorists, the need for urgent intervention following radiation exposure, and the medical complexities of acute and chronic radiation injury."
National Institutes of Health, NIH Publication No. 05-5608
United States Department of Health and Human Services, National Institutes of Health: http://www.nih.gov/