Officials at HICC put in state-of-the-art equipment to tackle CBRN radiation attacks

Security preparedness was taken to a new high by officials at the HICC, the venue of the prestigious CoP-11 event, when they put in place arrangements to tackle even chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear (CBRN) radiation attacks.

Experts from Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) are assisting the Andhra Pradesh police in providing a secure cover to the HICC, the venue where representatives of 193 countries are deliberating on various issues, from CBRN radiation attacks by terrorists.

A special team of DRDO CBRN wing had landed in Hyderabad much before the international event began on October 1. These specialists are known to be using latest gadgets — some imported and some indigenously developed. The DRDO officials have formed themselves into different teams each with a specific task of Detection, Decontamination, and Decorporation (process of cleaning a person who is affected with radiation).

The specialists are relying more on technology to provide a foolproof security plan from CBRN attacks. So meticulously organised is the plan that even air sampling is being done at the meeting venue! A Mobile Nuclear Filed Laboratory (MNFL), accommodated in a specially made van, with power backup facility is stationed at the venue to check quality of air every three hours.

The laboratory would search for traces of alpha, beta or gamma radiations in the air. The data collected is uploaded to a computer and analysed by the experts who operate from a command centre set up at the venue.

The officials are collecting and analysing the water samples not only from different points at the venue but also from select places in the city. A relieving aspect of the futuristic and awe-inspiring technology being used is that they have not anything abnormal in air or water samples anywhere so far.

“There are no specific inputs about possible CBRN attack threat to the meeting. Still we didn’t want to compromise on safety of delegates coming from all over the world,” a police officer said.

For detection of CBRN radiation traces, the special team uses instruments like Personal Digital Dose Meter and High Performance Radio Isotope Identifier. In case of such an attack taking place, the teams are equipped with a specially developed Sudhika medical kit containing eye pads and bandages which are to be used to decontaminate a person affected with radiation.

A separate casualty bag is used to shift a person affected with radiation to hospital to prevent others getting contaminated with radiation during transit.

“Mostly CBRN team services are used at defence-related programmes and events attended by VVIPs. This team came to A.P. for the first time since representatives from around the globe are here,” a senior police officer said.

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