Definitions - Nuclear Weapons
Nuclear Weapons derive their energy source by either fission, with the splitting of atoms, or fusion the combination of atomic elements of higher or lower elemental numbers resulting in the release of energy as a byproduct.
While these weapons are not as easily acquired as traditional explosive devices their threat, large scale impact and the resultant psychological impact of such an event creates a unique challenge to the medical and public health communities. This is coupled with a relatively lesser common knowledge of the necessary response and treatments for radiation exposure by the prehospital and medical communities at large. Recent courses advancing this knowledge have been developed including the MEIR (Medical Effects of Ionizing Radiation) and REACT/S Radiation Emergency Assistance Center/training site to name a few.