RBC Shield, LLC

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WORLDWIDE MARKET: Targets of Radiological Disbursal Devices

It has become an accepted fact that the populations of many major metropolitan areas worldwide are potential targets for terrorist attacks. The attacks that have occurred in places like New York, London, Madrid, Moscow, Tel Aviv, and Washington, D.C., to name a few, have vividly illustrated the terrorist's preference for large urban populations where the impact of an incident can be maximized.

Fig. 1: Long-term Contamination Due to Cobalt Bomb in NYC1

Inner Ring: One cancer death per 100 people due to remaining radiation (5% increase)
Middle Ring: One cancer death per 1,000 people due to remaining radiation (5% increase)
Outer Ring: One cancer death per 10,000 people due to remaining radiation (5% increase)

In the US. alone, the 19 largest urban areas have a population of 91.2 million.2 The top 20 cities in the world have a combined population of 276.3 million.3 Any and every terrorist incident that targets a major metropolitan area world-wide using a conventional, radiological, biological or chemical weapon creates an instant market or expands an already existing one, not only in the targeted city, but also other cities around the globe.

If only five percent of that potential market were captured, the number of sales would be almost 14 million. Assuming an average profit margin of at least $1,000 on every sale, profits for this market alone could reach almost $14 billion.


  1. Figure 1 assumes a single piece of radioactive cobalt from a food
  2. irradiation plant is dispersed by an explosion at the lower tip of Manhattan. Source: http://www.fas.org/faspir/2002/v55n2/dirtybomb.htm
  3. Click here to view a list of the 19 major metropolitan areas in the U.S.
  4. U.S. Census Bureau and Times Atlas of the World, tenth edition. Click here to see a list of the world's 100 most populous cities.