Neutron weapons are designed for the destruction of living organisms; they are not designed for the destruction of building and technical facilities. The miniature nuclear fission weapons (about 1 kt) have similar characteristics and they are most suitable for terrorist attacks. Irradiation of mammals by fission neutrons results in a more severe deterministic (acute) as well as stochastic (late) radiation damage in comparison with gamma rays. Traditional physical shielding materials (steel, lead) cannot provide protection, and biological protection mechanisms (tissue hypoxia, radioprotective chemical drugs) are also not effecive. Water and plastic materials (polyethylene) are suitable for shielding.
nuclear terrorism; weapons; neutron; biological effects; radioprotection
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