Lesson 1/Learning Event 3
LEARNING EVENT 3:
OF RADIOLOGICAL SURVEYS
Leaders in a situation which involves radiological contamination must make decisions which balance the
demands of the tactical situation with the need to keep exposure of personnel to a minimum. The
information on which these decisions are based is obtained through the NBC warning and reporting
system and from radiological surveys. When a contaminated area has been detected, the NBCE must
begin the planning process necessary to expand the collection effort for collection of the information
required to evaluate the contamination hazard. Proper planning of this collection effort is essential to
producing timely contamination information.
Commanders become aware of radiological contamination in their areas through monitoring. There will
be portions of the area of interest in which the troop density will be sufficient to insure that automatic
reports will provide adequate information. At higher echelons, however, monitoring reports from lower
units may not provide sufficient information for the determination of the contamination pattern. A
radiological survey may be directed to evaluate the degree and extent of the contamination when
monitoring reports do not provide adequate data for the area. Radiological survey is the directed effort
to determine the degree and extent of radiological contamination.
The first step of the process of planning radiological surveys will be to analyze the area of interest and
then to estimate what additional information, if any, will be required for evaluation of the hazard.
Concurrent with this analysis and based upon operation requirements, an estimate must be made of the
time within which the hazard may be identified.
The radiological survey plan for a contaminated area will be based upon the estimation of many
variables and must establish as a minimum the amount of detail required, method of control
(decentralized or centralized), type of survey (ground or air), and technique to be used (route, point,
course leg, or preselected dose-rate). The survey plan for a particular contaminated area will probably
contain a combination of these methods.
In the process of planning a radiological survey, the NBCE receives and processes NBC 4 (Nuclear)
Reports. This processing includes consolidating reports, normalizing dose-rate data, and plotting
information. After all monitoring reports are plotted, the NBCE determines the need for a survey.
When the need for the survey has been established, NBCE personnel analyze operational situation
factors such as known contamination, the changing of the tactical situation, logistics, terrain, and
weather to determine their influence on