CBRNE (Chemical Biological Radiological Nuclear Explosives)
The term CBRNE defines a group of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) threats that could be used against to humanity as tool in war or terrorism.

Chemical agents are categorized as blood agents, choking agents or nerve agents. Toxic and corrosive chemicals that generally affect their victims relatively quickly i.e. minutes or hours later.  The choice of chemicals ranges from those available over the counter, through toxic industrial chemicals (TIC’s) such as cyanides, to "war gases" such as sarin, VX or mustard gas.

Military biological warfare (BW) programs involve the use of living organisms or the inanimate poisonous molecules isolated from them (toxins) in weapon systems.  In contrast to toxic chemicals, biological agents can take significantly longer to take effect: incubation periods of days to weeks are not unusual, although toxins can act in hours.  Many potential biological agents cause diseases that can be transmitted directly from one person to another.  Anthrax is one of the few that is not transmitted in this way.  Such diseases can be spread by contaminated tissue and body fluids.  

Radioactive (radiological) materials are unstable atoms that emit radiation in various forms, depending on the type of isotope.  A radiological dispersal device (RDD) is designed to disperse radioactive material, with or without explosives.   An RDD is commonly referred to as a “Dirty Bomb”. The most dangerous and widely available high energy isotopes include cesium-137 and cobalt-60.

A nuclear explosion results in widespread heat and blast damage and intense direct radiation effects (including gamma rays, neutrons and electromagnetic pulse (EMP)).  An improvised nuclear device may result in a nuclear explosion but it is likely to be much less powerful than a military nuclear weapon.

Any chemical compound, mixture, or device the primary or common purpose of which is to function by explosion.

  • TNT
  • Dynamite
  • Black Powder
  • Plastic explosives (High grade - C4, Low Grade - Semtex)
  • various other chemicals and mixtures identified as explosive (most recently used – ammonium nitrate and TATP)
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  CBRNE Definitions
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