Battelle is providing commanders and emergency planners the tools they need to make faster, more effective decisions in a radiological emergency. The Battelle BEAR, which stands for Best Estimate/Assessment of Risk, is a Battelle-developed tool that helps responders make informed, defensible decisions in the face of a nuclear accident, nuclear terrorist attack or operations in contaminated territory.
When you are in the field during an emergency incident, there are likely hundreds of questions that need answered – all at once. But those questions – Do the benefits of an action outweigh the total (operational and radiation) risks? Are total personnel health risks minimized? – can’t be accurately answered without clear, unambiguous data.
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BEAR allows direct comparison of all of the health and operational risks and benefits of each course of action. It analyzes health risks (combat, DNBI, and short- and long-term radiological health risk) and post-mission combat effectiveness.
BEAR can help with:
- Rescue operations
- Population evacuations
- Peacekeeping missions
- Combat operations
- Critical infrastructure emergencies
Key components of BEAR™ include:
The best estimates of health risks are used, instead of “safe-sided” estimates. Best estimates of health risks include the best estimate of an exposure or dose as well as the best estimate of acute (acute radiation syndrome) and long-term (increased fatal cancer risk) risk factors.
Mortality serves as the health risk metric. Mortality is an understood, well-defined health endpoint. Utilizing mortality as a health risk metric enables increased cancer risk due to radiation (or any other carcinogenic toxicant) to be included in a health risk assessment.
The mortality health risk metric equates an immediate fatality to a delayed fatality. The detriments are not equal, but the intent is to provide a health metric for use in course of action analysis – not an estimate of detriment.
Unit effectiveness serves as the operational risk metric. The reduced effectiveness of a unit due to personnel strength is a function of immediate fatalities, immediate combat casualties and the reduced unit effectiveness generated by high doses (>100 cGy) of radiation.
Readily Understood by Operators
BEAR translates health and operational risks into clear language so that the impact of radiation on both operations and health can be readily understood by those not trained in radiation risk.
Good Defensible Risk Management
BEAR allows leaders to minimize total health risks to all personnel affected by the incident and capture the information available at the time the decisions are made.
Inclusion of Long-Term Health Effects
For the first time, long-term health effects are directly included in an operationally relevant manner.
Consistency for All Operations
BEAR allows leadership to provide uniform responses to events in the United States and in deployed environments by harmonizing operational exposure guidance with established