Sports venues for many years have been on the lookout for weapons like guns and knives at their entrance ways, and it would probably be very difficult for a bad actor to enter a stadium with a nuclear warhead. But other types of weaponry that emits radiation, such as so-called “dirty bombs,” are more difficult to detect.
That’s where equipment from a company like Thermo Fisher Scientific, based in Waltham, Mass., comes into play, says Scott Masiella, global safety and security market manager. “You pack a non-fissionable isotope like cesium, put an explosion next to it and make it an airborne particle, and people get radiation sickness,” he says. “The cleanup is going to be fairly expensive and take a long time. That’s probably the No. 1 thing that users of our equipment who monitor stadiums and sporting events are most concerned about.”