Defining the tasks
To ensure that each group of specialists is able to carry out its work efficiently and effectively without inhibiting the other, a number of steps will need to be taken:
- Creating awareness
All those involved – nuclear scientists, forensic scientists and the emergency services (first-line responders) – will need to develop a keen awareness and understanding of each other’s needs, concerns and basic concepts.
- Developing procedures
Both groups of scientists will also need to jointly develop practical procedures that will enable them to work in an integrated way in what, for both, is unfamiliar territory.
- Extending research
Within conventional forensic science, a vast body of knowledge has been built up about how the environment affects traces of DNA, the body, and so on. Now research will be needed to extend that knowledge to the effect of radioactive materials on potential evidence. In addition, methods of decontaminating evidence will need to be developed as well as forensics methods for dealing with evidence that contains radio-active materials.