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B. Using the Internet to Track Airborne Hazards

Narrator: This is Science Today. If terrorists attack a city with radioactive, chemical, or biological weapons, emergency response teams will need to know how the toxic material will move through the affected area. A group of scientists at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory first tracked airborne hazards in 1979 during the Three Mile Island accident. Lab scientist John Nasstrom says much progress has been made in creating models for the atmospheric movement of toxic agents.

Nasstrom: More recently we've developed a new internet and web technology which makes it much easier to access our capabilities and this is the technology that we're starting to bring to cities and demonstrate it and show that it can be useful.

Narrator: The program is being tested in Seattle this year.

Nasstrom: And so we've started with the Fire Department. We've started training the HAZMAT teams, for example, how to use our software tools to quickly request a prediction using an internet connection and getting a result back from our three-dimensional atmospheric models in about 5 to 10 minutes.

Narrator: For Science Today, I'm Larissa Branin.