A Thesaurus for Radiological Terrorism Research

Changes in this Edition

A number of changes have been made in this revision. Changes to scope notes, terms, and related terms are highlighted throughout this document. These changes should clarify the precise meaning and use. Sturctural changes to broader and narrower term relationships are explained below.

One of the major structural changes is the removal of “radiological terrorism” as a root word for the entire thesaurus. Putting everything under one term was not my initial idea, but the use of the hierarchical display for both input and output lead me to think that was the preferred structure. I have removed “combating radiological terrorism,” “environmental effects,” “radiation protection,” “radioactive isotopes,” “radioactive material sources,” and “radiological injuries” from under “radiological terrorism.”

Still, I think “radiological terrorism goals,” “radiological terrorism scenarios,” and “radiological terrorism requirements” are necessary parts of “radiological terrorism,” so I have kept the first two in the hierarchy and added the third. This leads to multiple inheritance for “radiological terrorism requirements,” which is both a necessary part of “radiological terrorism” and “intelligence.”


The CTRS Radiological Terrorism Thesaurus contains descriptive terms used throughout radiological terrorism literature. The terms, their relationships, and their use were culled from several documents, including:

The thesaurus is presented in three forms: first, an alphabetical display of all included terms, including scope notes, preferred terms and synonyms, broader, narrower and related terms, and any scope notes; second, a hierarchical display of preferred terms only; and third, a rotated display of all terms.

Several relationships may be defined for any term in the thesaurus. Scope Notes (SN) are more detailed descriptions of a term’s use when necessary. A preferred term (USE) is a synonym for the term that has been selected for most uses—non-preferred terms do not show up in the hierarchical view. A non-preferred term (UF) is a synonym that may be found in the literature but is not used in the hierarchy. Broader terms (BT) are terms that represent more general classes of the current term. Narrower terms (NT) represent more specific instances or parts of the current term. Finally, related terms (RT) are related to the current term but not in any of the ways already noted.

View the Thesaurus [pdf]