WASHINGTON, D.C. – The National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) today announced that its Emergency Operations team partnered last week with New Mexico law enforcement officials to provide training to improve the detection of radiological material along the state's borders.
NNSA is the nation's premier responder to nuclear or radiological incidents within the United States or abroad and provides operational planning and training to counter both domestic and international nuclear terrorism.
"Because of our expertise in handling, securing and detecting nuclear material over the last sixty years, NNSA is uniquely equipped to share our expertise with state and local officials," said NNSA Associate Administrator for Emergency Operations Joseph Krol. "Working together, we improve our ability to detect radiological materials and make our nation a safer place to live. Cooperation like this is an example of the return our nation gets on its investment in nuclear security."
The three-day training took place at the New Mexico Port of Entry in Anthony, New Mexico. It involved NNSA and the New Mexico Motor Transportation Police, which provides law enforcement traffic services to ensure the safe and legal operation of commercial motor vehicles and to prevent the introduction of illicit contraband into the state.
NNSA experts and New Mexico officers examined trucks that had tripped radiation detection alarms, surveyed those vehicles with radiation detection equipment and identified the radioactive materials with high resolution spectroscopy equipment. Most alarms were caused by low-level, naturally occurring radioactive material in transport. Examples include floor tiles, gravel, fertilizer, and propane.
Established by Congress in 2000, NNSA is a semi-autonomous agency within the U.S. Department of Energy responsible for enhancing national security through the military application of nuclear science in the nation's national security enterprise. NNSA maintains and enhances the safety, security, reliability, and performance of the U.S. nuclear weapons stockpile without nuclear testing; reduces the global danger from weapons of mass destruction; provides the U.S. Navy with safe and effective nuclear propulsion; and responds to nuclear and radiological emergencies in the U.S. and abroad. Visit http://www.nnsa.energy.gov/ for more information.
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