NNSA Conducts Advanced Radiological Assistance Training for Iraqi First Responders

Press Release
Dec 4, 2013

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) this week is conducting an Advanced International Radiological Assistance Program Training for Emergency Response (I-RAPTER) course in Las Vegas, Nev., for a group of 15 Iraqi first responders headed by the Iraqi Radioactive Source Regulatory Authority (IRSRA).

The course focuses on border radiation monitoring, alarm interdiction and adjudication, characterization of detained or suspect cargo, and source recovery with extensive hands-on equipment operations using a wide range of radiation sources.

“This course demonstrates NNSA’s commitment in assisting Iraqi first responders to be prepared to handle hazardous material following a radiological incident or event,” said NNSA Associate Administrator for Emergency Operations Joseph Krol. “We will continue to provide our technical expertise and assistance to Iraq and to countries around the world.”

The course, a follow on to a March 2013 I-RAPTER course taught in Amman, Jordan, for Iraq and Jordon, is being conducted by personnel from NNSA and taught by instructors from Sandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque, N.M., and NSTec’s Remote Sensing Laboratory from Joint Base Andrews and Nellis Air Force Base.

One of NNSA’s primary missions is to ensure the safety, security and effectiveness of the U.S. nuclear weapons stockpile without the use of underground nuclear testing. In addition, NNSA provides the United States government’s primary capability for radiological and nuclear emergency response and for providing security to the nation from the threat of nuclear terrorism. With this expertise, NNSA provides nuclear emergency response support to local law enforcement, the Department of Homeland Security, the FBI and emergency responders in other countries.

NNSA currently collaborates with more than 80 foreign governments and 10 international organizations, with projects ranging from providing assistance in improving emergency preparedness and response programs, to joint collaborative activities to improve emergency management infrastructure worldwide.

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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. NNSA maintains and enhances the safety, security, reliability and performance of the U.S. nuclear weapons stockpile without nuclear testing; works to reduce 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.