WASHINGTON, D.C. – The National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), in partnership with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Incident and Emergency Center (IEC), last week conducted an International Radiological Assistance Program Training for Emergency Response Advanced (I-RAPTER A) training course at the IAEA headquarters in Vienna, Austria.
The I-RAPTER A course provided incident commanders and second line responders training to address significant detailed response measures associated with a response to a nuclear and/or radiological incident or event. The I-RAPTER A course was provided to 26 participants representing 16 countries. At the conclusion of the course, international first responders were able to appropriately respond to incidents involving radioactive material.
“Our strong partnership with IAEA is integral in our efforts to improve global nuclear and radiological emergency preparedness and response capabilities,” said NNSA Associate Administrator for Emergency Operations Joseph J. Krol. “NNSA, with its unique and valuable technical expertise, continues to provide assistance to strengthen worldwide capabilities. We can all learn from each other’s experiences in order to better protect the people and the environment in the event of a nuclear or radiological incident. We look forward to our continued cooperation with our international partners in the important area of radiological emergency response.”
The I-RAPTER A course was taught by personnel from the IAEA IEC and NNSA personnel from the Office of Emergency Operations, Sandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque and the Remote Sensing Laboratory at Joint Base Andrews.
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.
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.