WASHINGTON, D.C. – The National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) today announced the conclusion of a joint International Radiological Assistance Program Training for Emergency Responders (I-RAPTER) conducted with the government of Malaysia this week.
Jointly led by NNSA’s Offices of Emergency Operations and Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation, the training included 30 participants from Malaysian customs, police, port authority and the Malaysian Atomic Energy Licensing Board (AELB). Currently, NNSA’s Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation provides a wide variety of radiation detection equipment along with technical training on that equipment and sustainability support. NNSA’s Emergency Operations provides concept of operations and radiological search training.
“By combining the two efforts, a more complete radiological security package can be provided to our international partners,” said Joseph J. Krol, Associate Administrator for Emergency Operations. “The training in Malaysia demonstrates NNSA’s continued commitment to provide a more robust protocol in countering the illicit movement of radiological material.”
A key component of the Malaysian I-RAPTER training is to ensure integration of the Malaysian AELB with port and customs personnel responsible for activities associated with the Megaports Initiative.
“We are excited by this collaboration and the opportunity it provides to support partner countries more effectively as they develop capabilities to respond to instances of potential illicit trafficking,” said Deputy Administrator for Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation Anne Harrington. “Collaborations such as this enhance our progress toward preventing terrorist acquisition of dangerous nuclear materials.”
Integration of the processes for isolating, identifying, handling and securing nuclear and radiological material with the detection of these materials through the Megaports Initiative will strengthen methods to detect and interdict illicit trafficking in nuclear and radiological material.
NNSA currently collaborates with more than 80 foreign governments and 10 international organizations with projects ranging from providing assistance to foreign governments in improving their emergency preparedness and response programs, to joint collaborative activities to improve emergency management infrastructure worldwide.
Last week, President Obama submitted to Congress the Administration’s FY 2012 budget request, which seeks to make critical investments in our nation’s nuclear security. It requests $11.8 billion, including $2.5 billion for NNSA’s nonproliferation programs to detect, secure, safeguard, dispose of, and control nuclear and radiological material around the world.
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.