WASHINGTON, D.C. – The National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) last week conducted an International Radiological Assistance Program Training for Emergency Response (I-RAPTER) training in Almaty, Kazakhstan.
The training, held at the Institute of Nuclear Physics in Almaty, included using radiation detection equipment to locate hidden radioactive sources during a practical exercise. At the conclusion of the course, international first responders were able to appropriately respond to incidents involving radioactive material.
“Over many years, NNSA has developed the knowledge and expertise needed to help other nations improve their emergency response capabilities,” said NNSA Associate Administrator for Emergency Operations Joseph J. Krol. “Partnering with Kazakhstan and sharing our insights helps improve preparedness and could help Kazakhstan better respond to nuclear or radiological emergency should there ever be one. NNSA will continue to provide our unique technical expertise and assistance to the international community, making people around the globe safer from nuclear or radiological incidents.”
The I-RAPTER training had 22 participants from the Ministry of Emergency Situations; Kazakhstan Atomic Energy Committee; Ministry of Health, State Sanitary and Epidemiologic Surveillance Committee; Ministry of Internal Affairs; and National Security Committee.
The I-RAPTER training was conducted by personnel from NNSA; NSTec’s Remote Sensing Laboratory from Joint Base Andrews and Nellis Air Force Base; and Sandia National Laboratories, Albuquerque, N.M.
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.