NNSA Office of Emergency Operations Develops Cutting-Edge Nuclear Terrorism Software

Press Release
Oct 18, 2010

WASHINGTON – The National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) today announced that its Office of Emergency Operations has developed and delivered a new X-ray image processing capability to the nation’s emergency response community. 

X-Ray Toolkit (XTK) is an application used by field responders and NNSA Laboratory experts to acquire, process and analyze X-ray images obtained during a potential nuclear terrorism incident. XTK development was sponsored by NNSA’s Emergency Operations technology integration program and implemented by its stabilization program.

“We have received overwhelmingly positive feedback about the XTK software from our operational partners across the nation,” said NNSA Associate Administrator for Emergency Operations Joseph Krol. “The application of state-of-the-art technical products to the nuclear counterterrorism mission is a central part of NNSA’s mission and an important aspect of our vision for this program. It also showcases our ability to leverage six decades of nuclear security expertise into a product that can be used by first responders from coast to coast.”

XTK was designed for joint use by Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) and NNSA Laboratory personnel during nuclear render safe operations, where specialized procedures, methods and tools prevent the detonation of a nuclear device. Previous software was converted for use from the medical diagnostic industry, not specifically designed for use by EOD experts.

Accordingly, XTK provides for the intuitive and efficient transfer of data from the site of a potential incident to NNSA Laboratories. This allows for critical information to seamlessly transfer from field responders to NNSA nuclear security experts during a crisis situation.

Sandia National Laboratories worked closely with NNSA Emergency Operations personnel during the development, testing, and training phases of this project.  Additional information for XTK development was obtained from NNSA response team members, FBI Special Agent Bomb Technicians, Department of Defense EOD experts and numerous state and local responders.

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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 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.