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Nation's Radiological Assistance Program teams practice emergency response


Radiological Assistance Program (RAP) teams from around the country gathered in Albuquerque in late March as part of RAP Training for Emergency Response (RAPTER). This training consists of an intensive series of drills conducted four times a year to provide recertification for members of Department of Energy (DOE)/National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) nuclear incident response teams.

“RAPTER ensures the readiness and competence of individual team members to respond to radiological events or emergencies,” said Jay Tilden, NNSA Acting Associate Administrator and Deputy Under Secretary for Counterterrorism and Counterproliferation.

RAP is the nation's premier first-response resource in assessing a radiological emergency and advising decision-makers on further steps to take to evaluate and minimize the hazards of a radiological incident. There are nine RAP regions around the country. Federal, state and local organizations including  NNSA, the FBI, New Mexico State Police and other city, county and state assets are participating in the Albuquerque RAPTER training.

Established in the late 1950s, RAP provides radiological emergency response assistance to the states, tribal entities, and federal agencies. The teams provide a 24/7 response capability for any incident or accident involving radioactive material. RAP Teams consist of federal and contract employees who regularly work with radioactive material at DOE and NNSA facilities.

The RAPTER program was created in 1994 to provide additional technical training needed for RAP Teams. The RAPTER class consists of lectures, capability exercises, and team response exercises.