WASHINGTON, D.C. – The National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) today announced that it recently completed radiation medical emergency training in Baghdad, Iraq, as part of its ongoing commitment to nuclear and radiological incident response.
More than 40 representatives of the Iraqi medical community from the Ministry of Science and Technology, Ministry of Defense, Civil Protection and Radioactive Source Regulatory Authority participated in a three-day Radiation Medical Emergency Training course from April 11 to 13. The training course hosted by the Iraq Radioactive Source Regulatory Authority and sponsored by the U.S. Department of State and U.S. Embassy Baghdad was conducted by the NNSA’s Office of Emergency Operations.
“Radiation medical emergency training with Iraq is part of NNSA’s comprehensive approach to nuclear and radiological incident response,” said NNSA Associate Administrator for Emergency Operations Joseph Krol. “The breadth of our experience working in nuclear security over the past 60 years enables us to prepare other professionals for such incidents.”
The Radiation Medical Emergency Training course provides the medical professionals including doctors, nurses, and emergency medical team personnel with appropriate processes and procedures for stabilizing, handling, transporting, and care for individuals exposed to radiation and/or contaminated with radioactivity.
These training courses are conducted by NNSA’s Office of Emergency Operation's Radiation Emergency Assistance Center/Training Site (REAC/TS), and supported by personnel from the Oak Ridge Institute of Science and Education (ORISE). REAC/TS is tasked with medical management of radiation incidents and accidents. Since its inception, REAC/TS has responded to more than 2,450 calls for assistance and many more calls for information related to the medical management of radiological events. In 2008 alone, REAC/TS received more than 200 calls for information and responded to approximately 50 calls for assistance.
In today's world, radioactive materials or radiation generating devices are used in construction, medicine and industry. As radiation-based technology finds its way into ever-increasing areas of use, it is imperative that the medical community is able to appropriately respond to potential accidents involving ionizing radiation. The training also prepares the medical response community to effectively respond to radiological terrorism.
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 United States and abroad.
NNSA Public Affairs (202) 586-7371