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NNSA Celebrates 25th Anniversary of Federal Radiological Monitoring and Assessment Center

WASHINGTON, D.C. – This month, the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) is celebrating the 25th anniversary of one of the nation’s critical emergency response capabilities.  Led by NNSA, the Federal Radiological Monitoring and Assessment Center (FRMAC) was established to create a coordinated federal response in order to share critical data with state and local governments in the event of a radiological emergency.

“The Center is a prime example of our investment in nuclear security providing the United States with the tools to tackle broad national challenges,” said NNSA Administrator Thomas D’Agostino.  “For 25 years, FRMAC has provided the nation the unparalleled ability to respond to radiological emergencies with a quick, coordinated response across federal, state, and local agencies in the event of an emergency.  Today, we celebrate this anniversary and commend our emergency response professionals and emergency responders across the nation for working to make our communities safer and more secure.”

With support from across the nuclear security enterprise, NNSA maintains several emergency response assets that are integrated into FRMAC and used, when required, to predict and measure the concentration of radioactive materials in the air and on the ground, and evaluate weather conditions that affect the potential dispersal of radioactive materials.

FRMAC draws consequence management experts and information from other federal agencies and NNSA emergency response capabilities: Radiological Assistance Program (RAP) teams; the Aerial Measuring System (AMS); the National Atmospheric Release Advisory Center (NARAC); and, the Radiation Emergency Assistance Center/Training Site (REAC/TS). These assets can begin collecting data almost immediately following an incident and can be deployed to any location in the United States within six to 10 hours.

The center was officially created in November 1985 as part of the federal government’s response to the Three Mile Island nuclear incident in Pennsylvania. With its expertise in nuclear and radiological materials, the Department of Energy was assigned responsibility for overseeing this multiagency capability to address the technical response to radiological emergencies. Over the course of the last two and a half decades, FRMAC has worked to establish and maintain partnerships, stage exercises and increase its response capabilities. Today, many of FRMAC’s capabilities are online, allowing government officials to respond more quickly to a potential incident.

In conjunction with the 25th anniversary of FRMAC, NNSA released a new brochure detailing its history. To view the brochure, please click here.

To learn more about NNSA’s overall emergency response capabilities, please click here.

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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.