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NNSA Provides Training to Emergency Responders in Mexico

MEXICO CITY – The National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), in cooperation with Mexico’s National Commission of Nuclear Safety and Safeguards and the National Center for Disaster Prevention, last week held a four-day workshop on radiological contamination and accident casualties aimed at further developing Mexico’s strategic crisis response capabilities. The workshop comes as Mexico prepares for the 2011 Pan American Games to be held in Guadalajara, Mexico in October.

“NNSA was pleased to provide medical response training as part of our ongoing cooperation with Mexican authorities,” said NNSA Associate Administrator for Emergency Operations Joseph Krol. “It’s important that we strengthen cooperation on nuclear and radiological incident response, particularly as Mexico prepares to host the Pan American Games this October. As part of NNSA’s comprehensive approach to nuclear and radiological incident response, emergency radiation medical training leverages the decades of experience we have at NNSA and at our Radiation Emergency Assistance Center/Training Site.”

These training courses are conducted around the world by NNSA’s Office of Emergency Operation’s Radiation Emergency Assistance Center/Training Site (REAC/TS). 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 radiation events.

The workshop in Mexico trained 220 physicians, nurses, hospital administrators, emergency personnel, and representatives of the Mexican Red Cross to respond to and treat radiation casualties. 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.

For more information on REAC/TS, 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.