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Y-12 Opens New NNSA Alarm Response Training Academy

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) today celebrated the opening of the new NNSA Alarm Response Training Academy at the Y-12 National Security Complex. The facility houses the NNSA Alarm Response Training (ART) program which trains local law enforcement and other critical first responders around the country.

The NNSA Global Threat Reduction Initiative Alarm (GTRI) Response Training Program has been in operation for more than five years and has helped train some 3,400 on-site radiation safety and security personnel, local law enforcement officers and other personnel on how to respond to a security incident involving nuclear or radiological materials. Participants have come from 44 states and 18 countries.

“Nuclear and radiological terrorism is a threat that affects us all. It is one of the greatest threats to national and global security, and the Alarm Response Training program directly addresses this threat,” said NNSA Deputy Administrator for Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation Anne Harrington. “Reducing the risk of radiological or nuclear terrorism requires an organized approach that brings together officials and responders from the federal, state, local, and facility levels. NNSA is able to utilize its unique expertise and technical resources to partner with local communities and other agencies to make our cities safer here and around the world.”

The program features a three-day course held at Y-12. Participants in the program develop and discuss tactics, techniques, procedures and protocols for responding to a theft or sabotage event involving radioactive materials. After two days of classroom instruction, Y-12 experts facilitate live-action scenarios allowing participants to test their knowledge and exercise their revised response plans.

“National Security is the foundation of the NNSA and Y-12 mission,” said Toby Williams, manager of the Alarm Response Training program. “The NNSA GTRI Training Program uses the unique work force and the Y-12 site’s 70-plus years of experience in security and protecting nuclear materials to provide a very distinctive training program. This new training academy will help us take the GTRI ART program to a higher level of excellence and continue to highlight the Y-12 site’s experience in addressing security challenges.”

The ART program is a key component of the GTRI program, which works domestically with volunteer sites such as hospitals, universities, industry, and state and local governments to install sustainable security enhancements for high-priority nuclear and radiological materials. After GTRI has provided the security upgrades, on-site radiation safety and security personnel, local law enforcement officers, and other first responders participate in the ART course to learn how to use and respond to their new equipment and alarms.

NNSA, through the Office of Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation, works closely with a wide range of international partners, key U.S. federal agencies, the U.S. national laboratories, and the private sector to detect, secure, and dispose of dangerous nuclear and radiological material, and related WMD technology and expertise.

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 Y-12 is operated by Consolidated Nuclear Security, LLC (CNS). CNS operates Y-12 and the Pantex Plant, Amarillo, Texas, a under a single contract for the National Nuclear Security Administration, with a focus on the absolute priorities of safety, security, quality, mission delivery and cost efficiency. CNS member companies include Bechtel National, Inc., Lockheed Martin, ATK Launch Services, and SOC, with Booz Allen Hamilton as a teaming subcontractor. 

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. NNSA homepage: