Skip to main content

You are here

About Emergency Response

NNSA’s Office of Emergency Operations is the United States government’s primary capability for radiological and nuclear emergency response and for providing security to the nation from the threat of nuclear terrorism. The Office of Emergency Operations maintains a high level of readiness for protecting and serving the U.S. and its allies through the development, implementation and coordination of programs and systems designed to serve as a last line of defense in the event of a nuclear terrorist incident or other types of radiological accident. This readiness level provides the U.S. government with quickly deployable, dedicated resources capable of responding rapidly and comprehensively to nuclear or radiological incidents worldwide. 

The Office of Emergency Operations focuses on the following key areas:

  1. Radiological search – NNSA deploys teams to look for and identify radiological material.
  2. Render safe – This is a specialized activity of making sure a nuclear device is safe if such a device is found.
  3. Consequence management – This is the characterization of the spread of radiological material if some type of terrorist event or natural occurring event or accident.

NNSA teams are deployed more than 100 times a year mainly within the U.S. and most are radiological search deployments. The deployments are intelligence driven, support of law enforcement, and planned events such as the Super Bowl, presidential inaugurations or political conventions.

Emergency Operations work is done through a number of programs:  

Planning for Emergencies

NNSA develops and implements specific programs, plans, and systems to minimize the impacts of emergencies on worker and public health and safety, the environment, and national security.
Learn More >

Responding to Emergencies

NNSA's mission is to protect the public, environment, and emergency responders from both terrorist and non-terrorist events by providing a responsive, flexible, efficient, and effective radiological emergency response framework and capability for the nation.
Learn More >

International Programs

NNSA uses a multi-tiered approach to strengthen worldwide emergency preparedness, while developing capabilities to respond to international nuclear events.  
Learn More >       

Emergency Communications

NNSA's Emergency Communications Network (ECN) provides managers at NNSA with the capability to exchange real-time voice, data, and video information for managing emergency situations that involve NNSA assets and interests. 
Learn More >

Operations Center

The Office of Emergency Operations Support maintains situational awareness of the nation's energy infrastructure and nuclear weapons complex and facilitates management of national emergency events via a secure nationwide communications network. 
Learn More >

Emergency Operations Training

NNSA provides training to emergency managers and emergency responders through the Emergency Operations Training Academy (EOTA). EOTA provides state-of-the-art training and education for NNSA to enhance the readiness of personnel in the emergency operations community.
Learn More >

Continuity Program

NNSA develops and implements the policy of the United States to maintain a comprehensive and effective continuity capability composed of an integrated, overlapping national continuity concept in order to ensure the preservation of the U.S. government and the continuing performance
of federal agencies' essential functions.
Learn More >