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Press Release

NNSA Provides Aerial Radiation Detection Training to Chicago PD
Jan 29, 2008

WASHINGTON, DC - The federal government's experts in detecting radiation are partnering with Chicago's police department in a pilot effort to train local law enforcement officers to use advanced detection methods. The aerial radiation detection training will be provided by the United States Department of Energy's National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) this week.

"NNSA has years of experience in radiation detection using airborne detectors in our own Aerial Measurements System helicopters and airplanes," said NNSA Associate Administrator for Emergency Operations Joseph J. Krol. "We are looking forward to partnering with the Chicago police to help them to better understand and use these systems in the most effective ways possible."

In conjunction with the Department of Homeland Security's Domestic Nuclear Detection Office (DNDO), NNSA will train the police aviation unit on radiation detection. The course is designed to prepare law enforcement officers to conduct a radiological surveillance mission using a radiation detection system mounted on a helicopter. This system detects gamma radiation and will help locate a potential dirty bomb or other radiological source.

This training is a part of a joint NNSA/DNDO pilot project that could later be expanded to cover additional cities.

NNSA's Aerial Measuring System characterizes ground-deposited radiation from aerial platforms. These platforms include fixed wing and rotary wing aircrafts with radiological measuring equipment, computer analysis of aerial measurements, and equipment to locate lost radioactive sources, conduct aerial surveys, or map large areas of contamination.

Established by Congress in 2000, NNSA is a separately organized 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.

Media contact(s):
NNSA Public Affairs (202) 586-7371