NNSA Provides Radiation Training to Medical Responders through IAEA Course

Press Release
Oct 16, 2009

VIENNA – The National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) offered radiation medical emergency training at the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) today in Vienna as part of its ongoing commitment to nuclear and radiological incident response. 

Medical personnel from 20 countries received training on procedures and methods to minimize the spread of radioactive contamination when treating and transporting patients and procedures to address injuries to personnel who are contaminated.  The IAEA, Brazil and France also provided lectures on actual radiological incidents.

"Radiation medical emergency training is part of NNSA's comprehensive approach to nuclear and radiological incident response," said NNSA Associate Administrator for Emergency Operations Joseph Krol.  "The breadth of our experience working in nuclear security over the past 60 years enables us to prepare other professionals for such incidents. By working with the IAEA to share that expertise with other countries, we strengthen overall global preparedness."

These training courses are conducted 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 radiological events.  In 2008 alone, REAC/TS received more than 200 calls for information and responded to approximately 50 calls for assistance.

In today's world, 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.

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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. Visit http://www.nnsa.energy.gov/ for more information.

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