National Nuclear Security Administration

New Radiological Assistance Program Center of Excellence is ready

August 28, 2019

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NNSA Associate Administrator and Deputy Under Secretary for Counterterrorism and Counterproliferation Jay Tilden cuts the ribbon for the renovated RAP 1 facility at Brookhaven National Laboratory in Brookhaven, New York.
NNSA Associate Administrator and Deputy Under Secretary for Counterterrorism and Counterproliferation Jay Tilden cuts the ribbon for the renovated RAP 1 facility at Brookhaven National Laboratory in Brookhaven, New York.
NNSA Associate Administrator and Deputy Under Secretary for Counterterrorism and Counterproliferation Jay Tilden receives a tour of the Brookhaven National Laboratory facility from RAP 1 Regional Equipment Manager Paul Philipsberg.
Tilden receives a tour of the facility from RAP 1 Regional Equipment Manager Paul Philipsberg.

For over 60 years, the Radiological Assistance Program (RAP) has provided on-call radiological search, monitoring, and assessment capabilities across the United States and around the world.

With the recent completion of an important facility renovation project at Brookhaven National Laboratory, the RAP Region 1 team is now better equipped to respond to a radiological incident in the northeastern United States. Senior leaders from NNSA’s Office of Counterterrorism and Counterproliferation traveled to Brookhaven, New York, at the end of August for a ribbon-cutting ceremony to mark the occasion.

“If you’re going to be the first class team in responding to and successfully resolving nuclear and radiological threats, then you deserve first class facilities,” said Jay Tilden, NNSA Associate Administrator and Deputy Under Secretary for Counterterrorism and Counterproliferation. “This is a great example of the partnership between the Office of Science, Brookhaven National Laboratory, and the NNSA in providing the necessary infrastructure to our world-class experts.”

Tilden was joined at the event by Jackson Crocker, Director of NNSA’s Office of Nuclear Incident Response, and Doon Gibbs, Director of Brookhaven National Laboratory.

RAP 1 ribbon cutting ceremony participants pose outside the facility at Brookhaven National Laboratory.
RAP 1 ribbon cutting ceremony participants pose outside the facility.

The RAP Region 1 volunteers and full-time personnel were previously located at several buildings that lacked adequate training space, storage, and a maintenance area. This renovation project consolidated administrative offices, training facilities, and storage areas into a newly refurbished facility that will enable more efficient and rapid deployment of regional assets. A new loading ramp will shed snow and water to improve safety, and a robust electrical system will support future growth and more advanced equipment.

Since becoming operational, the new facility has hosted training for the Defense Threat Reduction Agency, RAP team scientists, and the National Guard’s Weapons of Mass Destruction Civil Support Teams. “These improvements will enhance our team’s ability to carry out the mission and provide advanced support to our partner agencies in radiological emergency preparedness and response” said Jody Lupo, RAP 1 Regional Program Manager.

While RAP regularly provides security support for major events such as the Super Bowl, Boston Marathon, and Presidential Inauguration, the primary mission of this team of highly trained scientific experts is to respond to emergency incidents. RAP assisted with the aftermath of the Three Mile Island reactor accident in 1979, the September 11 terrorist attacks, and the Fukushima Daiichi reactor accidents in 2011.

Click here to learn more about NNSA’s nuclear incident response efforts online.