National Nuclear Security Administration

NNSA and partners from Alabama, Florida, and Georgia practice what they would do in case of radiological emergency

August 7, 2018

You are here

Participants in the Ingestion Pathway Exercise discuss techniques and approaches for a coordinated emergency response during refresher course in Alabama.
Participants discuss techniques and approaches for a coordinated emergency response during refresher course in Alabama.

Experts from NNSA’s Office of Nuclear Incident Response gathered with emergency preparedness personnel from Alabama, Florida, and Georgia recently for a refresher workshop to help improve readiness during a hypothetical nuclear power plant accident.

As part of the U.S. radiological emergency response mission, NNSA supports Ingestion Pathway Exercises (IPX). These exercises help federal, state, local, and tribal authorities – along with nuclear power plant licensees – demonstrate their collective ability to protect the public in the event of a nuclear or radiological emergency.

Prior to the planned exercise, NNSA hosted a refresher workshop that focused on three key topics: field monitoring, data collection techniques, and radiation dose assessment methods.

“Typically, NNSA provides training to individual state emergency responders but the location near Dothan allows us to meet officials from three states,” said Dr. David Bowman, NNSA’s Deputy Associate Administrator for Counterterrorism and Counterproliferation. “This provides a unique opportunity for an integrated and regional approach to the training, which will better reflect the response effort during a real event.”

As part of the monitoring portion of the training, participants honed their environmental field measurements techniques and collected samples that conform to Federal Radiological Monitoring and Assessment Center standards. This reduces uncertainty and error at the national level.

The hallmark of federal radiological incident management and response requires NNSA’s timely, secure, and actionable technical assessments to support state and local decision makers.

The Farley IPX is a multi-day training event that is scheduled for October at the Joseph M. Farley Nuclear Plant near Dothan, Alabama. Through tabletop exercises and simulated scenarios in the field, participants will demonstrate the region’s readiness to respond in the unlikely event of a power plant accident.