National Nuclear Security Administration

NNSA celebrates 10th anniversary of Alarm Response Training at Y-12 National Security Complex

April 8, 2019

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Administrator attends ceremony to laud program that has trained more than 6,400 participants from 48 states and 19 countries

OAK RIDGE, Tenn. – A one-of-a-kind training program that prepares emergency responders to protect themselves and the public when responding to attempted thefts of radioactive material has completed 10 years of operation.

The Alarm Response Training Program (ART) at the Y-12 National Security Complex has conducted 180 training courses for more than 6,400 participants from 48 states and 19 countries on how to prepare for potential events involving radioactive materials in hospitals, universities, and other institutions. The participants conduct hands-on training in a realistic setting at Y-12 using protective equipment and real radioactive sources.

We all have a stake in preventing and responding to radiological events,” said Lisa E. Gordon-Hagerty, Department of Energy Under Secretary for Nuclear Security and NNSA Administrator, during a ceremony today at Y-12. “This training program is an exceptional resource for emergency responders across the country and around the world.

The ART course also provides a unique opportunity for professionals who manage radioactive materials to train with security forces and local law enforcement. Together, these students develop, discuss, and exercise their own procedures when responding to a theft or sabotage event involving high-risk radioactive materials. The course features realistic alarm scenarios. This training bridges interagency efforts to reduce the risk of radiological terrorism.

“NNSA and the Y-12 National Security Complex leverage our 75 years of nuclear materials expertise to assist our nation's first responders,” said Morgan Smith, President and CEO of Consolidated Nuclear Security, LLC (CNS). “For 10 years now, this course has better prepared communities across the nation to prevent, detect, or respond to an event involving radioactive materials. We are proud to continue our tradition of fulfilling our mission to maintain and enhance global security.”

The ART program is a part of NNSA’s Office of Radiological Security under the Office of Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation.

CNS operates Y-12 and the Pantex Plant in Texas for NNSA.