National Nuclear Security Administration

Radiological Assistance Program marks 60 years at the forefront of nuclear response effort

June 18, 2018

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WASHINGTON – The Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration (DOE/NNSA) marks 60 years of the Radiological Assistance Program (RAP) this month.

On June 10, 1958, the Atomic Energy Commission established RAP as the Nation’s primary radiation safety specialists in the event of a radiological incident.

“Since its inception 60 years ago, RAP has been a unique national asset that provides experts in support of public health, safety, and national security to local, state, and federal decision makers,” said Jay Tilden, NNSA’s Associate Administrator and Deputy Undersecretary for Counterterrorism and Counterproliferation. “What makes DOE unique is not that we are first responders, but experts who respond. Most of our RAP team members have full-time positions within our laboratories, sites, and plants, and yet are on call to respond at a moment’s notice. I, along with all of us in the department and the agency, owe thanks to the past and current members of RAP for their vital contributions to public safety.”

Comprised of highly-skilled scientists and health physicists, RAP teams are regionally located throughout the United States for rapid response. These technical experts are equipped to conduct radiological searches, provide science-based monitoring and tailored assessment activities, and advise on public safety.

With RAP’s unparalleled radiological expertise, NNSA plays a key role in the U.S. Government’s preparedness effort for a nuclear weapon accident or incident, or for an act of radiological terrorism.

NNSA will host a commemoration in Washington, D.C. later this year to celebrate 60 years of RAP.