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NNSA conducts radiation detection workshops in Tennessee and Tajikistan

Dushanbe, Tajikistan

The U.S. nuclear security agency recently concluded workshops aimed at blunting nuclear terror and radiation dangers at a Tennessee hospital and on the steppes of Asia.

The National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) said on Sept. 26 that it had completed a workshop to locate, identify and secure radioactive sources within Afghanistan and Tajikistan. The program, co-sponsored by the United Kingdom, builds on a strong foundation of radiological security work in Tajikistan, said the agency.

The workshop in Tajikistan’s capital, Dushanbe, was led by experts from NNSA’s Global Threat Reduction Initiative (GTRI) and included participants from Afghanistan’s Atomic Energy High Commissioner and Customs Department, and Tajikistan’s State Committee for National Security, Ministry of Interior Affairs, Department of Emergency and Civil Defense, and Nuclear and Radiation Safety Agency, among others.

GTRI’s search and secure program provided a five-day training course and a suite of equipment for the detection and characterization of radiological sources. This enables partner countries to search for, inventory and recover radiological sources to secure storage.

Separately in the U.S., NNSA contributed to a training course in Harrogate, TN at Lincoln Memorial University-Debusk College of Osteopathic Medicine (LMU-DCOM) the week of Sept. 17. The agency said more than 350 students and regional medical professionals participated in the course designed to prepare medical professionals to treat victims of terrorist attacks involving radiological materials and chemical agents.

The course, titled Agents of Opportunities for Terrorism, was jointly conducted by NNSA’s Radiation Emergency Assistance Center/Training Site (REAC/TS), the American College of Medical Toxicology (ACMT) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Office of Environmental Health Emergencies.

During the first day, participants learned how to identify and treat radiation induced injuries and illnesses. The second day of instruction, led by the ACMT, covered diagnosing and managing injuries and illnesses caused by chemical agents.

Originally developed by the CDC, Agents of Opportunities for Terrorism has been offered for the past three years to university personnel, hospital personnel and public health departments across the country. The workshop at  LMU-DCOM was the first time the course was offered to medical students on a university campus, said NNSA. Other participants included doctors, paramedics, nurses, and members of police, fire and other first response teams.


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