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PEP-3C - Critical Improvements for Health Physicists in Radiological and Nuclear Emergencies Part 3: A Nuclear Detonation

Annapolis 3   13:00 - 15:00

PEP-3C.   Critical Improvements for Health Physicists in Radiological and Nuclear Emergencies Part 3: A Nuclear Detonation WE irwin*, Vermont Department of Health ; AE Leek, SummitET; WJ Renno, Radiation Emergency Services; BW Palmer, Chainbridge Technologies; CL Alston, Chainbridge Technologies; M Callan, Chainbridge Technologies; Wi Irwin

Abstract: The United States likely possesses the greatest capabilities for responding to and recovering from a radiological or nuclear incident. Much of this is built on the eight-year cycle of exercises for U.S. nuclear power plants (NPPs). Unfortunately, there are numerous opportunities to become complacent or formulaic in the Radiological Emergency Preparedness Program. Thankfully, the National Council for Radiation Protection & Measurements, federal agencies and national laboratories are developing new tools and guidance that allows us to better succeed should there be a major release from an NPP or other nuclear reactor. This first of a three-part series of Professional Enrichment Program sessions considers how the U.S. has traditionally exercised its plans and procedures for nuclear reactor releases and how much more is needed to be genuinely prepared. Because it is so rarely practiced and because it is going to be the most resource-intensive, there will be significant discussion about recovery needs following a major release at a nuclear power plant. In addition to offering recommendations to improve our profession’s support of response and recovery following an NPP release, we will share new tools, techniques and guidance. One of the greatest concerns is the potential loss of funding and declining support for offsite response organizations. Losing this capability may worsen our national preparedness capacity as well as that at the state and local level. We also will describe how recruiting new and retired HPs for nuclear emergency response and recovery should bolster the HP profession overall. One of the resources developed recently is the Radiological Operations Support Specialist (ROSS). This FEMA Typed position can help serve local jurisdictions with volunteer HPs trained to develop and implement radiological and nuclear emergency plans, training, and exercises. For example, ROSS volunteers may help with unfunded planning, training and exercise needs. Similarly, the now super-charged CBRNResponder can be used freely by state and local HPs to ensure high resolution situational awareness, effective verification of collected data and clear visualization of the initially modeled and then subsequently measured radiological impacts all to make decision making most effective. For example, CBRNResponder cannot only assign responders to teams and geolocate fixed survey and sampling sites for EOC staff and responders alike to see, but can provide simulated radiation levels based on the plume models so responders see radiation levels change as they traverse to emergency planning zones. A very new tool, RadTeamSim.Route is a game-based platform using GPS and radiological data to immerse the user as a field team member traversing a simulated scene where responder doses accumulate while accomplishing missions. All three parts in the series are taught by responder scientists who have helped develop and test the aforementioned tools, techniques and guidance: Christine Alston and Brendan Palmer of Chainbridge Technologies, Bill Irwin, ScD, CHP of Vermont, Angela Leek, CHP of Iowa and Wendy Renno, PhD of Radiation Emergency Services.

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