The Nonproliferation and Homeland Security Field Support Group provides radiological
assistance to federal and state agencies under the DOE Radiological Assistance
Program (RAP), field support for nuclear security programs such as the NNSA Material
Protection Control and Accounting Program (MPC&A), technical assistance to the
Department of Homeland Security (DHS), particularly its Domestic Nuclear Detection
Office (DNDO), and analyses and protection recommendations for events involving radiation
dispersal devices (RDDs). In addition, this group researches threat mitigation from
explosive devices, including the development of explosives denaturing materials and field
methods to characterize explosive devices.
The group has also developed protocols and procedures for calibrating first responder,
police and fire department personnel radiation detectors in the NYC metropolitan area and
surrounding communities. BNL plans to increase its assistance to police and first-responders
groups by offering training and assistance in establishing nuclear and radiological emergency
preparedness and response capabilities for local and state response agencies.
Specific activities and programs of the Nonproliferation and Homeland Security Field
Support Group include:
- The Radiological Assistance Program (RAP) supports DOE/NNSA radiological assistance efforts, upon
request, to other Federal agencies; state, tribal, and local governments; and to private
groups and individuals for incidents involving radiological materials. RAP provides
assistance to the appropriate on-scene authority by bringing capabilities to search for
lost or hidden radioactive materials, area monitoring, radiological advice and
consultation. BNL’s RAP Team is responsible for Region 1, the busiest RAP region,
covering the East Coast between Maine and Maryland and inland to the Pennsylvania-Ohio
border. When called by DOE, the RAP team is fully mobilized within two hours and arrives
on scene within six hours of notification.
- Technical Analyses of the likelihood (threat) that terrorists might use radiological dispersal
devices and what material and potential designs might be employed. BNL personnel also participate
in security system reviews at numerous facilities in NYC and the region that use radiation
sources, such as hospitals, research and development organizations and industrial entities and
make recommendations for improving security for these sources.
- Training of local and regional first responders for nuclear/radiological emergencies carried
out by the RAP team and other BNL experts.
- Design, construction and operation of large testing and training facilities such as the
Radiation Test and Evaluation Center (RADTEC) and the Graphite Sampling Tool (GST). Both
of these facilities provide hands-on practical testing and training capabilities for personnel
from BNL and elsewhere who will be deployed in the field for emergency or verification activities.