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NERHC 2015 Annual Meeting Offers Training Drills for First Responders
Posted on November 16th, 2015

The New England Radiological Health Committee (NERHC) 2015 Annual Meeting was held in Norwich, CT from November 16-20, 2015 with a joint session on November 18th with the New England Chapter of the Health Physics Society (NECHPS). During this meeting several drills took place, including an OSHA/EPA Hazwoper Refresher training, and a Simulated Commercial Reactor Accident at Millstone Power Station.  In addition, a number of workshops addressed emergency response measures such as mass deployment of dosimetry, use of instrumentation for detection of RDDs and WMDs, and environmental remediation strategies.

The OSHA/EPA Hazwoper Refresher training exercised the use of the Radresponder Network to report and gather information on radiological conditions.  This web-based portal is available to first responders for immediate information on the current dose profiles of any location, based upon the collective reports taken from remote sensors and hand held survey instruments in the area.  The Radresponder Network application also supports the use of training devices to allow drills to use simulated readings of radiation areas.  During the Hazwoper Refresher training, participants collected data to enter into this reporting system using SIM-TeqTM training simulators provided by RSCS.  Instructors setup up a radiation area using a TWRS source that is easily concealed.  The instructor set a maximum dose rate at 1' from the source, and deployed ICTD training devices which are simulated Ludlum model 9-3 ion chambers.  Each meter continually communicates wirelessly with the source and reports dose rates based on the proximity of the meter to the source.  Data collected with the ICTD devices was fed into the Radresponder Network to provide reference data used during the training and drills.

The NERHC drills used devices from the SIM-TeqTM product line of simulated sources and meters for two year in a row, as these devices provide the most life like simulation of hazardous conditions that cannot be achieved with exempt quantity check sources.  They allow a full range of response scenarios depending on the configuration of the sources for maximum dose at 1' distance.  The response characteristics of each meter model supported have been fully characterized using real instruments.  The strengths and limitations of each model type are engineered into the simulation software to provide the most accurate meter performance across it's detection range. 

For more information on the NERHC 2015 Annual Meeting, please click here.

For more information on the Radresponder Network, please click here.

For more information on the SIM-TeqTM product line, please click here.

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