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REAC/TS Provides Emergency Medical Response Expertise to Empire 09

Albany, N.Y.

The Empire 09 exercise was held in Albany, N.Y.

Medical and health physics professionals from the Radiation Emergency Assistance Center/Training Site (REAC/TS) at the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE) lent their radiation emergency response expertise by providing support to the Federal Radiological Monitoring and Assessment Center (FRMAC) during Empire 09.

A full field exercise sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), Empire 09 was conducted in June 2009 in Albany, N.Y. The scenario for the exercise was a terrorist attack using a dirty bomb or radiation dispersal device (RDD). The three-day exercise was specifically designed to evaluate the technical response and management of a domestic RDD incident in an urban environment.

As one of the National Nuclear Security Administration's emergency assets, REAC/TS deployed a staff physician, nurse and health physicist to establish an on-site aid station that offered real-time medical care for participating DOE assets during the exercise.

Exercise play involved the advice and consultation of additional REAC/TS staff physicians who answered questions from Oak Ridge. The exercise also tested the response capabilities of the Cytogenetic Biodosimetry Laboratory, where cytogeneticists analyzed irradiated blood samples sent from New York.