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Course Description

PER-241 - WMD Radiological/Nuclear Course for HazMat Technicians

Course Description - Last updated 9/12/13

The course prepares the hazardous materials (HazMat) technician to respond to an incident involving a radiological or nuclear weapon of mass destruction (WMD), such as a radiological dispersal device (RDD, "dirty bomb") or an improvised nuclear device (IND). The course begins by giving the participant a conscious awareness of the fundamentals of radiation, health effects, recognition, and terrorist use of radiation and radiological material. Participants are given hands-on experience with radiation fields while learning the basic operation of radiation detectors and dosimeters. Participants are taught how to use these instruments to conduct surveys of personnel, vehicles, facilities, and outdoor areas. Hands-on activities blend cognitive knowledge of radiation and instruments with survey techniques used in detecting the presence of radiation, locating radioactive material, and measuring levels of radiation and radiological contamination. Once individual and small team skills are mastered, participants are taught operational considerations when responding to a radiological WMD incident. These considerations include operating in high-radiation areas, limiting responder radiation doses, and rescuing contaminated victims. Participants form operational teams that deal with cadre-evaluated realistic drills involving likely terrorist use of radiological material. The course culminates with an evaluation exercise requiring student teams, under a unified command, to respond to a terrorist attack on a facility, disbursing radiological material.

Course Objectives:

•     EXPLAIN the process for keeping exposure to radiation and radioactive material As Low As Reasonably Achievable (ALARA).

•  IDENTIFY several current radiological/ nuclear threats, including who may obtain and locate radiological/nuclear material and the impact and consequences of terrorist use of the material.

•   EXPLAIN the adverse health effects of ionizing radiation and the operational considerations for working near elevated levels of ionizing radiation.

• EXPLAIN the concepts of time, distance, and shielding to reduce exposure while operating in a radiation environment.

•  DESCRIBE the design and construction features of containers used for the transportation of radiological/nuclear material.

•   EXPLAIN how to operate both analog and digital radiological instruments to determine the presence and quantity of radiation.

•   EXPLAIN how to conduct radiological surveys of areas and equipment.

•  EXPLAIN the basic tactical procedures for handling a WMD radiological/nuclear incident.

•   EXPLAIN how to conduct and use personnel contamination survey techniques to determine the presence of radiological contamination.

•  DESCRIBE the radiological decontamination process for responders and the public.

How this course is offered:

Delivered at the U.S. Department of Energy, Nevada Test Site in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Target Audience/Discipline

Secondary Screeners such as Law Enforcement, Emergency Medical Services, Fire Service, Governmental  Administrative, Hazardous Materials (HazMat), Health Care, Public Health, Public Safety Communications, and Public Works, or other skilled personnel that provide immediate support services during prevention and deterrence of radiological/nuclear detection and interdiction operations.

Radioactive  Sources

This is live agent using real radioactive sources. It is designed and monitored so participants receive only minor radiation doses (lower than a chest X-ray or typical round-trip airline flight across the U.S.).


This course enhances the competencies defined in National Fire Prevention Association NFPA 472,  “Standard for Competence of Responders to Hazardous Materials/WMD Incidents,”for responding to specific radiological/nuclear WMD incidents, and augments the responder’s
knowledge and skills to perform those duties and functions.

Prerequisites & Other Information:

Enrollment Information

In order to attend a training class delivered by one of the FEMA/NPD training partners, a request must be submitted to the designated U.S. Department of Homeland Security training point of contact. For a Training Coordinator in your area, please call 877.963.2867 or email


To register for this course at the Nevada National Security Training Site please click on this registration form below, complete it and fax it to the SAA Training Point of Contact at (512)424-5647, or email to  or  where it will be signed and forwarded to the Consortium Partner:


Although not required, attendees should be State-Certified Hazardous Materials Technicians.

No tuition is charged.
All training and course materials are provided at no cost to eligible participants. Funding provided by the Federal Emergency Management Agency/National Preparedness Directorate U.S. Department of Homeland

Course Specifics

Hours: 32.00
Provider: Counterterrorism Operations Support (CTOS)
Disciplines: Emergency Management
Emergency Medical Service
Public Safety Communications
Health Care
Law Enforcement
Government Administration
Fire Service

Available Classes

No classes found.

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