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REAC/TS joins IAEA Response Asset Network

REAC/TS staff load an aircraft with supplies as part of deployment preparations. As a U.S. Department of Energy and now RANET deployable asset, REAC/TS personnel are available to assist with the medical management of radiation incidents at various locations around the world (with approval from the National Nuclear Security Administration).

As a U.S. Department of Energy response asset and one of only two World Health Organization Collaborating Centers in the United States, REAC/TS is respected worldwide for its staff’s experience in the medical management of radiation incidents. In recent months, REAC/TS added to its international reputation by becoming the newest asset of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Response Assistance Network (RANET).

RANET is a global response arrangement designed to coordinate international assistance in the event of a radiation incident or emergency. The purpose of RANET is to strengthen the IAEA’s ability to provide assistance and advice, as well as promote emergency preparedness and response capabilities for radiological incidents among IAEA Member States.

Though at first only interested in gaining the capacity of the ORISE Cytogenetic Biodosimetry Laboratory, the IAEA welcomed REAC/TS in its entirety after learning more about the group's capabilities in radiation emergency medical response. RANET currently consists of subject matter experts from around the world, but REAC/TS is the only collective group that is deployable by the network (though all international deployments must be approved by the National Nuclear Security Administration).

REAC/TS Director Dr. Albert Wiley explained that the new responsibilities will significantly complement REAC/TS' international visibility in the event of an international radiological incident. "The relationship with IAEA will certainly enhance REAC/TS' reputation as an international asset and will likely result in members of the team being deployed more often in response to international radiation incidents of a medical nature," he said.

As the newest RANET asset, REAC/TS staff members have already been called upon to provide training on effective medical, radiological and emergency response during a nuclear incident. Staff delivered training to IAEA medical professionals from more than 20 countries at the IAEA Headquarters in Vienna, as well as for Kuwait government medical professionals at the Kuwait Ministry of Health.

Read more radiation emergency medicine success stories.