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ORISE Expert a Key Contributor in the Development of Recently Released ANSI Standard

May 24, 2007

OAK RIDGE, Tenn.—In an age when the threat of radiological terrorism continues to require more extensive training of our nation’s emergency and security personnel, the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE) is lending its reputation and expertise in health physics instrumentation and training to help protect our country.

ORISE Health Physics and Training Manager Alex Boerner recently maintained an active role as co-chair in the development of American National Standards Institute (ANSI) N42.37, which provides training in basic radiation detection and the proper use of detection instruments in support of homeland security.

The training (segmented into three levels) is intended primarily for organizations involved in radiological detection, interdiction and prevention efforts, including law enforcement, private sector security personnel, the U.S. Postal Service and private shippers. Students participating in the training will first gain a basic understanding of radiation and radioactivity before moving on to learn about radiation detection, assessment, identification and their roles in interdiction and prevention.

ANSI N42.37 will be taught concurrently with preceding standards ANSI N42.32 through N42.35, which identify radiological detection devices including personal, portable and hand-held instruments, and portal monitors.

"The intent of our working group's efforts in producing this standard was to focus on radiation training associated with events occurring before, rather than after, a radiological event," said Boerner. "Any time we can better prepare our nation in advance for radiological terrorism events, the greater our ability will be to protect public health and safety."

The standard, formally known as "American National Standard for Training Requirements for Homeland Security Purposes Using Radiation Detection Instrumentation for Interdiction and Prevention," was supported by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, sponsored by the ANSI N42 National Committee on Radiation Instrumentation and accredited by the American National Standards Institute. It is now available from the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers at

The Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE) is a U.S. Department of Energy institute focusing on scientific initiatives to research health risks from occupational hazards, assess environmental cleanup, respond to radiation medical emergencies, support national security and emergency preparedness, and educate the next generation of scientists. ORISE is managed by Oak Ridge Associated Universities.

ORAU provides innovative scientific and technical solutions to advance national priorities in science, education, security and health. Through specialized teams of experts, unique laboratory capabilities and access to a consortium of more than 100 major Ph.D.-granting institutions, ORAU works with federal, state, local and commercial customers to advance national priorities and serve the public interest. A 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation and federal contractor, ORAU manages the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE) for the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).

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