Nuclear/Radiological Incident Annex to the NRP
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The Nuclear/Radiological Incident Annex to the National Response Plan describes the organization and responsibilities of federal agencies during responses to incidents involving radioactive materials. During the response to an Incident of National Significance, the actions described in the annex may be implemented as part of the National Response Plan. They may also be implemented independently for incidents that are not considered to be of national significance. The Nuclear/Radiological Incident Annex is available as part of the NRP from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
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When the Nuclear/Radiological Incident Annex Is Used
The annex applies to incidents involving the release or potential release of radioactive material that poses an actual or perceived hazard to public health, safety, national security, and/or the environment. This includes many types of incidents:
- terrorist incidents involving radiological dispersal devices (RDDs) or improvised nuclear devices (INDs)
- reactor plant accidents
- lost radioactive material sources
- transportation accidents involving nuclear or radioactive material
- foreign accidents involving nuclear or radioactive material.
The level of federal response to a specific incident is based on many factors:
- ability of state, local, and tribal officials to respond
- type and/or amount of radioactive material involved
- extent of the impact or potential impact on the public and environment
- size of the affected area.
How Leadership Is Assigned under the Annex
The Department of Homeland Security is responsible for the overall coordination of the federal response to all nuclear or radiological Incidents of National Significance, including those involving terrorism. Other agencies are assigned by the Annex to one of two levels of participation during radiation incidents. They are either the Coordinating Agency or a Cooperating Agency.
- The Coordinating Agency is the one that is responsible for the radiological facility or activity involved in the incident. Coordinating agencies have primary responsibilities for federal activities related to the nuclear/radiological aspects of the incident.
- Cooperating Agencies provide technical expertise and resources to support the Coordinating Agency.
During a response to an Incident of National Significance, both Coordinating and Cooperating Agencies provide technical expertise, specialized equipment, and personnel to support of the Department of Homeland Security, which is responsible for overall coordination of incident management activities.
Coordinating Agencies under the Nuclear/Radiological Incident Annex (Source: NRP, December 2004, p. NUC-7.)
|Type of Incident||Coordinating Agency|
a. Radiological terrorism incidents (e.g., RDD, IND or radiological exposure device):
|b. Nuclear facilities:|
|c. Transportation of radioactive materials:|
|e. Foreign unknown or unlicensed materials:|
|f. Nuclear weapon accident/incident (based on custody at time of event)||DOD or DOE|
|Other types of incidents not addressed above||DHS designates|
*Certain areas of the coastal zone is defined by the National Contingency Plan to include the following:
- areas seaward of the shoreline to the outer edge of the Economic Exclusion Zone
- within the following waterfront facilities:
- dangerous cargo handling
- passenger terminals
- outer continental shelf activities
- waterfront portions of oil and hazardous material bulk transfer facilities
- maritime security facilities.