State Watch

Austin holding ‘radiological incident’ exercise next week

Correction: This post has been updated to clarify the nature of the exercises the city of Austin is hosting.

Austin, Texas, will host a “radiological incident” exercise next week where government agencies will join together to practice their response systems to radiological attacks.

The exercise, called Cobalt Magnet 22, will be led by the Department of Energy’s (DOE) National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) from Monday to the following Friday.

Cobalt Magnet 22 will simulate a radiological attack to allow personnel from more than 30 local, state and federal agencies to hone their response systems.

The NNSA warned in a statement that residents of Austin may see “field teams in protective clothing using radiological monitoring and detection equipment, low-flying aircraft conducting data-gathering overflights, and groups of first responders and others staged at various locations.”

The Nuclear Emergency Support Team will provide radiological monitoring and assessment assistance to officials in Austin as the exercise proceeds.

“The men and women of the Nuclear Emergency Support Team – or NEST – are trained to provide decision-makers with timely, actionable scientific advice during fearful events,” said DOE Deputy Under Secretary for Counterterrorism and Counterproliferation Jay Tilden. “Saving lives and reducing the impact of a nuclear incident requires a full understanding of what happened, who will be affected, and what the optimal response should be. NEST’s bread and butter is providing that information to local, state, and federal leaders as rapidly as possible.”

Updated at 6:25 p.m.

Tags Austin Nuclear attack Nuclear preparedness

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