‘Atomic Thunder’ Radiological Counterterrorism Tabletop Exercise

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Atomic Thunder Radiological Counter-terrorism Exercise

Partners gather during “Atomic Thunder,” a WMD counterterrorism table top exercise in Narragansett, Rhode Island. Image courtesy of NNSA

The FBI’s Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD) Directorate, in partnership with the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), recently challenged Rhode Island emergency responders during a radiological emergency tabletop exercise called ‘Atomic Thunder’.

Emergency management personnel from Narragansett and the surrounding area participated at the Rhode Island Nuclear Science Center.

Developed for Federal, state, and local government agency partners, the exercise was the capstone event to NNSA-led training on physical protection upgrades and response to alarms.

The six-hour event challenged participants to develop plans of action in response to a hypothetical event–terrorist theft of radioactive materials and the subsequent use of those materials in a radiological exposure device.

Subject-matter experts described organizational capabilities and roles during and after a terror incident involving radiological materials, and injected new scenario elements throughout the exercise.

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