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Radiological Emergency Response Team

Radiological Emergency Response Team

The Radiological Emergency Response Team (RERT) of the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) responds to emergencies that involve the release of radioactive materials. The team responds to emergencies such as accidents at nuclear power plants , accidents involving the shipment of radioactive material, and acts of nuclear terrorism. RERT works with the EPA Superfund Program, as well as federal, state, and local agencies to develop and enforce strategic plans.

RERT is based in the EPA Office of Radiation and Indoor Air in Washington, D.C., and at two national laboratories. Environmental monitoring and assessment is performed by employees at the National Air and Radiation Environmental Laboratory in Montgomery, Alabama, and the Radiation and Indoor Environments National Laboratory in Las Vegas, Nevada. Approximately 75 RERT members were stationed in Washington and at the laboratories in the spring of 2002.

In an emergency, an RERT field team goes to the site where radioactive material was released. The team's duties include taking environmental measurements and doing laboratory work. In addition, RERT works with state and local authorities to protect the public from exposure to harmful radiation levels. Team equipment ranges from a mobile radiation laboratory to the personal dosimeter used to measure the radiation dose in an individual.

[Liz Swain ]

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