Radiological Emergency Planning

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Above all, the quality and experience of the presenters would be tough to match anywhere. I feel this course may be of great value to anyone even remotely connected to radiological emergency planning.
  • —Bruce E. Conning, RSO
  • Manager, Radiation Protection, AREVA NP Canada

Program Overview

Comprehensive Radiological Emergency Planning: Strategies, Communication, and Response

Radiological emergency planning is used to mitigate the effects of events such as a release at a nuclear power plant, the detonation of an improvised nuclear device, or an explosion involving a radiological dispersal device (dirty bomb). While these types of emergencies are rare, they have the potential for devastating and widespread harm. Minimizing the likelihood of harm to the public requires a thorough and well-designed radiological emergency plan.

Radiological Emergency Planning: Terrorism, Security, and Communication brings together leaders in radiation protection and emergency management to provide you with skills and strategies to effectively plan for radiological emergencies. As a participant, you will learn to prepare for, respond to, and mitigate the effects of radiological emergencies at the federal, state, local, or individual facility level. This program is unique in bringing together stakeholders from across agencies, functions, and backgrounds for an intensive look at effective planning for emergencies involving radioactive materials.

This program moves beyond the basics of emergency planning to provide skills and strategies for communicating about radiological emergencies, medically managing casualties of incidents involving radioactive material, and supporting other organizations during these crises. As a participant, you will hear the latest updates from federal and state agencies about:

  • Emergency preparedness for terrorist activities
  • Lessons learned about how best to communicate with the media and public
  • Terrorist incidents involving radioactive materials
  • The new US federal framework for Homeland Security
  • Updates on emergency preparedness issues for nuclear utilities

This program will enhance your capabilities as an emergency planner and allow you to provide more efficient and effective oversight of radiological emergency planning and response efforts.

Develop a Network of Emergency Management Professionals

Participants in this course will be emergency planners and managers from nuclear power plants and local, state, and federal government, brought together by their commitment to protecting public health from radiological emergencies. This program is a unique opportunity to meet with and discuss emergency management from the perspective of all stakeholders involved in radiological emergency planning, response, and management.

Optional Half-Day Course on Radiological Units, Quantities, and Fundamentals

Understanding the biological effects of radiation and how to measure exposure to radioactive material are important both for your participation in this course and for responding effectively to radiological emergencies. This half-day refresher course, taking place on Monday, provides participants with the fundamentals of radiation, including:

  • Atomic structure, radioactivity, and interactions
  • Radiation quantities and unites
  • Sources of natural background radiation
  • Biological effects and risks of radiation


Learning Objectives

  • Apply basic principles and fulfill requirements for a comprehensive radiation emergency plan
  • Demonstrate compliance with roles and responsibilities that support Department of Homeland Security initiatives
  • Deploy decision-making to assist in state and local reaction planning for radiological emergencies
  • Integrate lessons learned about communications into specific emergency response plans
  • Understand the need for, and application of, protective action guides in emergency planning
  • Medically manage the casualties of radiological incidents without significantly increasing risks to first responders and first receivers

Credits and Logistics

Please note: A laptop or other portable personal computing device is strongly recommended for course enrollees.


Program Check-in

Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health
FXB Building
651 Huntington Avenue
Boston, MA 02115

The program takes place at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, located in the heart of the Harvard Longwood Campus in Boston. Public transportation is readily available to the city’s many shopping districts, museums, and restaurants.

For directions, please click here.

Continuing Education Credit

All participants will receive a Certificate of Participation upon completion of the program.

Who Should Participate

This course is designed for anyone involved in emergency planning, response, or recovery in the public, private, or nonprofit sectors. Health physicists, public safety professionals, and first receivers and responders will also find this program beneficial. Foreign and domestic participants from organizations with the following functions are likely to attend:

  • Nuclear or energy-industry regulatory bodies
  • Homeland security and emergency management agencies
  • Defense or military organizations
  • Departments of health
  • Power generation, especially nuclear power generation
  • State and local emergency agencies
  • State radiation control agencies