The TEES Nuclear Security Science and Policy Institute (NSSPI) hosted the first leg of the four-week-long Nuclear Security Training Series (NSTS) at Texas A&M University from July 2nd to July 10th. Twenty-seven students and six faculty members from seven universities in India and one Brazilian university participated in the 2016 NSTS, which was sponsored by the U.S. State Department’s Partnership for Nuclear Security with logistics coordination by CRDF Global. The NSTS aims to further the study of nuclear security best practices at universities in India and Brazil and to promote academic research in this field.
While at Texas A&M, the NSTS participants attended lectures on nuclear security and nuclear security culture by NSSPI professional staff members, Dr. Sunil Chirayath, Dr. Craig Marianno, and Mr. Claudio Gariazzo, and took part in various practical training exercises. These included an in-class table-top exercise on nuclear security and insider threats, a radiation detection exercise, a radiation portal monitor exercise, a lost source search exercise, and an outdoor radiation source recovery exercise at the Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service’s Disaster City facility. The participants enjoyed the hands-on activities and tours, which exposed them to a number of facilities across Texas A&M.
NSSPI graduate students and recent graduates, Mr. Mohammed Hawila, Dr. Evans Kitcher, Dr. Manit Shah, and Mr. Jeremy Osborn, also presented four thesis and dissertation topics to the group in order to demonstrate the breadth of research in nuclear security being done at Texas A&M.
To complete their experience in Texas, the participants also took a tour of the NASA Johnson Space Center in Houston, which was sponsored by Texas A&M, and attended the U.S. Independence Day celebration at the George Bush Presidential Library and Museum.
At the end of their week at Texas A&M, the participants traveled to Albuquerque accompanied by NSSPI Program Assistant Ms. Kerrie Ford for the next part of the NSTS at Sandia National Laboratories. From there they traveled to Oak Ridge National Laboratory with NSSPI Research Engineer Mr. Claudio Gariazzo for the last formal part of the series. The U.S. tour culminated with the NSTS group participating in the 57th Annual Meeting of the Institute of Nuclear Materials Management (INMM) in Atlanta, Georgia.