CBRN / HazMat Training Blog

Idaho Falls: The First Nuclear Meltdown in America’s History

Written by Bryan W Sommers - SGM U.S. Army, Ret. on 11 April 2024

The explosion at SL-1 U.S. Army research facility near Idaho Falls in 1961 during the early years of nuclear power development was a grim and tragic reminder of the power and danger of nuclear fission. The accident resulted from a range of factors, including inadequate design, inadequate materials testing, and poor procedures and training.


The Goiânia Incident: Lessons from a Radiological Disaster

Written by Steven Pike on 19 March 2024

In September 1987, a small amount of Cesium-137 was removed from an abandoned cancer-therapy machine in Brazil. This petty theft resulted in hundreds of people being eventually poisoned by radiation from the substance. The incident highlighted the danger that even relatively small amounts of radiation can pose.


Radioactive Sources: What They Do and the Need for Caution

Written by Steven Pike on 06 March 2024

Argon’s Steven Pike considers what radiation sources are and why despite their application in everyday life, the existence of radiation sources should not be taken for granted.


The Dangerous Legacy of the Soviet Union’s Use of Nuclear Technology

Written by Steven Pike on 21 February 2024

Argon’s Steven Pike considers the history and legacy of the Soviet Union’s search for remote energy supply. 


Using Orthogonal Detection During CBRNe and HazMat Training Exercises

Written by Steven Pike on 03 August 2023

For many incidents involving specialist CBRNe or HazMat teams, standard protocol may dictate the practice of orthogonal detection, or the use of multiple pieces of equipment to rule out potential false positives. 


Create engaging first responder radiation training scenarios

Written by Steven Pike on 13 December 2022

"Nothing can compare with realistic training in the fire and rescue service."

- Ross Smallcombe, Firefighter


Transportation emergency preparedness with radiation simulators

Written by Bryan W Sommers - SGM U.S. Army, Ret. on 28 November 2022

Emergency preparedness starts with building confidence and familiarity with key radiological terminology and instrumentation. This is especially the case when training for transportation emergencies.

While there’s a minimal chance of responders being exposed to harmful quantities of ionizing radiation during daily duties, there is still the very real risk of encountering radioactive material when attending the scene of a transportation accident.

This is why emergency personnel need access to key training and technical assistance to safely and effectively mitigate the effects of radiation incidents.

In this article, we’ll look at:

  • How the Transportation Emergency Preparedness Program (TEPP) can teach responders how to react to radiation accidents
  • The importance of real-experience training to support emergency preparedness
  • A new training tool which can elevate responder radiation training

Related: Running a Safe, Cost-Effective, and Efficient Radiation Training Simulation


5 Tools To Enhance The Realism of Radiation Training

Written by Steven Pike on 03 August 2022

Successful radiation training scenarios rely on the extent to which the instructor is able to create a compelling, hands-on and truly life-like training experience. 


7 Most Effective Radiation Hazards Simulators

Written by Steven Pike on 04 March 2022

When planning a radiation hazard training scenario, instructors have traditionally opted for real sources in order to enable students practice with the instruments they will actually use. While this is certainly effective for training, it does pose significant disadvantages. Cost, regulatory requirements, procurement, end of life disposal , and time constraints will all need to be considered when organising training utilising real sources.


5 Ways Index Cards May Be Inhibiting Your First Responder Training

Written by Bryan W Sommers - SGM U.S. Army, Ret. on 25 February 2022

If you’re a first responder, you have probably undergone training with index cards at some point in your career. This tried-and-tested method helps trainers provide information to downrange operators that should initiate a response or action from those operators.