U.S. Radiological Response to the 2011 Japan Earthquake Lessons Learned

Steve Sugarman, MS, CHP, CHCM
Health Physics Project Manager
Radiation Emergency Assistance Center / Training Site (REAC/TS)

Steven M. Johnson
Regional Response Coordinator
DOE/NNSA Region 2 Radiological Assistance Program (RAP)

October 26, 2011

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Related Websites:
DOE/NNSA Situation Updates
National Nuclear Security Administration Office of Emergency Operations
Federal Radiological Monitoring and Assessment Center (FRMAC)
Radiation Emergency Assistance Center / Training Site
Radiological Assistance Program
The Medical Aspects of Radiation Incidents

27 Ratings Submitted
7 (26%) Academia 4 (15%)
14 (52%) Business 7 (26%)
6 (22%) Government 11 (41%)
0 (0%) Volunteers 2 (7%)
0 (0%) Other 3 (11%)

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"Very informative. Will there be additional webinars giving continued evaluations of the impact of the radiation releases related to the release data collected? I work with an emergency management team in my assigned county where a nuclear plant is located. My assignment is the agriculture member since I am an agronomy specialist with the University of Missouri. That is why my questions were about the exercises I participate in and how they compare to what actually happened in Japan."
Jim Jarman
University of Missouri Extension

"Question: Mr. Johnson: Were any amateur radio ("HAM") resources used during the incidence? IF not, would these have been a valued (auxiallary) asset? Thank you".
LW Abel (K7LWA)
The ABEL Group

"Nice description of response events in Japan. Those of us busy responding in the U.S. during this time didn't always get adequate reports of what was happening in Japan. Many thanks."
John Erickson
Washington State Dept of Health

"Excellent speaker choice. Timely topic. Could have provided more references to the technical information your speakers referenced. Thank You."
Paul Hays

"Thank you."
Don Monroe
University of Florida

"Good overview of what NNS and REACTs did in initial stages."
William R. Cumming
The Vacation Lane Group, Inc.

"The speakers were very informative. Would like to see another presentation in this area with more time for questions."

"Excellent topic. As a federal responder based on the west coast, I was active in initial response actions monitioring the earthquake and possible spread of the tsunami and fear of radiation. This was a fantastic summary of what some partners did during the event."
FEMA Region IX

"Very interesting & informative presentation on US response actions in Japan."
Stephen Payne
NC Emergency Management

"Great and informative presentation, Thank you."
J Kammel
Martin Co., FL EMA

"The technology was very much enjoyed."

"I have been curious for a while on what some lesson learned from this particular incident would be. The response to the disaster was done very well and working with the Japanese organizations as one unit to recover from this disaster was truly a great accomplishment."

"Having just heard a presentation from a safety director from one of our nearby nuclear plants, this provided a great deal of additional information that will aid in our planning for incidents."

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Mr. Steve Sugarman, MS, CHP, CHCM, is the Health Physics Project Manager at REAC/TS where he is responsible for responding to calls for radiation emergency assistance and performing radiation dose assessments as part of medical response. In addition, Sugarman develops educational materials and teaches REAC/TS specialized continuing medical education courses.

With more than 22 years of applied health physics experience, Sugarman's primary focus has been the integration of health physics into the medical management of radiation incidents. In the event of a radiation incident, Sugarman performs internal and external dose assessments that help guide a physician's diagnosis and treatment plan. He provides multiple phone consultations each year as part of REAC/TS 24/7 response service, providing practical guidance to health care professionals and concerned individuals worldwide. Prior to joining REAC/TS in 1999, Sugarman was a health physicist with two companies in Tennessee.

In addition to teaching responsibilities around the world, Steve is a frequent lecturer for many worldwide organizations. He has contributed to numerous publications on health physics topics and recently collaborated with REAC/TS colleagues to publish the pocket field guide, "The Medical Aspects of Radiation Incidents." Steve is a Certified Health Physicist and holds a master's degree in safety education and service from the University of Tennessee. He is also master-level certified by the Board of Certified Hazard Control Management. An active member of the Health Physics Society, he serves as a peer reviewer for the organization's journal.

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Steven M. Johnson is currently the Regional Response Coordinator for the Department of Energy/National Nuclear Security Administration Region 2 Radiological Assistance Program emergency response asset. Since 1999, he has been responsible for providing management oversight and direction for all activities related to the Region 2 RAP. He ensures program plans and procedures are developed and implemented and is responsible for ensuring RAP team members are qualified, trained, equipped and available to deploy on a 24-hour basis to incidents involving radiological/nuclear materials. He is also responsible for coordinating and conducting outreach and training activities with outside agencies to include interface for joint participation in drills and exercises.

Steven serves as a member of the Emergency Response Cadre in the positions of RAP Team Leader and Senior Energy Official in support of the RAP and as an Oak Ridge Office Emergency Operations Center Director for contractor fixed facility emergencies. Over the years, he has deployed numerous times to support National Special Security Events, Special Events, exercises and actual incidents.

Mr. Johnson received a BBA in 1978 from Middle Tennessee State University and has been with the Department of Energy since 1984, previously working as a Weapons Quality Assurance Inspector and an Emergency Management Specialist.