On August 6–8, 2019, Dinara Neimontaitė, the Head of the Center of Nuclear Security Competence (NSCOE), participated as an observer in the nuclear security exercise organized by the State Border Guard Service of the Republic of Latvia in Liepaja Sea Port.
The exercise was also attended by various competent authorities of the Republic of Latvia, which are responding or advising at the time of detection of radioactive, nuclear materials at border control posts – Customs of the Republic of Latvia, Radiation Protection Center, Liepaja Special Economic Zone Administration. D. Neimontaitė, together with a representative of the Customs Department of the Republic of Estonia, was invited to participate as observers and to share the experience of the Baltic States in organizing and conducting this type of exercises. In addition to representatives from Lithuania and Estonia, the exercise was monitored and by representatives of the United States Department of Energy.
The objectives of these exercises were to: assess the ability of competent authorities to respond in accordance with standard response procedures; and to assess the transmission and accuracy of information between institutions; assess the ability of personnel to use special radiation control equipment (hand-held measuring devices, mobile detection system, stationary radiation control equipment).
On the first day of the exercises, all participating institutions presented their activities and their role and capabilities in detecting radioactive, nuclear materials, participants and observers participated in the table exercises. On the second day, during the field exercises, two scenarios were observed and analyzed, followed by an immediate discussion of the results, actions taken by the responding officers, observations by the exercises supervisor, observers, assessors, best practices on equipment use, procedures improvement, exercises organization.
At the end of the exercises, the smooth cooperation between the authorities in the field of radiation control and in the detection of radioactive, nuclear materials was welcomed. The need for training in operating specialized radiation control equipment was identified. There was also discussed a need to organize joint exercises of various levels for Latvian, Estonian and Lithuanian officials performing radiation control. It was agreed that it would be useful to continue to organize such exercises when representatives from neighbouring countries were invited as observers.
© Photos from the NSCOE archives.