National Atmospheric Release Advisory Center

The National Atmospheric Release Advisory Center (NARAC) is a support and resource center for emergency planning, real-time assessment, emergency response, and detailed studies of atmospheric releases of nuclear, radiological, chemical, biological, and hazardous natural materials. NARAC provides tools and expertise to simulate and map the spread and impacts of hazardous materials accidentally or intentionally released into the atmosphere. NARAC plume predictions inform decisions on actions to protect the public and the environment.

NARAC’s operations center and expert staff are available on a 24/7 basis to respond to emergencies anywhere in the world. Since its founding in 1979, the center has responded to hundreds of alerts, accidents, and disasters; supported thousands of exercises; and conducted studies for emergency response preparedness. NARAC has been serving the nation by preparing for and responding to nuclear power plant and processing facility accidents (including Three-Mile Island, Chernobyl, and Fukushima Dai-ichi), industrial chemical spills and fires, radiological exercises and incidents, planetary mission launches involving radioactive materials, and natural disasters such as volcanic eruptions.

As the Department of Energy/National Nuclear Security Administration (DOE/NNSA) plume modeling center for radiological/nuclear incidents, NARAC provides predictions and analyses for DOE/NNSA’s national operations center; regional, national, and international emergency response teams; and DOE sites across the country. In a typical year, the center fulfills 10,000 airborne-plume simulation requests for emergency preparedness, participates in 100 major emergency response exercises, and responds to 25 incidents. NARAC also maintains multiple websites for requesting and distributing plume predictions and sharing information during events.

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The National Atmospheric Release Advisory Center is a support and resource center for emergency planning and response, real-time assessment, and research

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