By Edwaldo Costa and Lieutenant (T) Lara Medeiros – Iperó, SP
Between September 18 and 21, members of the Brazilian Navy and civilians working at the ARAMAR Experimental Center (CEA) carried out Nuclear, Biological, Chemical and Radiological (NBQR) training in the city of Iperó (SP). The joint exercise is coordinated by the Navy’s Technological Center in São Paulo (CTMSP) and the Brazilian Navy’s Nuclear, Biological, Chemical and Radiological Defense Center (CDefNBQR-MB).
According to the Director of CTMSP, Vice-Admiral (Naval Engineer) Guilherme Dionizio Alves, the week was marked by intense interaction between civilians and military personnel from the Navy, who worked together on a series of planned events, the main aim of which is to prepare personnel (military and civilian) to enable rapid and effective responses to emergencies of a nuclear, radiological and physical security nature.
“These actions aim to guarantee the safety of personnel, facilities and the environment and allow us to state that the possibility of a radiological incident or accident occurring at Aramar is very remote, due to all the concerns regarding the qualification of personnel and actions in the engineering project that provides for redundancies in systems and facilities,” said Admiral Guilherme.
The Nuclear Fuel Cycle Advisor, Ricardo Gomide, who has worked at CINA since 1988, explains that “the exercise trains the execution of actions that can be used in support of emergencies at the nuclear facilities of the Navy’s Nuclear Program, which is part of the Brazilian Nuclear Program, in order to contribute to emergency responses and the mitigation of their consequences. No less important is the effective integration of military and civilian skills and competencies.”
On the first day, there was a communications test, riot control, deactivation of explosive devices and a cyber attack. The Commander of the Aramar Nuclear, Biological, Chemical and Radiological Defense Battalion (BtlDefNBQR-ARAMAR), Frigate Captain Carlos Magno Ferreira da Costa, explains that “the exercise is part of Ordinance No. 200/2023 of the Navy General Staff, which establishes the guidelines for activating the structure of the Nuclear, Biological, Chemical and Radiological Defense System, Biological, Chemical and Radiological Defense System, including the Fleet Marine Force, to reinforce the safety and security activities carried out at the CEA, in the event of an NBQR emergency, in order to help re-establish safety conditions for the personnel and facilities at Aramar”.
The second day included patrol activities, an explosion simulation at the Nuclear Materials Laboratory (LABMAT), an attempt to remove unauthorized nuclear material and a nuclear material escort.
During the simulation at LABMAT, the injured were sent to an Advanced Trauma Unit, using telemedicine, belonging to the Navy Expeditionary Medical Unit.
On the last day, the Commander of the Fleet Marine Force, Vice Admiral Renato Rangel Ferreira, accompanied the exercises carried out at the Uranium Hexafluoride Plant and the Isotopic Enrichment Laboratory, where the discovery of an explosive device in a uranium hexafluoride (UF6) cylinder was simulated.
This integration required coordination between all those involved, from the planning phase to its execution, bringing together the practices already in place at CTMSP with the specificities of the work of other military and civilian organizations.
For the Commander of the CDefNBQR-MB, Captain Flávio Lamego Pascoal, this exercise reinforces the position of the Brazilian Navy in the leadership and management of Brazil’s strategic nuclear sector, as advocated by the National Defense Strategy: “The participation of the Navy, together with other institutions, is an opportunity to improve the synergy between the actors that make up the Brazilian Nuclear Program Protection System”.
A total of 620 military personnel are being deployed, reinforcing the Navy’s commitment to the development of Brazil’s Strategic Nuclear Sector. In addition, it is an excellent training opportunity to act in support of the government, bodies and agencies that are part of the Brazilian Nuclear Program Protection System, in evacuation, health care, rescue and protection of the population and the environment.
Source: Agência Marinha de Notícias