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Radiation Protection

What is the EPA's role during a radiological emergency?

From "dirty bombs" to foreign radiological releases, EPA has the ability and authority to respond to many different types of radiological incidents.

EPA's Radiological Emergency Response Team (RERT) works with federal, state and local agencies to monitor radioactivity and clean up affected areas. During an emergency, EPA uses its protective action guidelines to help determine what actions are necessary to protect people from unhealthy levels of radiation.

The EPA leads the U.S. domestic response to foreign radiological events that have the potential to affect the U.S. or its territories. For example, the EPA responded to the nuclear accidents in Chernobyl, Ukraine and Fukushima, Japan by monitoring the radioactivity levels from fallout in the U.S.

For more information about EPA’s specialized radiological emergency response expertise and equipment, visit Radiological Emergency Response.

For more information about how the EPA responds to radiological incidents, visit National Response Framework (NRF).

For more information about the responsibilities of Federal Agencies during response activities, visit Nuclear/Radiological Incident Annex at

Return to Frequent Questions about Radiation Protection.