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Spectroscopic Alarm Adjudication

SAAC PER-341 40 Contact Hours
Target Audience/Disciplines

The target audience for this course is any individual who is active in physics, health physics or a related technical field and, as part of their current or future duties, will be responsible for adjudicating (threat/no-threat assessment) radiation alarm events in a technical reachback capacity. The reachback criteria is not limited to only those individuals who are remotely located from the event, but can also be met by individuals embedded with a response team.

NOTE: The course is not intended as a spectroscopy training class for those who want to become more proficient with PeakEasy in support of basic or applied research, environmental compliance, treaty verification, etc.


The purpose of this course is to equip federal, military, state, local, tribal, and territorial entities who provide mid-level reachback support with the analysis skills and knowledge necessary to rapidly analyze gamma-ray spectra, identify the radionuclides involved, and ultimately perform initial adjudication of radiation alarms. A major component of the course is focused on mastery of the PeakEasy spectroscopy analysis software tool for radionuclide identification. A secondary focus of the course emphasizes proficiency in escalating radiation alarm events to Triage for adjudication when mid-level reachback is insufficient to rule out a potential threat.

Below are some of the objectives or topics discussed and performed during this training:

  • Confirm or deny the presence of various radionuclides by analyzing gamma-ray spectra using PeakEasy
  • Describe the function of the DNDO and in particular the services provided by the Joint Analysis Center (JAC) to federal, military, state, local, tribal, and territorial entities
  • Perform an adjudication (threat/no-threat assessment) of a radiation alarm event by analyzing gamma-ray spectra in the context of the totality of circumstances (e.g., neutron count rates, dose rates, spatial distribution of radioactive source, photos, event scenario, object description, etc.) surrounding an event
  • Identify additional measurements or information which would help accelerate the final adjudication of a radiation alarm event
  • Describe the overall radiological/nuclear threat
  • Identify those materials suitable for use in Radiological Dispersion Devices (RDD), Radiological Explosion Devices (RED), and Improvised Nuclear Devices (IND)
  • Recognize when a radiation alarm event meets the criteria for escalation to Triage for adjudication and response
  • Submit a comprehensive radiation alarm event package to Triage for alarm adjudication and response
Course Offerings

No offerings at this time.

Prerequisites and Requirements

To be eligible to attend the Spectroscopic Alarm Adjudication course, a candidate must:

  • Have a technical background in physics, health physics or related technical field.
  • Be approved by their jurisdiction and receive endorsement through the DNDO.
  • Have some hands on experience with a radioisotope identifier (RIID).
Continuing Education Credits

The Center for Domestic Preparedness is authorized by IACET to offer 4.0 CEUs for this program.