The U.S. Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) has introduced a new communication network that allows emergency responders to exchange secure real-time voice, data, and video information during nuclear or radiological emergencies.
The Emergency Communications Network (ECN) uses an encrypted, dedicated network that lets emergency response personnel communicate with internal and external partners.
The ECN is hosted at a commercial data storage facility in Las Vegas, where NNSA Administrator and DOE Under Secretary for Nuclear Security Lisa E. Gordon-Hagerty attended a ribbon-cutting on Sept. 2.
Gordon-Hagerty was in the region visiting the Nevada National Security Site (NNSS) as part of a summer tour to the agency’s eight laboratories, plants, and sites nationwide.
“Our emergency responders deserve the fastest and most reliable communications available to effectively respond to nuclear or radiological incidents or accidents,” Gordon-Hagerty said. “As a steward of American taxpayer dollars, I am strongly in favor of spending less money on NNSA data storage and operations, while retaining a highly secure cyber-environment.”
The ECN will enhance the ability of emergency responders to manage situations that involve NNSA assets and interests. Examples of data-heavy information include radiation detection and analysis, geographic information systems maps, data telemetry, and nuclear/radiological detection applications, among other response tools. The ECN data center migration project is estimated to cost $7.8 million. The project was completed ahead of schedule and under budget.