[Federal Register Volume 78, Number 89 (Wednesday, May 8, 2013)]
[Notices]
[Pages 26795-26798]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2013-10928]


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DEPARTMENT OF HOMELAND SECURITY


Announcement of Requirements and Registration for the National 
Radiological and Nuclear Detection Challenge

AGENCY: Domestic Nuclear Detection Office, DHS.

ACTION: Notice.

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SUMMARY: DNDO announces the National Radiological and Nuclear Detection 
(Rad/Nuc) Challenge, a participation challenge being conducted under 
the America Competes Reauthorization Act, for state, local, and tribal 
law enforcement, other first responders, public safety officials, and 
Civil Support Team members.

DATES: The Rad/Nuc Challenge will be held from August 20 through August 
22, 2013.

ADDRESSES: The Rad/Nuc Challenge will be hosted at the I.G. Brown Air 
National Guard Training and Education Center, Alcoa, Tennessee, near 
Knoxville.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Timothy Smith, (202) 254-7297, 
Radnucchallenge@hq.dhs.gov. To register for and find additional 
information about the Rad/Nuc challenge, visit http://www.radnucchallenge.org.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

General

    The Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Domestic Nuclear 
Detection Office (DNDO), announces the National Radiological and 
Nuclear Detection (Rad/Nuc) Challenge, a participation challenge 
authorized under 15 U.S.C. 3719(c)(3), for state, local, and tribal law 
enforcement, other first responders, public safety officials, and Civil 
Support Team members. The purpose of the Rad/Nuc Challenge is to 
increase proficiency, improve Concepts of Operations, and promote 
proper use of Radiation and Nuclear Detection (RND) equipment by state 
and local agencies in support of the domestic RND mission to prevent 
the illicit use and/or movement of radioactive materials within the 
United States.
    The Rad/Nuc Challenge will consist of a competitive RND search 
exercise held over a three-day period. The competition is designed to 
develop and recognize enhanced RND search skills, train on the use of 
various pieces of RND equipment, and influence vendors and developers 
to adapt and improve RND equipment capability and suitability for field 
use.
    The event will be hosted at the I.G. Brown Air National Guard 
Training and Education Center located in Alcoa, Tennessee, near 
Knoxville. Equipment specific and RND search refresher training will be 
provided for all competitors on the first day of the event prior to the 
start of the competition.

I. Subject of Challenge Competition

    The purpose of the Rad/Nuc Challenge is to further DNDO's vision of 
a Nation ready to detect and interdict terrorist radiological and/or 
nuclear threats by the effective and efficient integration of 
capabilities and resources of the Global Nuclear Detection Architecture 
(GNDA). Specifically, the Rad/Nuc Challenge will serve to coordinate 
implementation of the domestic portion of the GNDA, strengthen its 
operational relationships, and improve detection capabilities across 
the GNDA. The Rad/Nuc Challenge will provide a mechanism to improve 
radiation detection capabilities of Federal, state, local, and tribal 
stakeholders through competitive exercise, increased awareness and 
cooperation, and first-hand interaction with RND equipment vendors and 
developers. The Rad/Nuc Challenge will exploit the proven success and 
cost-effectiveness of trade shows and challenge competitions to advance 
capabilities in the RND field.
    The Rad/Nuc Challenge is an RND proficiency competition. Even 
though it is designed to incorporate specific RND job skills or tasks, 
it may be necessary to deviate from, or be innovative in the 
application of, certain existing protocols and procedures in order to 
obtain the

[[Page 26796]]

best overall result and win the competition.
    Two components, the Maze and the Container Search, make up the Rad/
Nuc Challenge competitive exercise. This RND exercise will be organized 
in flights and heats of competitors. Flights will be composed of 
multiple heats. Each heat may include four or more competitors, with 
each competitor occupying one lane on the RND search course. Sources 
may be changed and/or repositioned between flights and/or heats to 
allow competitors to view the competition of other flights and heats. 
All competitors within a given flight will be sequestered and called to 
the course when their heat is ready to start. Advancing through each 
round of the competition will be based on a competitor's detection and 
identification accuracy and RND search course completion time. Time 
penalties may be incurred for radiation source detection and 
identification errors. Competitor times will be measured at least to 
the 0.1 of a second by an automated timing system.
    Radiological sources employed for the Rad/Nuc Challenge will 
include isotopes common to typical detection instrument libraries, but 
may include isotopes that are not in some libraries. A list of actual 
sources that may be encountered during the event will be communicated 
to registered competitors prior to the competition. Source strengths 
will be sufficient such that most competitors should be able to detect 
and identify the sources using a typical personal radiation detector 
(PRD) and/or a radioisotope identification device (RIID).
    All competitors will have the opportunity to participate in a 
practice round and the first elimination round. Competitor RND search 
completion times in each elimination round, including any time 
penalties incurred, will be used to determine which competitors 
advance. A maximum time limit will be set. Competitors who do not 
finish within the time limit will receive the maximum time plus 
applicable penalties.
    Competitors will be required to use commercially available RND 
equipment to detect, localize, and identify radiation sources. 
Competitors may also be required to determine and indicate relative 
radiation source strengths. Competitors are encouraged to use their own 
RND equipment. However, a limited amount of RND equipment will be 
available for use by competitors at the event.
    Time penalties will be assessed for radiation detection, 
localization, identification, and relative source strength 
inaccuracies. Competitors will be required to balance accuracy and 
speed to obtain the best possible time and win the competition.
    Below we describe the Maze and Container Search components of the 
exercise in greater detail.

A. The Maze

    The Maze requires locating radiation sources hidden among a number 
of identical tables. The tables in each lane will be arranged in 
identical patterns. A pre-determined number of radiological sources 
will be placed in boxes in each of the lanes. Each competitor or team 
will compete in their own lane. (See Figure 1 for a possible layout 
arrangement.)
[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TN08MY13.000

    The sources will vary in size and by isotope within a single lane, 
but only one primary isotope will be in any box. Each lane will have an 
identical mix of sources. Each competitor will have a marking mechanism 
to clearly identify the boxes containing sources. These markers will be 
clearly visible to the referees and spectators. Background measurements 
will be taken before the event to identify any Naturally Occurring 
Radioactive Materials (NORM) or spectators/participants with medical 
isotopes in the area which might affect the competition.

B. The Container Search

    The Container Search requires each competitor to detect and locate 
sources hidden inside shipping containers. Single or multiple sources 
may be placed at various heights above the ground, but along the 
centerline of the containers. Each competitor will compete in their own 
lane on either side of the container row. (See Figure 2 for a possible 
layout arrangement.)

[[Page 26797]]

[GRAPHIC] [TIFF OMITTED] TN08MY13.001

    The containers will be placed in rows end-to-end, spaced so that 
access is possible between containers to allow entry for source 
placement and position changes. The side of each container will have a 
grid for competitors to use to indicate the source's location. Sources 
positioned at the centerline of containers will be of sufficient 
strength to be detected by most competitors using a typical PRD or 
RIID. Background measurements will be taken before the event to 
identify any NORM or spectators/participants with medical isotopes in 
the area which might affect the competition.

II. Eligibility To Participate in the Competition

    Pursuant to 15 U.S.C. 3719, American COMPETES Reauthorization Act 
of 2010, Public Law 111-358, the Rad/Nuc Challenge is open only to (i) 
Individuals who are at least 18 years of age and citizens or permanent 
residents of the United States as of the time of entry, and (ii) teams 
of eligible individuals, where each team member meets the eligibility 
requirements for individual contestants.
    The Rad/Nuc Challenge is also limited to Civil Support Team 
members, state, local and tribal law enforcement, other first 
responders, and public safety officials. Other individuals, including 
Federal employees or contractors whose work deals directly with 
radiological and nuclear detection or detection equipment, may be 
eligible to be non-competitive participants in the Rad/Nuc Challenge. 
This means that unless otherwise ineligible, such individuals may 
participate, but will not be eligible for an award, and will not 
compete directly against the registered state, local and tribal law 
enforcement, other first responders, public safety officials, and Civil 
Support Team competitors for non-monetary awards in the competitive 
exercise.
    The following individuals and/or teams are not eligible, regardless 
of whether or not they meet the criteria set forth above: (i) The 
sponsoring agency, contractor, or other organization involved with the 
design, production, promotion, execution, or distribution of the 
competition (collectively ``Promotion Entities''); all employees, 
representatives, and agents of such entities, and immediate family or 
household members of any such employee, representative, or agent; (ii) 
any individual and/or team involved with the design, production, 
promotion, execution, or distribution of the competition and each 
member of any such individual's immediate family or household; (iii) 
any individual and/or team that employs any judge or that otherwise has 
a material business relationship or affiliation with any judge; (iv) 
any Federal entity or Federal employee acting within the scope of their 
employment, or as may otherwise be prohibited by Federal law; and (v) 
any individual and/or team that used Federal facilities or consulted 
with Federal employees to develop their solution, unless the facilities 
and employees were made available to all participants on an equitable 
basis.

III. Registration for Competitors and Attendees

    All Rad/Nuc Challenge competitors and attendees will be required to 
register at www.radnucchallenge.org. The Web site will be open for 
registration on May 8, 2013. Competitors and attendees are encouraged 
to visit the Web site periodically for updates on the event and to 
register for other Rad/Nuc Challenge events such as training, technical 
briefings, and special exhibitions which may have limited space 
available. These events will be made available on a first-come, first-
served basis.
    In order to encourage broad participation and early registration, 
DNDO will offer a travel reimbursement for the first 250 registered 
state, local and tribal law enforcement, other first responders, public 
safety officials, and Civil Support Team competitors. To encourage 
broad agency participation, there will be a limit to the number of 
competitors from a single agency that will be eligible for travel 
reimbursement. Once travel obligations are made for the first 250 
registered state, local and tribal law enforcement, other first 
responders, public safety officials, and Civil Support Team 
competitors, the travel reimbursement will no longer be available and a 
notice will be posted on the Rad/Nuc Challenge Web site.

[[Page 26798]]

    All Rad/Nuc Challenge non-competitor attendees, including 
exhibitors, briefers, and observers, will be required to register and 
may be required to pay a nominal fee. Exhibitors may also be required 
to pay an additional fee to cover facility and other expenses related 
to the exhibition. The total number of attendees may be limited by the 
venue or exhibit area constraints so early registration is strongly 
encouraged.

IV. Basis on Which Winners Will Be Selected

    Advancement beyond the first round of each event is based on the 
competitor's RND proficiency based on their overall score. A 
competitor's score will be determined by the RND search course 
completion time as measured by an automated timing system. Penalties 
may be assessed by adding time to the competitor's raw completion time 
for not locating all sources, incorrectly identifying sources, 
reporting sources not present, inaccurately localizing sources, and 
failing to navigate the RND search course properly. Competitors with 
the best overall score based on speed and accuracy will be declared the 
winners of each heat and, ultimately, through elimination rounds, 
winner of the Rad/Nuc Challenge.

V. Prize

    Winner(s) of the Rad/Nuc Challenge will be recognized for RND 
performance excellence and expertise through non-monetary awards. The 
winners of each component of the competitive exercise and the overall 
winner will receive a trophy and certificate of achievement. The 
winners' name, agency, equipment used, and winning score for each event 
will also be posted on the Rad/Nuc Challenge Web site.

VI. Additional Information

    The Rad/Nuc Challenge will also provide access to exhibits 
featuring state of the art technologies supporting the RND mission, 
advanced technology demonstrations that showcase capability enhancing 
technologies under development, and an information exchange forum 
consisting of RND mission related briefings, panel discussions, and 
workshops. These forums will solicit user input on RND equipment 
operational requirements, and share RND mission best practices and 
lessons learned.
    Exhibition space will be available to all Rad/Nuc Challenge 
participants, including vendors, academia, national laboratories, and 
government agencies to showcase advanced capabilities, RND and other 
mission related equipment, and innovations in the RND mission area. 
Availability is on a first come, first serve basis. User fees may 
apply.
    For registration and other information, see the event Web site at 
www.radnucchallenge.org or contact Timothy Smith, DHS, DNDO, by email 
at radnucchallenge@hq.dhs.gov.

    Authority: 15 U.S.C. 3719.

Rafael Borras,
Under Secretary for Management.
[FR Doc. 2013-10928 Filed 5-7-13; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 9110-9D-P