RIC 2022 TH30 The Future of Incident Response Leveraging Technology
A warm welcome to everyone joining us for this RIC session on the future of incident response. Leveraging technology. My name is Clay Johnson.
I'm the acting director for the division of Preparedness and response. Next slide, please. Our agenda. Each of the presenters will give approximately a 10 minute. Overview of their areas.
We will have a Q&amp;A session and then we will, in the formal session, but we will stay on for a couple more minutes. Next slide, please. As an overview, we've all experienced amazing challenges in our lives and our work over the last two years. This technical session on the future of incident response leveraging technology allows our distinguished panelists to share insights on how technology is now used to support efforts to protect the health and safety of the public during a wide variety of events. Next line. Our first panelist is Liz Willeford who is the fleet Emergency preparedness director for Southern Nuclear. She will be providing perspectives on advancements in technology for response centers and coordination with offsite response organizations.
Next slide, please. Our next panelist will be Vic Cusumano, who is the chief of the technical specifications branch here at the NRC. Vic will be talking about the NRC experiences and leveraging technology. Next slide. Chris Vaughn is the Geospatial Information officer for the Federal Emergency Management Agency and he will speak to advancing innovative technologies within the Emergency Management community. Next slide.
And our last panelist will be Mr Florian Baku, the response system coordinator with the IAEA incident and Emergency Center and he will be speaking to the IAC developments for information sharing in nuclear or radiological emergency. So thank you all so panelists and now a warm welcome to Liz Williford. Thanks for the great introduction.
Clap preciate that. Good morning everybody. Thank you for the opportunity to present here today.
I have a really long title to this presentation, but really what I want to share is what Southern Nuclears learned in the last couple of years during the pandemic and the advances we've made in technology. And really, the key take away is we can't go backwards from what we've learned next slide. So again, this all started around COVID and we had, you know these things we still had to do due to regulatory commitments, the communities and emergency preparedness it. We didn't really soft, we just had to figure out how to do things differently. So out of necessity we we learned a lot.
It was pretty difficult in the beginning, but I got some some pretty interesting things I'll share with you that we learn next slide. So very personally, I'm not the most technologically advanced person. I am not an early adopter and I can recall Microsoft Teams being rolled out to our company and I saw the little I kind of thought I was cute while I dialed into my bridge line and was very content with doing that and really wasn't interested in being on video or or any of those type of things. But Fast forward, you know, probably a year later the mentality completely changed. It's like why are we going to? Drive to go meet people in it face to face.
Why would we be on a phone call and not be able to see the expressions on other people's faces? We just it was. The shift was so quick it was. It was kind of remarkable and at southern it was about a 24 hour turn around before we went to everybody in the office to completely virtual. So it it took a little lagging time to get get up to speed with teams. But I'll show you some of the things we we learned there. Next slide please. San teams you know all the platforms that we have.
Zoom has very similar things. Teams has it and we just slowly when you roll something out to the nuclear organizations. You know it's almost like a new toy.
So everybody goes through and sees what they can find new in the system, and one of the best things we discovered was during. In, uh, a couple drills we were trying to have two different conversations and somebody was dialed in to their phone and somebody was on a computer watching one meeting and reading another meeting. So this live transcription ability in these breakout rooms it really what we found. It drove up our efficiencies and how we responded to different events. We were able to, you know, everybody says there's no such thing as multitasking. Well, I beg to differ when you use teams.
You can go back. You can read things. You can share information for a ton of people all at one time. So great capabilities there with all these virtual platforms. Next slide, please. So. What you can see here is
the how our fleet is laid out. You can see we're we're pretty spread out and we have an EOF that supports three of our sites soon to be 4 site with Vogel 3 and four. In the past we were developing drills by going to the sites and run them in simulators.
We couldn't do that. During the pandemic. You know you couldn't go to the you couldn't really travel due to company policies. You know different things like that you can't could find rental cars so we got creative out of necessity. We used go pros. To mirror image these teams to to cast what was going on in the simulator.
So your you felt like you were really there and one of the best things we found is that we could get our whole fleet to help create drills and look at different things all at the same time versus traveling to one place. And you don't have that person there. So then you have to redo it again so all this geographical distance was collapsed and we could all do something at the same time and another function to know our teams was able to record. These sessions we could go back and if we miss something we could easily record it and go back in and see it again and redo it so it it really upped our efficiency.
It saved us quite a bit of money on travel and time in the car. It's a 6 hour trip from, you know the corporate office to the to the Vogel office so it saved us tons of time on the road and and really upped our efficiency and drill development and we were able to get more people involved in the right people involved without having to take a lot of time traveling. And that that led us to start thinking about, you know, if I can do dose assessment in Birmingham from my house, you know why couldn't I do it? You know from mogul, for Farley, and it it presented this concept of a remote ROP, which I'll talk about a little bit more later. Next slide, please.
So shifting gears, the pictures you see here is our joint Information Center and how we assembled for our press conferences. So what you'll notice in that first picture in the top left? If anybody can can see that there's five out of seven people in that room are on a telephone talking to somebody outside of that room. And it's more than likely they're answering all the same questions to different people. So with this virtual workplace, in this hybrid response, they can all be logged into a teams meeting or a zoom call, and everybody can see answers. That's all, sightsee or that they asked us and everybody can get the same answer at the same time.
The information is so much faster that way, and so much more clear. Another thing we found by working this way and getting rid of the the brick and mortar and going through. Virtual and you get a lot more engagement, so we went back and we looked at like our drill records and our critiques and we were getting a lot more feedback and questions answered and answered.
Asked and answered and half the time so it just, uh, a great lesson learned there and then you can see in this bottom right corner. This is one of my favorite pictures. It's there's about 10 people in the room and seven of them are writing stuff down, taking notes and only one or two are talking the the.
Spokespeople for the the drill. What do you think happens the moment they're done with the the discussion? Everybody turns around starts hey, I missed this would you get so with this live transcription it's all there. It's all written down they can actually engage and ask questions and participate. So again we got a lot more out of these virtual press conferences and and Joint Information Center drills than we did prior to the pandemic.
Next slide, please. This is just another illustration of how we've shifted gears into. We used to have you know 50 people in a room and we we go back and forth and people would be taking notes and now you get the same amount of people you still get to see them on camera and then again you have this ability to use a chat function. So yeah, times you have trouble getting a word in edgewise. Well, with this platform and and, just like we're doing here, you have this function where even if you run out of time, you can go back later and follow up and provide.
Additional information so our efficiencies went up there as well. Next slide, please. Right as I mentioned before, you know this the way we were designing drills during the pandemic led us to to think hey, if I can do those assessment in my house in Birmingham, why couldn't I do it if I were at the plant, you know? So this augmented DRO that we expected to drive into the the plant sites to support the drill. The timeliness of their response could be increased. But you know at least an hour in some cases some of our plants it takes up to, you know 70 minutes to drive from your home to the plant, and then you gotta set up. But if I can pull out my laptop, yes, soon as I get the notification of an emergency and start doing dose assessment immediately, it improves our response time immensely.
Some of the you got to workout some of the kinks with the the communication and getting the right people on the right teams meeting, but that's not anything we aren't doing every day, so. We as an industry are working with any how to pursue this further. Obviously not every function can be done remotely, but the ability to get the right people to respond at the right time. There's just endless possibilities there. Next slide, please.
Taking this a step further, we're working with our training department for both maintenance, technical training and an emergency response. So if you look at this first picture and if you advance the slide a little bit more, some other pictures will pop up, but I'm playing with my kids virtual reality glasses. These aculus things, and you can actually tour the Chernobyl plant right now with these virtual reality glasses, so our maintenance department's looking at, you know. Functions I can do there, and I think the possibilities of what we could do in emergency response space or just. You know you can't put a, uh, a top on it. I mean, you could keep going and going we can't.
Minimize the capabilities there. Advance aside, please. One of the other things with not being able to do a lot of training in person and and having small classroom sizes, not being able to spread out like we otherwise would. We had our Alabama power friends come up with this.
They call it nuclear and in nutshell what it is is just two or three minute long videos talking about different segments of our emergency response and their training videos that you can watch it anytime, anywhere. So it keeps their proficiency up without having to sign up for a class or have multiple sessions of it. So it's just another efficiency. Built into what the way we learned during the pandemic. But all these things you know were just they were kind of out of necessity and and. When we go forward at this point, there's no reason to go back.
It's just saves so much time and I really opened our eyes up to the ability to respond to emergencies differently and remotely. And it's just really an exciting opportunity for us to to continue to to have better response, more timely response. And as a side it, it helps save money and resources as well.
So that's all I have for my presentation and the way with this virtual meeting works. We we get to introduce the next presenter, so I get to introduce Vic and the way I want to do that is is tell a joke to vacancy if he knows the answer to this so Vic, what do you think is the most popular meal at our nuclear plants? Ham and cheese sandwich. Fish and chips. Vision Oh my God on that note. Thank you all, appreciate it. And I actually said ham and cheese because at one point I was talking to someone who did incident response and that was the only meal they had for about 3 days during an event.
That's all their contractor brought in. So Vic cusumano. I'm a branch chief here at the NRC in tech specs and for about six months last year I spent my time in our incident response organization trying to take a look at what we've seen, what we learned during the period in which the world shut down.
And I was I had a lot of things that Liz just said, so my presentation might be a little bit shorter. Something I wanted to point out is that you know change is just how we are right now. Those of us have been around awhile. Remember, the only way you used to do business correspondence was by mail.
And then FedEx came along and answers were expected by the next day and then email. You know if Clay emails me something and I don't respond in a couple hours, he wonders if I'm even working. So things change all the time.
The pace is picked up a bit, but. This is just life, right? This is just how we change our next slide. So in communications. You know that phone on the left there is what was on my desk about 25 years ago.
You had to beat your desk to use it, but I'll tell you what. That's a much better speakerphone than what's built into most of our phones today. But you had to be at your desk then. That pager thing came out right, and all of a sudden you were expected to be reachable anytime, anywhere.
And it wasn't just for doctors. I may or may not have thrown my pager off the 59th St Bridge driving to Manhattan one day, but I knew I'd have to go look for another darn payphone somewhere. But the last picture on there is where we're at now that screen on your phone or on your desk at work, or at home is the way to get in touch. Aye. And you know, like like Liz was saying, we're probably not gonna go completely backwards from this.
There are just too many advantages. Next slide. So what sets you up for success here? That's a view of our emergency response center, which some of you will get a virtual tour of. If you haven't already.
The timing worked for us. I'll take credit and say it was great planning on the part of the NRC and it might have been a little bit of luck involved, but before COVID came upon, we transitioned from a fairly rigid wall in. Not very scalable, very location centric incident response program which was working fine for us, but we transitioned to one that better matched the national Incident Response Center, which turned out to be more scalable.
More roll focused rather than location focused. And it turned it turned out it lent itself much better to incorporating remote responders. So we were fortunate in that way, and Dave Nelson, our CIO, got major PAT on the back from the chairman and in his plenary that, you know, a few months before we locked down. He took all our desktop computers away and replaced him with laptops. So on I think it was March 17th. We were all able to pick up our computers and go home and most of us didn't miss a beat.
So you got to think ahead if you think that the way things are today is the way things are going to be tomorrow. You're missing, hey, you're missing an opportunity B. You're setting yourself up for failure so be prepared and hopefully preparation breeds luck. Next slide. So we did a couple of things we looked internally as to what we what were our experiences here at the NRC, and then a few of us, myself included, reached out to the rest of the world to see how they did, and that's how you know I I met Chris and I met Liz was was through some of that outreach. Our experience was pretty good.
I mean, like I said, we didn't miss a beat and conducted more exercises than we normally would have during that time frame. And it actually responded to one weather event on the Gulf Coast. We used the same tools you did. I mean, we started out with Skype and transition to teams.
And like Liz said, the tools. It's it's like having a new toy. I just discovered the whiteboard feature and we're having a good time with that. I've got to keep the people in my branch from drawing silly pictures on it, but that's inside.
So we met with our internal stakeholders in the regions and got best practices and heard a lot of common themes. And and one of the most important was. Incident response.
Is the one thing we have to get right? There's not a lot of wiggle room there, so we have to be very cautious about how we embrace new technologies. You want to be able to take advantage of the good bits, but. Not put your corn mission at risk, so we'll talk a little bit about that.
And then we looked external to the agency. Next slide we benchmarked ourselves against other international regulators. I really want to thank. The other folks at IEA for providing us a lot of their experiences in writing and to IRS N for taking a lot of time to talk with us about what they saw in France during their extended quarantine periods. Other federal agencies, you know.
FEMA, Homeland Security EPA all shared with us their experiences and they were different in a lot of ways than ours. And we'll talk about why in a second and other state and local regulators. Montgomery County here in Maryland, Fairfax County and neighboring Virginia, the state of Maryland Emergency Response Organization all participated in sharing information with us. And then in the industry side, I got information from the New York City. Emergency response 911.
Folks, we reached out to Duke. We reached out. Total is at southern and I heard from the safer folks. The ones who run these shared parts inventory system here in the US that a lot of the nuclear plants use as well as running the in the flex warehouses in. Two locations in the US where they keep generators, pumps and all that stuff that can be shipped to wherever there's a need.
Should there be a real emergency? And they shared their expenses. Response is the biggest take away from all of this was though your tolerance for how much you can incorporate remote response into your organization is going to vary tremendously with your mission, and as an example, our you know, Chris and FEMA, you know their mission is a lot more boots on the ground. Command and control. Let's get this thing done. Then the NRC, so their tolerance for remote response. I'm expecting you're going to hear is a little bit less than ours.
You know, the most, not all, but most of our mission during an incident would be oversight. Communications things like that. Where it does lend itself a little bit more readily to remote incident response. So the mission matters. So what do we find here? Next slide we were able to accomplish.
Most of what we needed to do, and most of these things fell into pretty much 4 categories. We we found like like Liz did, that much of our work can be done remotely. We do want to caveat that with.
Just because you can do a thing doesn't mean you should do that thing, but in our case we found it. You know we could do it and in some cases. The thing we were trying to accomplish, you know what remote? Performance of that task was the best way and I'll give you an example of that in a little bit. But then we found that there were some things that were better done in person. If you had your choice. Being there in an emergency response center with your.
Fellow responders was the preferable way to do something, and the 4th category of things we found were. Some things we're doing it in person in one of our pre staged emergency response centers was the only way to do it, and we'll talk a little bit about those two categories. So next slide, where were? Where did we find emergency response to be preferable? Where? What did it? What did it? By us? Liz did a good job describing how it worked at her organization.
I think our experiences were similar. It expanded the pool of people. We had to respond. You know, we were able to get the right people with the. Right expertise.
Regardless of where they were. Online pretty much immediately. Yeah, we have people we have geographic diversity already here at the NRC between headquarters and the four regions. We have more full-time remote teleworkers than we had before, and that number might grow over the next few years. We now have people in San Francisco.
We have people at places we don't have a regional office, and those people might be in a time zone that makes more sense to support an event they might have expertise we don't have elsewhere. So for those folks listening that are, you know, working at the NRC? If you know something. That we need. To know about during an event, we are going to find you. We might get you out of bed, but we have the ability to do that now where we didn't easily do it before taking commuting out of the question I I'm very happy not to spend as much time on the DC Beltway as I used to, but. From a practical point of view, taking commuting out of the equation for a lot of folks, at least here in the DC metro area that takes an hour, it's two hours off of your report time for an incident.
That might allow us to go to shorter shifts and do other things, or split some of your time in in in a response center, some at home. And that might allow us to do have a more sustainable response over the long term. And we were active for a long time during Fukushima. That wears on staff and having the flexibility to do it a different way might increase our sustainability of response. One of the things we found actually did work better was document creation. You know, we do a lot of reports during an exercise in an event, and we actually found that using teams and SharePoint and OneDrive and having the three or four authors of a document.
Editing that in real time on a screen talking to each other about it. We were able to produce paperwork. A lot quicker than sharing word documents and emails, so it's just a much better way to do it. So so thumb. Some things work better and some people mentally like like that environment better.
They might not speak up in person in a big room, but they're much more willing to share their knowledge in a teams environment in a chat so it personalities matter as well. Yeah, think about the people side of your equation. So next slide. Where is in person or. Being in. A staged center, the better way to go.
Well, the first thing is. Just having redundant. Robust power systems and communication systems.
Yeah, if this is the one thing we have to get right. There is a lot of sense in having at least a portion of your response in a protected environment. Where you've got those redundant robust power systems and communication systems during you know personal experience during one of our weeks where we had a couple of drills going on that week, I lost power on phones to my house twice.
For hours at a time. That's a challenge depending on your role in the organization so. Having some sort of a protected systems environment is is important. Some of our events and some portions of our events are require access and to classified systems. Classified communications. You have a security in that you're going to be using classified equipment.
Classified communication systems. Most of us don't have those in our basements at home. So there are things where you're going to need that protected environment where you've got a skiff for example, and Liz.
Liz alluded to this. I think she didn't mention it, but on one of her slides how much of communications is visual and that rich imperson communication face to face is important when you have those high trust conversations. Briefings are sometimes better done in person prepping senior leadership for briefings external to our agency is sometimes better done in person, situational awareness. Being able to lookout across a room and see. Which part of your team looks really excited and go find out why, right? But we're able to do some of that by dropping in on teams chat rooms, and I did use the live transcription so I could listen to one and read another and that. Alleviated some of what we've lost by being together, but not all of it, so I just want to moderate that a little bit.
And the last thing I heard is a common theme from talking to folks inside and outside. Our organization was. Some of our training is better done in person. Now, some of our training is better done not in person, because you can reach more people.
Some of it can be asynchronous in time. Those small nuclear Nuggets that we were talking about earlier. Those are great so but but some of it does work better when you got someone standing over your shoulder. You pointing at the screen and telling me no, this is what you need to be looking at so.
And the just one sort of funny thing when I was talking to our folks that managed the safer organization, the Flex warehouse, they have all those backup diesel generators and everything they did remind me that virtual oil changes are really hard to do. Some things you just have to be there so next slide. So just in closing. I agree that we can't go back, but we have to go forward smart. There is no one right answer. We can't be rigid about this.
The future is going to be some sort of a hybrid response organization to get the benefits of both and mitigate the risks that both have. So we have to recognize that. Even though some of our positions in our response organization might be better suited to an in person.
You know, being there in person, that's going to vary with the nature of the event. You know if you've got a security related event at one of your nuclear plants, the information traffic is going to be mostly classified. That's going to drive you to a much larger in person share of the response than for a very slow developing weather event. You know, coming in on the Gulf Coast where the right answer might be an almost completely virtual response, at least in the beginning. So let's be smart about this, let's do.
Recognize the advantages, but also recognize that things are going to change with the type of event, the complexity event, even where you are in an event and it's OK to ramp up an in person response when things get crazy and then ramp it back down and go virtual again or more virtual. So if I had one message to leave is there is no one one size fits all and we have to think and be smart about how we do this. So that's what I heard from our organization at yours, so with that I will. Love to hear what Chris has to tell us about how things went to FEMA. And no joke, Chris, sorry Oh no thanks thanks Vic aye aye aye. I'm sitting here racking my brain.
What am I gonna tell Florian so Florian's after me and so let's yeah, let's see if we can. Liz said uh, a good precedent here, so thanks. Thanks so much. So first of all, thank you very much for inviting me to be a part of this esteemed panel.
I've learned a lot just in preparation for this presentation, so it's great to be with you all. Today I'm going to try to bridge a little bit of of what Liz and and and Victor just talked about. And then also add a little bit about what we do from an all hazards approach, and so I concur with my two previous colleagues.
A lot has changed in my role at FEMA. I primarily support when we activate I support something called the national Response Coordination Center. And I've been through a number of activations. Uhm? You know things like you know the presidential inauguration. We did that virtually and and a lot of what I saw happen is actually broke down so many barriers.
You could argue that this is a disadvantaged comms environment. This advantage communications environment well when everybody is disadvantaged and everybody is sitting in their, you know their house or their virtual workspace. It really forces people to use same similar communication platforms, and in fact I would argue that it increased our knowledge management right? So you heard Liz and Vic talk about, you know we used to mail correspondence and then we. It was fun moved into the area of email and there was time frames. Well what I'm seeing, especially when we activate for large scale hurricanes. Is those chat sessions, those teams, environments, weather you know technology agnostic zoom? Amazon chime, whatever.
There's there's. There's this flow of information that is occurring, and I think that next revolution that we're going to actually start to see is what people just started talking about of capturing that knowledge. That's you know, past verbally.
Now it's it's past in a text and technology is such and it will be such in the very near future where that information is stored and curated in a way that becomes actionable and so let me talk a little bit about that from my perspective. So once again. My background at FEMA. I've been here for about 13 years is as the Geospatial Information Officer. Now next slide, please.
And what we do in in my team in particular is to help support decision makers and understanding the size, scope and extent of a disaster. And so a lot of the stuff we do is actually virtual is remote. We actually we really one of our primary things is remote sensing. And so this is a good example of of a plane flying over. This could be a plane.
This could be a satellite where we're you're, you're literally. Quintessentially, this term remotely sensing the environment and so during things like this is an example from a Kentucky, Kentucky tornadoes that just occurred this past December. We can fly a plane over post incident and measure the level of impact. To an environment very very quickly, and in fact one could argue that we could do this not in replacement of the ground responders, but you could really get a very comprehensive understanding of impact.
Those how many structures were impacted. How many government buildings were impacted? How many nursing homes, schools, hospitals, all of those things can be assessed virtually? And I would argue that these last two years due to Kovid really pushed that agenda. So not only is our communications changing on how we communicate with each other, but also the way that we perform our assessments in the way that we, you know, understand.
An incident as it unfolds, so I'm going to speak a lot today about. An all hazards approach to emergency response. Please keep in mind you know. Thankfully we don't have, you know, a nuclear power plants melting down often, thankfully right, so and and that's the good thing.
But you could take the same concept of an all hazards approach, whether it's a tornado, hurricane, flood, zombie apocalypse, nuclear power plant situation and followed the same all hazards approach and get to the same crisis decision answers. Yeah, you know chances are going to be the exact same questions that senior leadership is going to need to know immediately following a incident, so that's where I'm coming from today. So next line. Alright, so here's a good example of how we do what we do right.
So once again, the Hazard Flood, Hurricane, Tornado, nuclear sub, Bernie man-made. We spend a lot of our time actually curating data. So a lot of our data. We have a new product that we're actually about to release. It's called USA structures.
It's a data set that encompasses the entire continental United States and all of our territories, and it does identify the you know, those key elements that key infrastructure such as police stations, fire stations, nursing homes. Government buildings, and then we model we model our impacts on that. So there's a number of ways for us to do incident awareness and assessments to estimate the level of impact. And then we actually use a number of remote sensing.
I talked about that a little bit remotely, sent sources such as UAS unmanned aerial systems, which could be a great capability if a powerplant goes down, you can send a UAS in versus having to send in a man. Aircraft and exposing that pilot to potential radiation. So that's a great example of where UAS would be perfect in this kind of situation.
Another good example of real world situation that we had not that long ago. About a year and a half ago, two years there was a volcano explosion in Hawaii. And we actually primarily used UAS to heat the duration we needed to monitor the flow of that volcano. Yes, was a perfect solution for that, so we use a mix of remotely sensed technologies with a mix of sensors on them to understand and extract relevant information. We also have a large crowd sourcing campaign that we often use and leverage. So once again, this whole concept of virtual, you know, I can use folks in Kansas.
I can use folks in South Dakota. I can use folks in. Upstate New York to help us virtually assess damages or or sift through this mountain of information that is occurring in and all around us, and so we use crowdsourcing technologies to curate information as well as to assess damages from all of this information.
Both open reports as well as imagery that's collected. And then we spend a lot of time actually curating or working on our applications to disseminate this information. And and I would argue that you know the world around us is changing.
Primarily my role has been in what what is called GIS geographic information systems, but things are starting to change where you know you're getting more data, analytics, data science, and trying to show the compilation of all of that, and so a lot of folks coming out of undergrad or grad school today are statisticians, economists, mathematicians, you know and and, and that's really a lot of the foundations of artificial intelligence, so not to throw it to any buzzwords into this conversation. But you know you're hearing it from my colleagues, my fellow panelists information is all around us. Capturing that information sharing that information pooling in these live real time sensors and feeds. Equals the need for better technology such as artificial intelligence, to help pull it all together to pull those streams and and identify and generate new insights. To help senior leaders make relevant decisions. And so we we. We also spent a lot of time curating and reporting out things through infographics and and, you know.
Very curated reports to make sure that leaders can make a decision based on the most relevant information. And then we're also spend a lot of time pushing and pulling information from mobile applications. A good example of that would be the RAD responder network. You know there's there's mechanisms to pull information in through live data streams, but also to report information in through mobile apps.
And for us, it's all in the name of supporting a disaster survivor, and it's what my colleague just talked about. Reducing time, reducing complexity, and. Advanced situational awareness. All of these things are are are are happening and they're only getting done next one.
So I talked a lot about this already. I'm going to breeze through this slide very quickly, but you know, for us, this all hazard approach really follows. You know what's the steady state situation? How do we bring in disaster models? Crowdsourcing imagery? We have a number of crisis management systems that you heard, heard us talk about it. Whether it's web, UC or other types of crisis content management systems and how do you push pull that information from mobile applications? And support first responders, so our search and rescue teams you know, deploy out immediately.
Vic talked about, you know, ground response. There is still a a big need for ground response in the initial phases of an incident. How do we get that information from those boots on the ground? In addition, how do we push all this information from remote sensing and modeling to those first responders to offset or reduce the amount of physical presence that may need it? You know to you know, Fast forward that information that we're sharing, but we've got ways to do that, and to us it it all focuses and and curates back to a structure by structure assessment.
So whether the model is assessing the individual structure of what we think the likely impact is to that structure, hospital, fire station, nursing home as a result of a nuclear explosion. You know or how do we you know, assess that virtually from a remote sensing perspective or if need be, from a ground based perspective from a search and rescue operator in this field with a mobile app, all of it is in the name of knowledge management and sharing that information in real time as fast as possible, as accurate as possible, as fast as possible next one. Here's here's a good example of of what I just talked about.
How we do that once again, this thing called USA structures all of this information that we're collecting actually in fact, fuses back to this individual structure. So what I mean by that is a home, a residence, a nursing home, a government entity. You know if 15 people are looking at the same nursing home. In assessing it from their own programmatic view, our way to fuse all of that is back at this USA structure level, and so we're building out these tools. These capabilities to help fuse this information and have that very granular.
Information almost in real time to then report back up in reports, dashboards and visualization and do that deeper dive analytic assessment immediately following next line. Can't can't get better than this, right? So here's here's. Here's a good example of how this fuses together. It's the president United States looking at one of our products. He's actually pointing at USA structures. This was, I think, two days after the Tornadoes affected Kentucky, and so we know the level of impact to residential structures, commercial structures, government structures, you know, fire stations, nursing homes.
And and you can imagine if you will the same similar thing you know from an all hazards perspective could occur as a result of a of a nuclear situation, right? So you're talking about plume modeling. And you could intersect. All that rich detail from a model perspective and then he fly in and validate that with remote sensing imagery or ground based damage assessments from mobile applications, next slide. And and the and it. It's really diffusion of this information that generates additional insights such as socially vulnerable information. What's the power outages in the area? What's the hazard exposure, you know where? Where do I really need to prioritize my response and the way we do that is is a ordinal ranking system and that helps us prioritize limited resources such as commodities, water bottles.
Tarps infant toddler kits meals ready to eat. So we take this information to make actionable decisions on resource deployments excellent. Alright, next line please. Yeah, I briefly mentioned the idea of artificial intelligence, so this is this is really where the world geospatial technologies are are starting to really, you know, hit this zenith and it's really a compilation of imagery cloud technologies. This this advanced modeling deep learning machine learning kind of concept where you can, you know, for hurricane I didn't particular.
We used all this high resolution imagery following Hurricane Ida and I believe we assessed over. 600,000 structures within an hour. That's the scale and the speed at which we're able to do these kinds of things now. So think you know in the terms of, you know, in RC kind of incident response very, very quickly. Being able to identify impacts very quickly, and being able to fuse that and generate that insight to senior leaders in a very rapid fashion nicely.
Talked already briefly about UAS once again, using that all hazards approach. These are tools and technologies that we use on a routine basis. This is a good example of of UAS being flown following the Surfside structural collapse, and so we were able to measure volumetrics. We were able to to monitor, change overtime as they were extracting debris and rubble from the collapse of this sub.
This apartment building were able to measure the volume of. Of the debris and how quickly we were able to make progress to search for survivors, excellent. I'm going to. I'm going to start skipping through this. I'm going a little over time and I don't want to take anymore time away from my my colleagues. Next slide, please.
Artificial intelligence we talked about that rapid rapid assessment through all these technologies. Next slide. I think I I think I sent the extended version of this presentation to Sally. So next slide, let's get through this. Let's get this holy cow.
Keep going next line. Next line. I'm looking for my wrap up all right here we go this hopefully this is my last one. So we really are trying to. You know there's a lot of information and a lot of data that we're curating.
Really, we're trying to shoot for a 10 second product, so wrapping all this up, fusing all this information. What's the impact? What's the social vulnerability? What's the type of population that was impacted? Trying to present this to our senior leadership in a product that they can understand in 10 seconds or less? What we're trying to convey? That's that's our goal. That's what we're trying to shoot for. So with that, I'm going to actually just stop it.
I think that's that's that's good enough for today and turn it over to my colleague Florian. I'm going to follow Vic. I do have a joke. But I'm going to say that it's a terrible dad joke. I'm a dad.
I got a bad bad joke in my head but I'm gonna pass it over the floor and get off the stage. Thank you. Thank you, thank you, thank you Chris. We'll go straight forward into this presentation where I want to tell you a bit some of our IT products. The platforms which we develop to stay in contact with our counterparts and to allow them to feed us with information and also at the end.
Maybe I'll say a few words about. How we were dealing in the last year or so with the with all these involving of the technologies in in what we do with the with the training with the exercises not preparedness like like you guys were, we're we're presenting a bit before on on your work. My name is Florian Boucher. I'm the response system coordinator in the instant Emergency Center in the agency.
And we'll we'll get you quickly. I hope to this next slide, please. I want to, as I said, talk a bit about these tools which we have developed. The basics of work a bit and then about these tools that they use here means all these acronyms. I hope that we can go quickly through and give you a quick image on what we are trying to achieve with this next slide please.
We are basing our work here on the international conventions. Basically the two very important convention, the Convention for the notification of a nuclear accident in the Convention for Assistance in case of a nuclear accident, oratorical emergency. We also have to take care about the statute of the Agency.
And of course we have the operating a lot of safety standards and arrangements which are binding for us in our work and also binding for our. For our counterparts, we work with them more than than 400 organizations directly in. In our response work. But also we we work internally here in in in the agency with the large number of people from all the departments and we we we try to be prepared and be able to respond all the time.
And I'm just going to say about our roles. We have roles, boating, preparedness in IPR, and in response. I don't insist on the ones on the preparedness where we need to build capacity in Member States. Capacity for EPR and and and for implementing these standards. I just stop a bit on this rose in in in the response next time.
Next line please. Where we have to deal basically with a few few things, the notification and the information exchange when the emergency hits that taking care of public communications as a UN agency, we need to perform this. We need to do also assessment and prognosis.
That's a task which we got after Shima, basically to cover don't we don't opinion to come with come with the with the if you put if you wish our judgment on the situation based on our standards and based on. On on how we we we see this. This standards being implemented, we need also to care for assistance methods when assistance is required we need to have a process and we have to have the resources in place to deliver this. And finally we need to have this.
What we call interagency coordination, where we need to work with many UN agencies and try to to to to come to to a common language and and and to synergies on these things next next slide please. The first tool, which we we strongly use, and it's it's we invest a lot in this thing. We were looking many years ago at some solutions with advantages and disadvantages, like for instance webio, see and other things and we choose to develop our own path.
We choose to to go forward and have this platform for communications based on functions and roles and based on standard forms which are available to our counterparts. The platform is very, very strong and we we keep it robust in terms of fighting in terms of of the security of information and it it it. It allows our counterparts to start communicating and to to share the information. This is called a unified system for incident information, exchange incidents and emergencies.
And it's our main communication tools tool. We have next slide please. Tool which is important in supporting these communications and it's about the monitoring data we collect. Monitoring data from existing networks in the Member States and we reference this monitoring data to what we call, for instance, the operational intervention levels and this will give a very quick image on what is the situation on the ground in terms of you know the need to implement or not certain protective actions and so. When we are, we are collecting a lot from Europe.
We've got data from Japan, US, Canada. But of course we need to do more to collect data from all other existing networks. We don't build networks and and monitoring systems, we just collect from our counterparts. This this data.
That's the monitoring part. The next slide please for the assistance tools we are using both our unified system for instance and emergencies and the run at mechanism and. Concept we have developed response and assistance network and it is up to now we have 37 Member States in running telling us how they could possibly help.
We organize this information and on the system on the UC we can collect requests for assistance. Offer of assistance. We are matching these things and we are able to to to dispatch on resources and also of course resources in Member States. We have a very clear process for this. And we were maybe in the last decade we had a couple of cases per year or so on average where we need to deploy missions, for instance, to give medical advice or missions to look for a screening of radiation or to recover radiation services and actually just last year we were kind of delivering our first. If you wish 100% virtual mission of assistance.
By giving for instance medical advice in a case where in in Thailand we there were a couple of individuals which were exposed in a in a research facility. The mission was of that nature that we could document and have the medical doctors looking at all the facts and then being able to come with this very very good medical advice. So that was the assistance. Next slide, please assessment and prognosis tools we have. Put together a manual to deliver this to tell our counterparts how we do the process here so that we are well understood that we can be well supported and we are running exercises for this with them and next slide please. We have developed a certain what they call tools to to to do this.
For instance, one of our important tools is the reactor assessment tool. We have of course, given access to our counterparts. Use these and to go for the various types of reactors going for the known conditions to be able to to, to to say what is the status of the critical safety functions. For instance, again, based on the information from the counterpart and allowing us to elaborate.
A quick report on what is the status summary? What is the known information about the facility and what is our brief assessment saying that our assessment is we see that, for instance. Actions taken are in line with, say, the the the safety standards or the agency and our our corresponding to the to the necessities of the of the response phases. So these tools are are important. We have them, we have tools for, for instance the actor assessment but also for public information. Also some tools to Orient the response of say, the nuclear security specialists. All these are available and they are.
They are used by our counterparts. And they give a good perspective on what are we aiming. So then their end they would know what is the information expected on their side for us then to be able to fulfill this next slide.
Please we have a tool which is called a prims. I'm actually partners information, major management system, and it's a it's a strong tool allowing our counterparts, the Member States to self assess where they are in terms of EPR and then allowing us to to to see where the needs are in terms of technical cooperation, projects and and and the assistance activities on how we can enhance their capabilities in EPR based on their self assessment. And then based on missions, which way do we deploy? We have this approved missions which are which are to evaluate what is their status of implementing the various criteria as in the safety standards.
And again this would allow us and them to have a good orientation or what are the priorities in terms of helping now in the next slide? I just want to say a few words about how we internally train. Our system we have in the House. The Instant Emergency Center in the agency. But this is just the the new clothes of what we call the instant emergency system. We have a few hundreds of people which are trained to response on the various functions.
Everything by the plan. Everything by the procedures and we were very active in in this during the pandemic and in the last last couple of years. We keeping this this system working as we. We had to come up with a number of tools allowing for the remote training and the remote participation. We got an internal home home page where people have access all the time.
With this information they can take, they can take sessions independently from remote to to to refresh their their knowledge and we we are mixing this also with the sessions of training and exercises in presence. So we we we combine these. Things, and just to mention a few words at the end about the the training next slide, please. It's it's about a strong transition from a entirely in person approach to. Blended learning approach where we have this sessions by the by the trainers in a in a virtual environment.
So we are putting also this pre class assignments. Small group sessions to practice. Also in in in person then we have are using intensively the the the teams and the the Webex.
Environments to carry on. With our lectures. We also do a lot of pools to keep the teams dynamic. You know with the slide and and and other other types of pools and also a lot of e-learning and how to do videos which are available to our to our staff members to keep them active on the training program.
We also embed this in what we call we have a management system for the for the learning and discounts for. For each of the individuals in there, you know evaluations and PDR's and allows them to to to follow the progress and allows us to recognize this. This this progress and we continue to take very much care of the rules also of the of the kovid of the pandemic. So in all our in person sessions you know the use of the mask, the assigned seating and all all these things we have to very very carefully take care because we could see a vulnerability here. You know if in some training or. Prices we could affect other people then we will lose their capacity into some to some extent.
So we were. We were very careful about this and of course we we went to see how we can really work from remote. The remote access for the responders you know taking care of all the security and the security of information and this is done of course with the IT support and we have done good. Good progress in trying to to to use the tools from remote and assembly.
The teams in a combined way. Some people working from more than some people working from from here in in in person. That's that's what I wanted to to to share with you. It is yeah thanks. Thanks and back back to you Clay thanks.
Thank you so much and and a big shout out to all the presenters. Very insightful, very informative and I I got a couple of Nuggets that I can use for the future so thank you for that. We're going to shift into some Q&amp;A's and I would like to start with a question for Liz. From how do you deal with common mode failure in case of a cyber attack? Yeah, thanks Clay, like that's a really good question. I like that question a lot so I mentioned during my presentation we're working with any Iowa Charlotte Shields were writing a white paper about the remote ROP, and that's a common question.
You know what if your Internet fails? What if you know your platform fails or there's something wrong there? And really, the answer is pretty simple if you think about just nuclear power in general, you're always going to have a backup. You're always going to have a comp measure available in case something goes down. So even back when we had fax machines, you know there's a failure there. That's possible. So what's your backup to communicate in that case? So there's a lot of different options.
You know we can always. I suspect we'll maintain bridge lines of a redundant independent communication method, and then the the case of remote response. If your network goes down, you always have the option to to go back to the regular augmentation and driving into the plants.
One thing we've also thrown out there within our fleet, you know, right now we have three sites operating reactors, well, that the likelihood of an event happening at all three sites at the same time relatively low. So at each site you have personnel available to respond remotely with a pretty strong infrastructure there and and communication and and backup, diesels and things like that. So there's a lot of different. Options to to take their backup measures to how to communicate, but I'm just like any technology will have a a backup and backup to the backup.
So there there's a lot to be done there, but we're we're working through that with the industry and the NRC, Ray Hoffman and Jesse Kikuchi have been very helpful in in working with that and coming up with a viable option for comp measures. Wonderful thank you for that. **** I have questions for you.
Does the NRC have minimum requirements or minimum capabilities for remote responders? You're on mute. OK, somebody had to do it. It had to be me. I'm not aware of any. Minimum requirements for remote response.
I think we're being flexible right now and matching what we have to do with what we can do. I think that's something we are sorting out, and one of the things I worked on for the last six months while I was working with Clay was what does that remote response look like, and how much of it should we plan to be doing. You know what's the capacity? We need to think about for an emergency response center? It's probably not going to be 100%. So I don't know there'll be a minimum, but I think rather than a capacity it might be more a minimum in performance. Thank you Mr and. Chris, let's see.
Are there any remote communications platforms that permit encrypted messages? Well, so that's out of my lane. I'm sorry I don't know the answer to that one. Great question. We do have a whole group dedicated to disaster emergency communications, you know. Specially with integrated comms environment you know, especially after a tornado or hurricane goes through will deploy in our own communication packages. So I would have to defer to them for that great question, but. Yeah, out of my lane, thank you.
Thank you. Florian question came your way, how do you manage all the connections with so many types of technologies used by all the Member States? Well, we. We gave you stab Lish, our arrangements, and we have, you know, publish these arrangements we are running. Single workshops where we invite all our counterparts and we we try to stick to the book we say look, we've got many communication channels the strongest is this website of ours which is secured. And by the way linked to the previous questions for encryption we have set up portions of our system to to have to handle encrypted information both in in transport and in storage, and some specific users would have access to this to this area. Where information is encrypted but coming back it's setting the arrangements.
You know, exercising, practicing the arrangements and telling them guys, whatever you have there at your end. At the end we like to to promote and to use these arrangements and these channels of ours so you know, try to to accommodate and have your inputs in our system through whatever internal rangement you may have so that we can keep on the communications. Thank you for that. Let's see.
Chris, I believe I have an easy one for you. How did you transition from your university Bachelor of Arts to this role in