Rep. Tulsi Gabbard Honors Senator Akaka, Recognizes Honolulu’s Radiological Security Program
Honolulu, HI—This morning, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02) joined the City and County of Honolulu and a coalition of federal, state, and local officials in recognizing the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Office of Radiological Security with the first-ever Homeland Security Award. The ceremony recognized Maegan Barlow, the Director of the Office of Radiological Services (OSR) at DOE’s National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), for OSR’s work to enhance the security of high-risk radioactive materials in Hawaiʻi over the past decade. Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard also presented a certificate recognizing Senator Daniel K. Akaka for his leadership in highlighting the vulnerability of radiological materials in Hawaiʻi and across the United States.
At Senator Akaka's request, the GAO published a report revealing the high vulnerability of radiological materials across the United States. As a result, Senator Akaka worked with ORS to initiate a pilot counterterrorism exercise program in Hawaiʻi focused on giving federal, state and local officials and first responders critical, hands-on experience in prioritized alarm assessment and response, crisis management, threat assessment, emergency response, consequence management and post-contingency procedures to prepare them in the event of a terrorist incident involving radiological materials. The successful pilot program has become the basis for domestic radiological security programs across the U.S.
“Senator Akaka was instrumental in shedding light on the vulnerabilities of domestic radiological materials, and his work with NNSA and partners at every level of government to initiate the first counterterrorism exercise pilot program in Hawaiʻi has made our state a model for similar programs across the country,” said Rep. Tulsi Gabbard. “The threat of radiological terrorism is a constantly evolving and ever-growing threat, and we must continue to build off the progress we’ve made over the past decade to keep our radiological materials secure. Mahalo nui loa to Senator Akaka, to Director Barlow and the NNSA, and our federal, state, and local partners who are continuously working to enhance the security of Hawaiʻi’s radiological materials, improve our ability to respond to radiological security threats, and strengthen the safety and security of the people of Hawaiʻi.”
Above and below: Rep. Tulsi Gabbard recognizes Senator Daniel Akaka for his leadership in highlighting the vulnerability of radiological materials in Hawaiʻi and across the United States
Below (left to right): City Managing Director Roy Amemiya, Jr., NNSA ORS Director Maegon Barlow, U.S. Sen. Mazie Hirono, Former Senator Daniel K. Akaka, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard