September 11, 2001
Terrorists attack the World Trade Center in New York City and the Pentagon outside Washington, D.C. Under the threat of additional assaults, Secretary Abraham orders that all DOE facilities be placed in high security status. All non-essential DOE personnel are evacuated and sent home. All shipments of nuclear materials are halted; nuclear operations around the country are stopped; and nuclear material is secured. America's energy infrastructure is monitored, and security at nuclear plants, refineries, pipelines, distribution points, and along the electricity transmission grid is heightened. The nation's oil and gas supply, including the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, is also monitored.
Over the next several weeks, DOE responds to the disaster by contributing equipment, emergency medical technicians and other assistance in support of rescue efforts. DOE's Brookhaven National Laboratory dispatches Fire Department personnel, all trained in confined-space rescue, as well as truck and heavy rescue equipment and several electrical generators to New York City. DOE's Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory sends four emergency services officers to work in the triage area. Working with Federal Emergency Management Agency staff, DOE employees assist in the search for survivors by using Ground Penetrating Radar equipment adapted with motion detection applications. Other DOE teams operate with sophisticated, remotely-operated equipment, including infrared cameras, robotic equipment and fiber optic cameras.