Including Sweden, four of the seventeen are NATO partner countries – Austria, Finland, Sweden and Switzerland. In this exercise, which is designed primarily for military laboratories, some civil laboratories will also be participating.
“With the threat picture that exists at present, the boundary between civil and military has become less distinct and today it is not improbable that civil resources can support military units and vice versa,” says Björn Sandström who, together with Henrik Ramebäck, is leading the exercise.
The successful concept which was launched by FOI is an exercise that does not entail travelling and where the laboratory gets is information by e-mail and then has eight hours in which to analyse the information in its usual environment, after which it gives its answer to an imaginary commander who requires the answer in order to decide on the measures to be taken.
The fundamental point about the exercise is that the software that takes in the data about radioactive substances is universal, thus making it possible to send this data in files, for example by e-mail, and to ask someone else to look at the data that has been gathered. Military units make use of this in the form of a so-called ‘reach-back’ function where the person performing the final analysis may be located on another continent.
A further reason why so many chose to participate could be that the laboratories, during the period October-November, can choose their day for the exercise. Since all administration is looked after by e-mail, no-one is tied to a particular day for the exercise. Some laboratories will know in advance of some individual participants from their own countries and can certainly guess at some others who may be participating. It is highly unlikely, though, that anyone will share their information with anyone else. There is too much prestige involved for that to happen, the exercise organisers believe.
At the end of the exercise, everyone will be told who has participated but the various laboratories’ results will remain anonymous since they have all been allocated animal code names under which their results are reported. The participating laboratories can themselves decide whether they wish their identities to be published. It hardly takes an Einstein to work out that those who did well would be happier to reveal their identities than those who did less well.