Society News Archive

7 June 2016
Annual Meeting Program Highlights

Join us at the 2016 Health Physics Society (HPS) Annual Meeting in Spokane, Washington, for an impressive array of technical sessions that the Program Committee has assembled. The preliminary program is available at and the main meeting page is available at

You can register here.

The plenary session—"The Wild and Wonderful World (Universe) of Health Physics"—features speakers of national and international standing. Sigurður Magnús Magnússon will be presenting a discussion on the Heads of the European Radiological Pro­tection Competent Authorities (HERCA) and the cooperation between the radiation safety regulators in Europe. Andrea Browne, DABR, PhD, will be speaking on the Joint Commission's guidelines for radiation safety and medical physics. Hiroko Yoshida, PhD, will discuss the environmental levels of ra­diation around Fukushima, and Richard Toohey, CHP, PhD, will present "Lessons Learned and Unlearned From the Social, Regulatory, and Political Aspects of Health Physics." Sayed Rokni, CHP, PhD, will be describing a technical standard being developed for clearance of at least one accel­erator facility based on a previous American National Standards Institute (ANSI) draft standard, ANSI 13.12. "Health Physics in Space—The Final Frontier" will be presented by John Boice, ScD. John Lanza, MD, PhD, will close the session with "Health Physics in Homeland Security." Don't miss this wide-ranging and interesting plenary session assembled by HPS President Nancy Kirner!

Once again we will have a full day of general sessions going through Thursday, thanks to all of the high-quality technical abstracts that were submitted. Plan to stay in Spokane through Thursday to ensure that you get to see all of the informative and interesting general sessions on topics like medical health physics, emergency response, and homeland security. A full program of technical and special sessions throughout the week includes:

  • Radioactive Sealed Source (RSS) Decommissioning and Disposal. This session is chaired by John Hageman, CHP, and examines the local and international perspectives on the processes available to prepare for the eventual removal of RSSs from facilities. Panel members will address specific questions that you may have about planning for the successful decommissioning and disposal of your RSS.
  • U.S. Transuranium and Uranium Registries (USTUR): Five-Decade Follow-Up of Plutonium and Uranium Workers. This full-day session will begin with Ron Kathren's keynote address "The USTUR: Where We Have Been and Where We Are Going" followed by Gene Carbaugh with "The Atomic Man: Case Study of the Largest Re­corded 241Am Deposition in a Human." The morning technical session will present five talks highlighting internal research by USTUR scien­tists, while the afternoon technical session features five selected USTUR collaborative studies represented by speakers from Germa­ny, Spain, the United Kingdom, and the United States. The special session will end with a roundtable discussion.
  • Decontamination and Decommissioning (D&D) of the McCluskey Room at Hanford's Plutonium Finishing Plant. On 30 August 1976, at Hanford's Plutonium Finishing Plant, an exchange column in the americium recovery facility exploded, rupturing the waste-treatment box and resulting in extreme contamination of both the recovery room and a nuclear chemical operator named Harold McCluskey (a.k.a. "The Atomic Man"). McCluskey, then 64, was showered with glass and metal fragments and concentrated nitric acid and was exposed to hundreds of times the occupational standard for 241Am. His medical and radiological statuses were followed until his death in 1987 from a cardiac condition totally unrelated to the accident, which had actually predated the accident. However, this is NOT the end of the story. This special session describes the D&D process and some of the unusual radiological problems confronted and solutions required. An initial presentation describes the accident in detail, discusses probable causes, and provides radiological conditions when the McCluskey Room was reopened. A series of subsequent presentations describes the planning and implementation of the D&D of the McCluskey Room, followed by a panel discussion focusing on the overall planning and execution of the D&D of the McCluskey Room.

Topics of other informative and interesting special sessions will include environmental radon; National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP)/RADAIR; Academic, Industrial, Research Radiation Safety (AIRRS) Sec­tion; Nuclear Weapons (American Academy of Health Physics); and many more. Look for another special session to be highlighted in the July issue of Health Physics News!
Thanks to all of those who submitted ab­stracts or supported those who did—it is the members of the HPS and everything that you do that allows us to continue to have great and successful meetings. See you all in July!  Register here.

Best dressed D&D worker, Photo courtesy of Joseph E. Smith