The International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP) and the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) held a joint meeting in Munich, Germany, 8–10 November 2017 to exchange information and views on the scientific basis, ethical basis, and basic principles of protection. According to a joint statement posted by the International Radiation Protection Association (IRPA), "ICRP and ICNIRP share significant common ground, and have reached an agreement in principle to strengthen communication and collaboration between them and with other organisations with similar interests."
More information can be found on the IRPA website.
The balloting period has closed and the results are in—Health Physics Society (HPS) members overwhelmingly supported both proposed changes to the HPS Bylaws:
- Moving to a two-year president's term.
- Reducing the number of directors from nine to six.
These changes will increase our operational efficiency and allow the HPS president to function more strategically. The Executive Committee of the Board will meet in mid-November to begin planning the implementation and communication plan for these changes. Stay tuned for further information on the rollout of these governance changes.
We are moving toward a more agile and effective HPS. We need your continued engagement and value your feedback. This is an exciting time for our Society and demonstrates our willingness to boldly reject the null hypothesis and embrace change.
The Health Physics Society (HPS) has resolved that 5–11 November 2017 is National Radiation Protection Professionals Week, dedicated to recognizing radiation protection professionals for their contributions to public safety. The full resolution can be found on the HPS website.
The Denver Marriott City Center, location of the 2018 Health Physics Society (HPS) Midyear Meeting, will become the Hilton Denver City Center on 1 December 2017. With the new name comes a savings for HPS members attending the meeting—the room rate will be reduced from $205 to $180. When you reserve before 1 December, the room rate will be quoted as $205 and will then be reduced to $180 on 1 December. All reservations will carry over to the new hotel. Visit the HPS Meetings page to reserve your hotel room and to register for the meeting.
The International Radiation Protection Association (IRPA) has posted IRPA Bulletin issue 15, which features information about the XI Latin American Regional IRPA Congress, messages from the president and the Task Group on Radioactive Source Security, and more.
The National Academies has activated a public website for the study "Disposal of Surplus Plutonium in the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant." On this site are the statement of task and notification of the committee's meetings and the names and biographies of the provisional committee. Public comments on the slate of names may be submitted on the National Academies website through 22 November 2017.
The International Radiation Protection Association (IRPA) has commented on the International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP)/International Commission on Radiation Units and Measurements (ICRU) draft report "Operational Quantities for External Radiation Exposure." The IRPA response and statement can be found on the IRPA website.
Health Physics Society member Gayle Woloschak, PhD, testified 1 November 2017 at the Future of Low-Dose Radiation Research, a Subcommittee on Energy Hearing. She is a professor of radiation oncology and radiology at Northwestern University. Woloschak's testimony is available on the Committee on Science, Space, and Technology website, where you can also find a video of the hearing.
Online registration is now open for the 2018 Health Physics Society Midyear Meeting being held 4–7 February in Denver, Colorado. Preregister by 16 January to receive a discount on registration fees. Go to the Meetings section of the HPS website for more information and to register.
The U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) has issued the report Low-Dose Radiation: Interagency Collaboration on Planning Research Could Improve Information on Health Effects.
In its Recommendation for Executive Action, the GAO states: "The Secretary of Energy should lead the development of a mechanism for interagency collaboration to determine roles and responsibilities for addressing priorities related to research on the health effects of low-dose radiation."
More information and the full report are available on the GAO website.
The National Comission on Radiation Protection and Measurements (NCRP) has announced the publication of Report No. 179, Guidance for Emergency Response Dosimetry, as a tool for the emergency planning and response community.
Report 179 bridges the dosimetry gaps between trained and equipped radiation workers and all other categories of responders who are considered emergency workers during a radiation response.
More information on the report and purchasing instructions can be found on the NCRP website.
Hard copies of the report can be purchased by Health Physics Society (HPS) members for a 20% discount using the discount code on the HPS Members Only website (under Benefits, Other Publications, NCRP Discount Code).
The electronic copy of the report can be purchased at a 60% discount as soon as the Society has the mechanism set up with the NCRP. An announcement will be made on the website when the process is completed for purchasing electronic copies.
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is issuing for public comment draft regulatory guide (DG), DG–8056, "Instructions for Recording and Reporting Occupational Radiation Dose Data," a proposed Revision 4 to Regulatory Guide (RG) 8.7 of the same name. The DG addresses issues that were identified after Revision 3 was issued in December 2016. The DG reinstates the long-standing staff position concerning a licensee's consideration of prior occupational dose when making prospective occupational dose monitoring determinations. The DG retains the guidance from Revision 3 on completing NRC Form 4, "Cumulative Occupational Dose History,’" and NRC Form 5, "Occupational Dose Record for a Monitoring Period."
More information can be found in the Federal Register notice.
Comments should be submitted by 15 December 2017. Go to http://www.regulations.gov and search for Docket ID NRC–2017–0205.
Health Physics Society member William (Bill) McCarthy has received the 2017 Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Excellence Award for Innovative Solutions. This award acknowledges the extraordinary efforts made by members of the MIT community. Bill is a deputy director of MIT's Environment, Health and Safety Office and Reactor Radiation Protection Officer at the Nuclear Reactor Laboratory (NRL).
Bill is certified by the American Board of Health Physics (ABHP) and is a member of the ABHP examination panel.
More details can be found on the MIT website.
Jason Davis, CHP, PhD, who was awarded the Elda E. Anderson Award at the 2017 Health Physics Society Annual Meeting, has been named the health physicist for the Radiation Emergency Assistance Center/Training Site (REAC/TS), a world-renowned U.S. Department of Energy asset located at the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE) and managed by Oak Ridge Associated Universities. More information can be obtained on the ORISE website.
Health Physics Society (HPS) members can now enjoy free access to many National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurements (NCRP) documents (reports and commentaries) as part of their membership. For those publications that are not freely available, HPS members will receive a 60% discount from the list price for electronic versions of NCRP documents purchased through the HPS Members Only website. Members can now log in to the Members Only site and download a free document or purchase one at 60% off list price!
Burk and Associates, in consultation with HPS leadership, negotiated this agreement with NCRP at cost to HPS of $35,000 per year for five years. This contract is solely for electronically available NCRP reports and commentaries, with special provisions as follows:
- The current 20% off hard-copy purchases for HPS members will remain.
- NCRP will provide access and download of electronically available PDFs of older NCRP reports and commentaries at no charge.
- NCRP will provide hard copies of older NCRP reports and commentaries on occasion for distribution at HPS meetings (beginning with Raleigh meeting in 2017).
Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT) will offer a radiochemistry track in its well-regarded master of health physics program beginning in fall 2018 and will accept applications for the track starting on 1 October 2017.
The university recently signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the University of Missouri, Columbia, that will enable radiochemistry-track students to take a one-week radiochemistry laboratory at the Missouri University Research Reactor (MURR). MURR is a 10-megawatt facility and the most powerful nuclear research reactor at a U.S. university. The course at MURR will provide students with hands-on experience in handling, detecting, and analyzing radioactive materials.
Started in 1997, the master of health physics program at IIT is a nonthesis degree program designed for working professionals and people in the military, with most courses available online. Instructors are nationally renowned experts with decades of experience. An advisory board of professionals helps guide the curriculum.
S.Y. Chen, a signee of the MOU, is a longstanding member of both the Health Physics Society and the American Nuclear Society, has 30 years of experience in the field, including senior positions at Argonne National Laboratory. He was a member of the National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurements and of the Enivironmental Protection Agency Science Advisory Board/Radiation Advisory Committee.
Radiochemistry is the academic field for studying the chemical properties and processes of radioactive materials. In the United States, a large segment of radiochemists in the workforce is reaching retirement age, and not enough people are being trained to fill their spots.
"Cold War-era scientists are retiring," said Chen. "It is crucial to educate new health physicists focused on radiochemistry in order to meet the nation's needs."
Both the National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurements and the National Academy of Science (NAS) have expressed concern about the coming shortfall of radiochemists. NAS reported, "The growing use of nuclear medicine, the potential expansion of nuclear power generation, and the urgent needs to protect the nation against external nuclear threats . . . require a substantial, highly trained, and exceptionally talented workforce."
Currently, only a handful of U.S. universities offer radiochemistry as a field of study, and most programs are not designed with online courses for professionals and those serving in the military.
Interested students can apply to IIT's Graduate Admission Office or call 312-567-3020 or (toll-free in the U.S. and Canada) 866-GRAD-IIT (866-472-3448).
Adapted from an IIT press release.
Health Physics Society (HPS) President Eric Abelquist has prepared the slide show presentation Careers in Health Physics for HPS members to use in talks and for science teacher workshops. It is available as a PDF on the Careers in Health Physics page and as a slide show on the Members Only Science Support page. It is a good resource, showing the wide variety of careers available to students interested in math and science careers.
The slide show was adapted from a presentation prepared by HPS member Carl Tarantino. You will notice that all photos have attributions showing the source of the photos so that we are in compliance with copyright laws. We ask everyone not to add photos to this show.
Beginning this fall, Health Physics Society (HPS) members will enjoy free access to many National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurements (NCRP) documents (reports and commentaries) as part of their membership. For those publications that are not freely available, HPS members will receive a 60% discount from the list price for electronic versions of NCRP documents purchased through the HPS Members Only website. Members will soon be able to log in to the Members Only site and download a free document or purchase one at 40% of list price!
Burk and Associates, in consultation with HPS leadership, negotiated this agreement with NCRP. This five-year contract is solely for electronically available NCRP reports and commentaries, with special provisions as follows:
- The current benefit of 20% off hard-copy purchases for HPS members will remain.
- NCRP will provide access and download of electronically available PDFs of older NCRP reports and commentaries at no charge.
- NCRP will provide hard copies of older NCRP reports and commentaries on occasion for distribution at HPS meetings (which began at the Raleigh meeting in 2017).
All International Radiation Protection Association (IRPA) associate societies are invited to nominate a candidate to receive the Rolf M. Sievert Award, which will be presented at the 15th IRPA International Congress in Seoul in May 2020.
The Sievert Award recognizes outstanding contributions to radiological protection and honours the memory of Rolf M. Sievert, PhD, a leader and pioneer in radiological protection. The recipient must be preeminent in the discipline, and in accepting the award, the recipient must agree to be in a position to present the Sievert Lecture at the Seoul international congress.
Nominations must be of people who are not currently members of either the Executive Council or the Sievert Award Committee.
A nomination must be accompanied by a supporting statement to justify the nomination. To guide the Award Committee in evaluating nominations, an IRPA Associate Society that makes a nomination should provide as a minimum for each candidate:
- A 250-word outline of the particular contributions the candidate has made in the field of radiation protection that are the basis for the nomination and that would justify the candidate's selection as the recipient of the award.
- The formal assurance that the candidate is the official nominee of an IRPA associate society.
- A current CV for the candidate, including a summary, approximately 500 words, of the candidate's career.
- Any pertinent supporting documentation.
- An assurance that the recipient of the Sievert Award will deliver the Sievert Memorial Lecture at the Congress and will make a copy of the lecture available to the publications director for publication.
Names of nominees should be sent to Health Physics Society Awards Committee Chair Robert Cherry by 31 December 2017.