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21 April 2014
HPS Agency Liaison Position Opening

The Health Physics Society (HPS) is seeking candidates interested in serving the Society as agency liaison. Dr. Richard Vetter, who has served the Society for several years in that capacity, will relinquish the role to spend time on his many other interests.

Since the position is filled by presidential appointment and Board approval, President Darrell Fisher has the responsibility for identifying and nominating a replacement for Dr. Vetter. President Fisher has requested the Government Relations Committee (Joe Ring, chairman) to seek candidates for the position. The committee expects to select a recommended candidate no later than the 2014 HPS Annual Meeting in Baltimore and have the new incumbent fully functioning in the position by the October 2014 HPS president's visit to Washington, DC.

If you wish to be considered for the agency liaison role or wish to nominate someone else, please contact Joseph Ring no later than 16 May 2014.

Background

The HPS Governmental Relations Program has the following objectives:

  1. To work to have legislation, regulations, and public policies based on current, sound science and good practice in radiation safety.

  2. To have the Society recognized by governmental entities as an independent, professional, and expert source of information on radiation sciences and radiation safety.

  3. To carry out its activities, as provided in the HPS Bylaws, in such a manner as to be benevolent, educational, scientific, and without monetary profit to its organizers or members.

The Governmental Relations Program works towards these objectives by:

  1. Having the Society take positions on legislation, regulations, and policies.

  2. Conducting or supporting educational sessions for governmental entities.

  3. Helping Society members interact with governmental entities on an individual basis without influence from the Society on the content of their interaction.

Duties and Responsibilities

The agency liaison serves as an assistant to the president and an advisor to the Board of Directors in implementation of the Governmental Relations Program as specified in HPS Rule 7.5. The primary responsibility of the position is to maintain a consistent message and issue focus in the Governmental Relations Program and to provide technical expertise to the Society's interactions with government, legislative, and regulatory organizations and agencies. The liaison is responsible for reviewing existing and proposed radiation protection laws, regulations, ordinances, and rules and making recommendations to the president/Society.

Additional details are provided in the Job Description that is available at https://hps.org/membersonly/employment/jobs/job2075.html.

 

18 April 2014
Submittal Deadline Extended for IAEA Conference on Occupational Radiation Protection

The deadline for submitting papers to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) "International Conference on Occupational Radiation Protection: Enhancing the Protection of Workers—Gaps, Challenges and Developments" has been extended to 15 June 2014. Contributed papers should be submitted to orpconf2014@iaea.org.

The conference will be held in Vienna, Austria, 1–5 December 2014. It will be organized by the IAEA and cosponsored by the International Labour Organization, in cooperation with several other international organizations.

More meeting information can be found in the meetings section of the IAEA website.

 

18 April 2014
Nominations Requested for Radiation Advisory Committee Opening

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Science Advisory Board (SAB) staff office is seeking nominations of experts to serve on the Radiation Advisory Committee (RAC). Nominees should have demonstrated expertise in the following disciplines: fate and transport of radionuclides, radiation carcinogenesis, radiation exposure, radiation worker health and safety, radiological emergency response, radiological risk assessment, and radon exposure. The call for nominations can be found at gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2014-04-18/pdf/2014-08923.pdf.

Since many members of Health Physics Society (HPS) have expertise in one or more of these areas, the HPS is very interested in making nominations to the EPA for the RAC openings. Qualified persons who are interested in serving on the EPA's Radiation Advisory Committee should contact HPS President Darrell Fisher (dr.fisher@hps.org) as soon as practical.

More information on the SAB and the RAC can be found in the Committees and Memberships section of the EPA website.

 

9 April 2014
Online Preliminary Program for HPS Annual Meeting in Baltimore

The preliminary program for the 59th Annual Health Physics Society meeting being held in Baltimore, Maryland, 13–17 July 2014, is now available online. 

The program is presented by date, time, and session and is also searchable by author, title, abstract, and keywords.

 

7 April 2014
Comments Requested on OSHA Dose Limits

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is soliciting public comments concerning its proposal to extend approval of the information-collection requirements specified in the Ionizing Radiation Standard (29 CFR 1910.1096). See the Federal Register notice at gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2014-04-01/pdf/2014-07231.pdf.

OSHA says that these information-collection requirements protect workers from the adverse health effects that may result from occupational exposure to ionizing radiation. Comments must be submitted by 2 June 2014

OSHA is particularly interested in comments on the following issues:
  • Whether the proposed information-collection requirements are necessary to protect workers, including whether the information is useful.
  • The accuracy of OSHA's estimate of the burden (time and costs) of the information collection requirements, including the validity of the methodology and assumptions used.
  • The quality, utility, and clarity of the information collected.
  • Ways to minimize the burden on employers who must comply, for example, by using automated or other technological information collection and transmission techniques.

 

1 April 2014
Poster Abstracts Accepted for Annual Meeting Until 1 June

Submissions of abstracts for the 2014 Health Physics Society Annual Meeting Current Events and Works-in-Progress posters may be made online until 1 June 2014.

The Current Events and/or Works-in-Progress session(s) are intended for material and developments in the field of health physics so new that time does not permit the normal abstract-review process. All Current Events/Works-in-Progress presentations are poster presentations.

All Current Events/Works-in-Progress abstracts must be accompanied by a justification for inclusion in this special category. Information for submission of Current Events/Works-in-Progress abstracts will be included in the Preliminary Program.

At least one author of these posters must be present in the Exhibit Hall on Monday, 14 July from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. A submitted abstract is a commitment to present, and cancellations should be avoided. If extenuating circumstances prevent the presenting author from making the presentation, it is the author's responsibility to find an alternate presenter.

The abstracts may be submitted with the Online Abstract Submittal Form.

 

1 April 2014
Health Physics Education Study Performed by ORISE Released

A new report titled Health Physics Enrollments and Degrees Survey, 2013 Data, found that the number of college students graduating with majors in health physics between 1 September 2012 and 31 August 2013 has increased slightly for bachelor's degrees, but decreased for both master's and doctoral candidates. The report was performed and published by the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE).

"We are concerned about the vitality of health physics teaching programs at several colleges and universities," said Dr. Darrell R. Fisher, president of the Health Physics Society. "To remain vibrant and healthy, these programs need highly dedicated faculty, long-term support from university administrators, and adequate sponsored funding for fellowships and research. Graduate programs also need to actively recruit from undergraduate talent pools to maintain a critical mass."

The report also showed:
  • Enrollment in health physics programs increased for undergraduates, but declined for graduates in 2013.
  • The top degree-granting programs were Oregon State University, Texas A&M University, Idaho State University, and University of Massachusetts, Lowell.
  • High enrollment rates for undergraduates indicates that the number of bachelor's degrees is likely to increase in the coming years, but because the number of graduate enrollments is the lowest reported since the early 1970s, the number of graduate degrees are expected to decrease.
  • Postgraduation plans reported for 2013 graduates were reviewed and ORISE concluded that more than half of the bachelor's graduates and one-fifth of the master's graduates are uncertain of their next step upon completing their current degree program.

Read the full press release with a short summary of the report on the ORAU website media center.

Read the report on the ORISE website.

 

11 March 2014
NAS Beebe Symposium on Reactor Accidents Will Be 13 May 2014

The 2014 National Academy of Sciences (NAS) Beebe Symposium: The Science and Response to a Nuclear Reactor Accident, will be held 13 May 2014 in Washington, DC.

Registration will open in April 2014. Symposium details can be found on the Nuclear and Radiation Studies Board website.

 

9 February 2014
PDS on Radiation Instruments

The Baltimore Washington Chapter of the Health Physics Society (HPS) is hosting a two-day professional development school (PDS) on radiation instruments just before the annual HPS meeting in Baltimore in July. Since 11 September 2001, the increasing concerns for national security have led radiation instrument manufacturers to develop many new and innovative instruments. While most health physicists are familiar with the traditional ion chambers, Geiger counters, and sodium iodide detectors, a vast array of new instruments is now available. This PDS will review new instrument designs, capabilities, and limitations and provide opportunities for demonstration and side-by-side comparisons.

The academic deans are Ray Johnson and Matthew Spierenburg. The administrative dean is Sean Austin.

The dates for the school are 10–11 July 2014. The tuition for this school will be $450 and will include a Wednesday evening reception, a Thursday night out, lunches, and refreshments.

There is more information on the meeting web page at hps.org/meetings/pds.html.

 

4 February 2014
EPA Requests Comments on Updating Nuclear Power Environmental Standards

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has published an advance notice of proposed rulemaking that requests public comment and information on potential approaches to updating the EPA's "Environmental Radiation Protection Standards for Nuclear Power Operations" (40 CFR Part 190).

These standards were originally issued in 1977. They limit radiation releases and doses to the public from normal operation of nuclear power plants and other uranium fuel cycle facilities—that is, facilities involved in the milling, conversion, fabrication, use, and reprocessing of uranium fuel for generating commercial electrical power. These standards were the earliest radiation rules developed by EPA and are based on nuclear power technology and the understanding of radiation biology current at that time. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission is responsible for implementing and enforcing these standards.

Comments must be received on or before 4 June 2014.

Health Physics Society (HPS) President Darrell Fisher has convened a task force to develop comments based on factual information and approved HPS positions, but HPS members are strongly encouraged to review the document and provide their own comments directly to the EPA.

 

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