Current News

24 January 2020
Call for Papers for IAEA International Conference on Radiation

Those interested have until 15 March 2020 to submit extended abstracts for oral presentations or posters for the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) International Conference on Radiation Safety, to be held in Vienna, Austria, 9–13 November 2020.

Conference participants are expected to share their experience in applying the current system of radiological protection based on the IAEA International Basic Safety Standards on Radiation Protection and Safety of Radiation Sources to the protection of workers, patients, the public, and the environment from both natural and artificial radiation sources.

More information is available on the IAEA website.

22 January 2020
New Nuclear Security Series Publication Issued by IAEA

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has issued Developing a Nuclear Security Contingency Plan for Nuclear Facilities, part of IAEA Nuclear Security Series No. 39-T. This publication provides guidance to states, competent authorities, and operators on how to develop and maintain contingency plans for nuclear facilities. It can be used as a starting point for organizations that have not previously prepared or developed contingency plans, as well as a reference for organizations that wish to validate or improve their existing contingency plans. It is intended for use by senior managers and security specialists charged with developing such plans and by competent authorities responsible for their oversight.

22 January 2020
IAEA Call for Papers: International Conference on NORM

Interested contributors have until 28 February 2020 to submit abstracts for the International Conference on the Management of Naturally Occurring Radioactive Materials (NORM) in Industry, to be held in Vienna, Austria, 19–23 October 2020.

Over the past decades, many studies have found higher natural radionuclide activity concentrations in wastes and residues from a wide range of industrial activities that are not part of the nuclear fuel cycle. Despite some successful cases, many Member States have struggled to find feasible and implementable approaches for the proper management of NORM wastes and residues.

The IAEA's first conference on NORM will build upon knowledge and experience gathered from a variety of events previously held around the world. The conference aims to explore good practices worldwide and bring together different players to identify current issues, expected future challenges, and possible strategies for dealing with them.

The IAEA welcomes high-quality contributions that fall under the umbrella of five cross-cutting topics:

  1. NORM Inventories.
  2. National Policies and Strategies.
  3. NORM Characterization in Industrial Operations.
  4. Residue and Waste Management.
  5. Decommissioning of NORM Facilities and Remediation of Contaminated Sites.

More information can be found on the IAEA website.

22 January 2020
CDC Videos on Radiation Incidents

The National Alliance for Radiation Readiness (NARR) has made available radiation training modules for public health. Radiation emergencies require an all-hazards response with necessary additions to protect responders and receivers, limit health impacts, and save lives. Due to their high threat/low probability, public health preparedness planners often focus resources elsewhere. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) acknowledged this gap in prioritizing radiation preparedness, and during the 2018 refresh of the Public Health Emergency Preparedness (PHEP) capabilities, included radiation language in 14 of those 15 capabilities.

Throughout these training modules, subject-matter experts (SMEs) will walk you through the radiation-specific issues that should be considered before and during the four phases of response. These SMEs are members of the NARR and represent public health, health care, and emergency management. There is no doubt that a radiation emergency will require a multidisciplinary response across coordinating sectors. These modules will help enhance that coordination.

14 January 2020
HPS Members in the News: Brett Rosenberg, CHP

Brett Rosenberg passed the most recent health physics certification exam and now joins the ranks of 22 other certified health physicists (CHPs) on the NV5/Dade Moeller staff. Brett has been with NV5 since July 2016 and currently supports the Hanford In Vivo Monitoring Program operated by Mission Support Alliance Radiological Site Services.

Brett earned his doctorate from Colorado State University in radiological health science while working at Hanford, allowing him to sit for the exam early. He took the preparation course offered by the Columbia Chapter of the Health Physics Society (HPS) last spring.

Brett is a recent past president of the Columbia Chapter of the HPS, a Department of Energy Laboratory Accreditation Program (DOELAP) assessor, and a member of the American National Standards Institute/HPS N13.35 (Specifications for the Bottle Manikin Absorption Phantom) working group.

14 January 2020
Annual Meeting CEL and PEP Abstracts Wanted

The Continuing Education Committee is looking for individuals to provide Continuing Education Lectures (CELs) and Professional Enrichment Programs (PEPs) at the upcoming 2020 Health Physics Society (HPS) Annual Meeting.

All of us aspire to be the best health physicist we can and look forward to many opportunities for continuing education at the meetings. The HPS Continuing Education Program continues to evolve as it relies upon all of you for its success—experts conveying their knowledge to better our profession.

If you have an idea for a CEL or PEP, send it to Elaine Marshall soon. The Secretariat must have abstracts by the end of January so the CEL or PEP can be included on registration forms.

CEL and PEP instructors receive some compensation for time spent creating and presenting a course.

The Board of Directors is also working through the Continuing Education Committee to pilot the livestreaming of a CEL at the next annual meeting. Please let Elaine know if you might be interested in offering the lecture that would be livestreamed.

14 January 2020
2019 HPS Salary Survey

The 2019 Health Physics Society (HPS) Salary Survey has been posted on the HPS website. Survey data was collected by having health physicists submit their responses to survey questions on a web-based data entry form. As in previous years, data was collected in conjunction with a salary survey of certified health physicists (CHPs). The CHP salary survey results will be reported separately in the CHP Corner.

14 January 2020
January CHP Corner

Dan Sowers, CHP Corner Editor

The January 2020 issue of the CHP Corner is available to all on the American Academy of Health Physics website. While the CHP Corner is produced by the American Academy of Health Physics, it is relevant to all health physicists, not just those who are certified.

This edition includes:

  • Optimistic outlook for health physics in 2020!
  • Final American Board of Health Physics exam application reminder
  • McAdams award call for nominations: Due 1 March
9 January 2020
Variety Is the Spice of . . . Health Physics: February Health Physics Journal

Brant Ulsh, CHP, PhD, Health Physics Editor in Chief

The February issue of Health Physics is a grab bag of top health physics topics:

First, radon: Dr. Stephen Adler and colleagues present "A Study of 219Rn Outgassing in Dry, Liquid, and Murine Tissue Samples" and Mr. Jörg Dehnert and colleagues report with "Improvement of a Radon Dosimetry System for Miners by Replacing Reference Dosimeters With Radonproof Boxes Containing Activated-Carbon Cartridges."

Next, thyroid dose estimation: Dr. Vladimir Drozdovitch and colleagues calculate "Thyroid Dose Estimates for a Cohort of Belarusian Persons Exposed in utero and During Early Life to Chernobyl Fallout," Dr. Isabelle Thierry-Chef and colleagues describe "Trends in Estimated Thyroid, Salivary Glands, Brain and Eye Lens Doses From Intraoral Dental Radiography Over Seven Decades (1940 to 2009)", and Professor M.A. Misdaq and colleagues conduct a "Determination of Gamma Dose to the Medical Personnel From Patients Having 131I for the Treatment of Hyperthyroidism Diseases by Using Experimental and Monte Carlo Calculation Methods."

And finally, cesium: Ms. Carolyn MacKenzie and colleagues chronicle the "University of California Replacement of Cesium Irradiators With Alternative Technologies" and Mr. Young-Yong Ji and colleagues recount the "Spectrometric Estimation of Dose Rate Induced From Radioactive Cesium in the Ground Using a Mobile Gamma-Ray Spectrometry Based on a LaBr3(Ce) Detector."

There's something for everyone in the February issue of Health Physics!

7 January 2020
In Memoriam: Thomas Patrick Johnston

Health Physics Society Director Thomas Patrick Johnston passed away on 27 December 2019. His obituary and service information can be found on the HPS website In Memoriam page.

6 January 2020
NCRP Report No. 177, Radiation Protection in Dentistry and Oral & Maxillofacial Imaging

The National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurements (NCRP) is proud to announce the publication of Report No. 177, Radiation Protection in Dentistry and Oral & Maxillofacial Imaging. The publication overview can be viewed on the NCRP website.

This report provides a practical radiation protection guide for dentists and their staff. It updates NCRP's radiation protection guidance to address the increased use of technologies such as digital imaging, handheld intraoral imaging, and cone-beam computed tomography (CBCT) and to promote use of dose-reduction methods that are not universally used in day-to-day dental radiology. The report also discusses quality assurance of radiology in dental offices and describes the need for additional training of staff to ensure safe and effective use of these technologies.

NCRP Report No. 177 was prepared by national and international experts from universities, medical centers, government agencies, and private industry. Many dental clinicians may not have easy access to guidance documents, so this report can serve as a complete reference for most dental imaging applications. The Report provides specific guidance for dentists, their clinical associates, and qualified experts conducting radiation protection surveys, performing equipment performance evaluations, and determining facility shielding and layout designs. It is also useful for institutions and organizations providing education and training to dental students, dentists, and associated clinical staff.

6 January 2020
IAEA Internship Available for 2020

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Radiation Safety and Monitoring Section is looking for an intern interested in working in our Outreach and Communication program. The ideal candidate would have technical experience and bilingual skills and abilities as well as experience with communication tools—someone with experience in university or professional newsletters, websites, or similar written or online publications.

The intern program is designed to give recently graduated individuals the opportunity to work in an international environment. The internship is for one year.

If interested, please complete the online application that can be found on the IAEA website.

6 January 2020
More of What to Expect From the 53rd HPS Midyear Technical Program

Happy New Year from the Health Physics Society (HPS) Program Committee! We hope to see you in Bethesda, Maryland in a few weeks for the 53rd HPS Midyear Meeting 26–29 January 2020.

There will be six special sessions at this year's meeting, covering a wide range of topics. On Monday afternoon, the Medical Health Physics Section of the HPS is hosting "Fluoroscopy Operators Credentialing & Privileging," which will include talks about fluoroscopy training content, designing and implementation of training programs, and physician credentialing in fluoroscopy. On Tuesday morning, the National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurements is hosting two special sessions: "Radiation Protection in Medicine: Safety-Related Issues" in the morning and "Radiation Protection in Medicine: Doses, Dosimetry and Low Dose" in the afternoon. See the online program for more information.

The Program Committee Midyear Meeting Task Force has compiled a full technical program with lots of options for continuing education and professional development. The general sessions we have planned include Emergency Planning/Response, Operational Health Physics and Current Events, and Risk Analysis. We're sure you'll find something of interest! See the online program for more information.

Your attendance at the HPS midyear meeting can earn you one continuing education credit (CEC) per contact hour (40 credit maximum) toward your recertification with the American Board of Health Physics. As in recent years, Sandy Konerth is applying for CAMPEP continuing education credits and, if approved, more information will be provided at the meeting.

Be sure to check out the official website of the meeting for additional information. Register today and be sure to reserve a room at the Bethesda North Marriott.

6 January 2020
Newly Elected Officers and Board Members to Take Office in July

Congratulations to the officers and Board of Directors members who will take office at the 2020 Health Physics Society (HPS) Annual Meeting in National Harbor, Maryland, in July:

President-elect John Cardarelli, II
 

Secretary-elect Nicole Martinez
 

Director Kathryn Higley
 

Director Jama D. VanHorne-Sealy

6 January 2020
January 2020 Short Course Listing

The January short course offerings have been posted on the Short Courses page of the HPS website. Information on the following courses is available:

Radiation Safety Officer Training Class—Radiation Safety & Control Services, Inc.

Certification Review Course Part I; Self Study Course Part I; Background Materials Review; Part I Question & Answer CD and Site License; Part I Additional Question & Answer Volume; NRRPT Question & Answer CD and Site License—Bevelacqua Resources

Certification Review Course Part II; Self Study Course Part II; Background Materials Review; NRRPT Question & Answer CD and Site License—Bevelacqua Resources

Radiation Safety Officer (RSO) Training Course and Refresher Class—RSO Services, Inc.

6 January 2020
Encourage Students to Apply for HPS Fellowships, Scholarships, and Grants

It is time to encourage your students to apply for the 2020–2021 Health Physics Society (HPS) fellowships, scholarships, and travel grant awards. Please note that the deadline for submission of applications (online only) is 27 February 2020.

The fellowships are to support full-time entering or continuing students in US graduate programs in health physics or a closely related field. Three scholarships are also available: the Dade Moeller Scholarship Awards and the Environmental/Radon Section Scholarship Award. In addition, the HPS provides travel grants for health physics students to attend the 2020 HPS Annual Meeting in National Harbor, Maryland, 5–9 July. More information on each award can be found via the corresponding link.

6 January 2020
What to Expect From the 53rd HPS Midyear Meeting Technical Program

What's coming up besides the holidays? That's right, the 53rd Midyear Meeting of the Health Physics Society (HPS) in Bethesda, Maryland, 26–29 January 2020. The Program Committee 53rd HPS Midyear Meeting Task Force has put together a great lineup for the technical program, and over the next month will be providing some highlights of what to expect.

This year's midyear meeting will be a little different than past HPS meetings. You may have noticed in the Online Program that we are trying a new schedule style: a plenary session to kick off each morning of the meeting! We've scheduled a diverse range of topics and speakers for the plenary sessions including: Nuclear Regulatory Commission Commissioner David Wright; Director of the International Atomic Energy Agency Division of Radiation, Transport, and Waste Safety Peter Johnston; and an overview of National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurements (NCRP) activities relating to radiation protection in medicine presented by Don Miller, the chair of NCRP Program Area Committee (PAC) 4.

Remember your attendance at the HPS midyear meeting can earn you one continuing education credit (CEC) per contact hour (40 credit maximum) toward your recertification with the American Board of Health Physics, so come out and join us in Bethesda!

20 December 2019
ICRP Announces a Major Update in Its Free the Annals Campaign

With the success of the Free the Annals campaign, the International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP) has announced that, as of 1 January 2020, all publications up to and including Publication 137 will be free to access. Interested radiological protection professionals, organizations, and members of the public should visit the ICRP website for further information. All are encouraged to bookmark the ICRP Publications page, where the above-mentioned publications are now available.

14 August 2019
NNSA Administrator Lisa E. Gordon-Hagerty Interviews, Part II

Kelly Classic, Web Ops Editor in Chief

Here is Part II of our interview with National Nuclear Security Administration Administrator Lisa E. Gordon-Hagerty, who recently spoke at the 2019 Health Physics Society (HPS) annual meeting in Orlando.

Part II Questions

What advice would you give to younger health physicists with regard to their career?

HPS has chapters all around the world. Are there things we can do as a society to further help the NNSA's mission? (Missions: maintaining the stockpile, nonproliferation, counter terrorism, powering the Navy)

It appears that safeguarding the nuclear arsenal has historically been one of NNSA's roles and that you have added a focus on the prevention of RDDs partly through the exchange of source-based equipment (like cesium irradiators) to x-ray-based irradiators. How has the focus on RDDs changed the role of radiation protection/security professionals at NNSA?

You had indicated in your talk that there is a goal by 2027 to be cesium-irradiator free. Are you on target?

Is there anything else you'd like to share with HPS membership?

14 August 2019
Homeland Security Section
2019 Service Award

John J. Lanza received the Homeland Security Section's 2019 Service Award at the recent HPS meeting in Orlando. Submitted photo

1 August 2019
Upcoming HPS Meetings

Add the dates of the following Health Physics Society meetings to your calendar. Check the Meetings and Conferences page of the website for the most current information.

53rd Midyear Meeting: 26–29 January 2020; Bethesda, Maryland

65th Annual Meeting: 4–9 July 2020; National Harbor, Maryland

66th Annual Meeting: 25–29 July 2021; Phoenix, Arizona

67th Annual Meeting: 16–21 July 2022; Spokane, Washington

1 August 2019
Military Health Physics Section
2019 Superior Civilian Service Award

Robert W. Young, PhD (second from right) receiving the Military Health Physics Section's 2019 Superior Civilian Service Award at the HPS meeting last month. Bob is joined by (left to right) LTC John Bliss, US Army (Ret.), Bob's wife, Ann Parker, and Military Health Physics Section President Colonel John Cuellar, MS, US Army. Photo courtesy of Casper Sun

1 August 2019
Military Health Physics Section
2019 Young Military Health Physicist
of the Year Award

Major Matthew Stokley, MS, US Army, right, receiving the Military Health Physics Section's 2019 Young Military Health Physicist of the Year Award from LTC Jama D. Vanhorne-Sealy, MS, US Army at the HPS meeting last month in Orlando. Photo courtesy of Casper Sun

1 August 2019
Military Health Physics Section
2019 John C. Taschner Leadership Award

Colonel Robert N. Cherry, Jr., US Army (Ret.), left, receives the Military Health Physics Section's 2019 John C. Taschner Leadership Award at the Orlando HPS meeting last month. The award is presented by Military Health Physics Section President Colonel John Cuellar, MS, US Army. Photo courtesy of Casper Sun

1 August 2019
HP Brothers at 2019 HPS Annual Meeting

What's the likelihood of three brothers all following their father into the field of health physics? The Fairchilds are also all members of the Health Physics Society and were together at the annual meeting in Orlando. Left to right, Greg Fairchild is a radiation health officer with the US Navy, Robert Fairchild II is a health physicist and deputy laser safety officer at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, and Brian Fairchild is the assistant health physics and safety manager at the University of Missouri Research Reactor (MURR). Their father, Frank Fairchild, has retired after working almost 40 years as a health physicist. Photo courtesy of Debbie Gilley

1 August 2019
Health Physics Society Board at 2019 HPS Annual Meeting

Members of the HPS Board, left to right, Secretary Sander Perle, Director Kendall Berry, Director Tim Taulbee, Director Mike Mahathy, President Eric Goldin, Director Jeffrey Whicker, Director Jan Braun, Treasurer Steven King, and Treasurer-elect Ali Simpkins. Not pictured: Past President Nolan Hertel, Executive Director Brett Burk, Director Thomas Johnston, Director Thomas Morgan, and Director Latha Vasudevan. Photo courtesy of Casper Sun

1 August 2019
2019 Health Physics Society Fellows

Members of the 2019 class of HPS fellows, left to right, Timothy A. DeVol, Brant Ulsh, James P. Tarzia, Paul K. Blake, Scott Schwahn, and J. Stewart Bland. Not pictured: Elyse Thomas. Photo courtesy of Casper Sun

1 August 2019
Illinois Tech Health Physics Program at 2019 HPS Annual Meeting

Faculty members and staff from the Illinois Tech Health Physics Program hosted its growing family at the 2019 HPS Annual Meeting on 9 July. Twenty-plus students and alumni, including five sponsored under the HPS Student Travel Grant, attended the meeting. The meeting venues offered students a great opportunity to learn the profession and to enjoy the friendship. Front row, left to right, Jeff Reilly, Samantha Johnson, Lexi Detweiler, Hanna Bunting, Chad Mullins, Trish Hander, Valerie Grayson, Liz Friedman, and S.Y. Chen; back row, left to right, Shirley Xu, Robert Litman, Julia Sober, Sam Schumacher, Tim Gildea, Matt Bruette, Ian Hoppie, Trent Yadro, Jonathan Haas, Phillip Campbell, Rick Whitman, and Dewoun Hayes. Illinois Tech alumni attendees not present in the photo: Mirela Kirr, Eugene Jablonski, Bob May, and Erin Evans. Photo courtesy of S.Y. Chen

1 August 2019
Chelation Special Session at 2019 HPS Annual Meeting

Presenters at the chelation special session at the HPS meeting in Orlando included, left to right, Mitch Findley (MJW Corporation), Rebecca Abergel (Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory), Steve Sugarman (Summit Exercises and Training), John Klumpp (Los Alamos National Laboratory), Luiz Bertelli (Los Alamos National Laboratory), Tom LaBone (MJW Corporation), Deepesh Poudel (Los Alamos National Laboratory), Ray Guilmette (Ray Guilmette and Associates), Anne Van der Meeren (CEA, France), Sara Dumit (Los Alamos National Laboratory), and Ron Goans (MJW Corporation). Photo courtesy of Moira Dooley

1 August 2019
Public Information Committee at 2019 HPS Annual Meeting

The Public Information Committee met at the HPS Meeting in Orlando. Those in attendance were, left to right, Ali Simpkins, Steve Sugarman, Emily Caffrey, Dan Sowers, and Sara Dumit. Photo courtesy of Ali Simpkins

31 July 2019
Interview With NNSA Administrator Lisa E. Gordon-Hagerty

Kelly Classic, Web Ops Editor in Chief

National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) Administrator Lisa E. Gordon-Hagerty recently spoke at the 2019 Health Physics Society (HPS) Annual Meeting in Orlando. After her talk, she agreed to be interviewed by Deepesh Poudel and me (and videoed by Craig Little). We broke the interview into two parts, one for this newsletter and one for the next.

We always learn something new when we create videos. In this case, we learned that Deepesh and I were either a bit too far from the microphone or need to speak up. Because it is difficult to hear us in the video, I've listed the questions below. We will do better next time!

Hope you enjoy.

Part I Questions

How did you end up in the profession of health physics?

Your plenary presentation centered around an aging workforce and an effort to recruit more young people into health physics/radiation protection fields. For several years, HPS has been talking to folks on Capitol Hill about funding for the Integrated Universities Program—sometimes successfully, sometimes not. How do you think we, NNSA and HPS, can work together on collaborative initiatives to draw more students into health physics programs?

We've read about NNSA's impact on removing the use of highly enriched uranium that is used for shielding Moly generators that are used to obtain 99mTc for medical procedures. This is one of the ways of reducing possible access to nuclear materials that could be used for weapons. Are there other efforts like that?

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