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Current News

29 April 2016
HPS Annual Meeting and Professional Development School Registration is Now Available

Registration forms and online registration for the 2016 Health Physics Society Annual Meeting in Spokane, WA (17-21 July 2016) and the Professional Development School (PDS), "Decontamination and Decommissioning—Case Studies"( 14–15 July 2016) are available on the meeting website.

Preregistration for the meeting and the PDS with the lowest fees are available until 8 June 2016.

 

29 April 2016
Waste Control Specialists Submits Application for Used Nuclear Fuel Interim Storage Facility in Texas

Waste Control Specialists LLC (WCS) submitted an application to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) for a license to construct and operate a Consolidated Interim Storage Facility (CISF) for used nuclear fuel. The filing comes after a year of pre-application meetings with the NRC and maintains the timeline WCS outlined in February 2015.

The application is being led by WCS, along with its partners AREV A and NAC International, both global industry leaders in the transportation and storage of used nuclear fuel.

The license submittal puts WCS on track for completion of a CISF as early as 2021, if such steps are accomplished within their expected time line.

Timely solutions for the used nuclear fuel challenge in the U.S. have proved elusive for more than 40 years. Now, a private sector solution for secure storage has been proposed by a company with a proven track record for licensing success.

WCS is the only privately-owned and operated facility in the United States that has been licensed to treat, store and dispose of Class A, B and C low-level radioactive waste (LLRW). Located in an arid, isolated part of west Texas, WCS offers one of the most geologically characterized locations in the United States as a result of the multi-year licensing process for that facility.

More information is available on the WCS website.  This article was adapted from the WCS press release.

 

14 April 2016
18 May Deadline for 2016 NORM VIII Symposium Young Professional Awards

The 2016 NORM VIII Symposium will be held 18–21 October 2016 and will bring a worldwide audience to Rio de Janeiro, where the first effort of a worldwide exchange of experiences in the naturally occurring radioactive materials  (NORM) field occurred 17 years ago. The Technologically Enhanced Natural Radiation (TENR II) Symposium was attended by participants from 22 countries, representing all regions of the world.

The 2016 symposium will address the radiation protection control of NORM and will include the results of new research, explore practical case studies of industrial applications and waste-disposal practices, and evaluate the practical implication of international and national standards, as well as identifying new societal needs and technical requirements for regulators and industry on NORM. Possible solutions for using, recycling, and disposal of NORM residues will be another focus area, as well as the quality of NORM sampling and measurements.

The event is an essential platform for NORM industries, academic and research institutions, and regulatory authorities to share experiences, review progress made, identify opportunities, and provide an in-depth analysis of current challenges. The symposium offers a multitude of possibilities and opportunities for networking.

Taking into account that NORM VIII is an excellent opportunity for students and young professionals to get the newest technical information, while making important industry contacts, the 2016 NORM VIII Symposium committees invite students and young professionals to apply for the Young Professional Awards.

This opportunity is only open to students or professionals up to 35 years old who are the first author of a paper and whose extended abstract and presentation have been better rated by the Award Committee. Three awards will be delivered to the selected young scientists and professionals: first place (US$1,500), second place (US$700), and third place (US$350), according to the Award Commitee criteria. The awards will be announced in the closing ceremony of NORM VIII.

The contributed papers submission deadline is soon—18 May 2016.

 

14 April 2016
Landauer Hosts Inaugural Dose Optimization Symposium 26 May 2016

Join the dose optimization conversation on 26 May 2016 when national and local health care leaders convene for the inaugural Landauer Clinical Dose Optimization Symposium in Chicago.

Driven by the Joint Commission diagnostic imaging standards that became effective July 2015, hospitals across the country are examining their protocols for computed tomography (CT) scanners, fluoroscopic procedures, and more.

Dose optimization is aimed at reducing radiation dose to patients while providing quality images for radiologists' clinical decision making. It involves awareness and education for technologists, imaging administrators, and staff involved in providing patient care.

These speakers will share the latest about current dose optimization accreditation guidelines, American College of Radiology's (ACR) Dose Index Registry, current research, and clinical practice changes as a result of new compliance standards:

  • The Joint Commission—Andrea D. Browne, PhD, Medical Physicist, Department of Engineering
  • ACR—Debapriya Sengupta, MBBS, MPH Manager, National Radiology Data Registry Analytics
  • Duke University Medical Center—Ehsan Samei, DABR, FAAPM, FSPIE, PhD, Professor of Radiology, Medical Physics, Physics, Biomedical Engineering
  • MD Anderson Cancer Center—Dustin A. Gress, DABR, DABSNM, MS, Senior Medical Physicist
  • Hospital Corporation of America—M. Crockett Bone, ARRT(R)(CT), MBA, Director of Imaging
  • Presence Saint Francis Hospital—Joseph D. Calandra MD, FACR Chairman of Radiology, and John Smith, CRA, RT, MBA, Director of Radiology
  • Landauer Medical Physics—Olav Christianson, DABR, MS, Senior Medical Physicist

Registration for the one-day event is $99. Details and signup information can be found on the Landauer Clinical Dose Optimization Symposium web page. Questions may be directed to Linda Bosy.

 

 

7 April 2016
Nuclear Science & Engineering for Secondary Science Teachers - Faculty Development Course

Nuclear Science & Engineering for Secondary Science Teachers, a week-long, three-credit-hour faculty development course on the University of Missouri-Columbia Campus—will be of great value to instructors who wish to develop a deeper understanding of nuclear science and to implement this information in their classrooms. The class is designed specifically for high school science teachers to provide the basics of nuclear science, types of radiation (including radiation detection and protection), industrial applications of nuclear science, and current and future nuclear power generation technologies (including small modular reactors). Presentations will be technically oriented at an introductory graduate level and are structured for secondary teachers of physics, biology, chemistry, mathematics, earth sciences, and related subjects. The dates of the course are 6–10 June 2016.

This is the 34th summer course on energy topics to be conducted by University of Missouri Research Reactor faculty. Over 700 teachers have attended past classes, representing over 250 schools across Missouri and the Midwest. The course instructor and guest speakers are subject experts on nuclear science and its engineering applications and current topics in nuclear energy. They have worked extensively with regional high schools and community groups in educational projects.

Contributing organizations that provide information and other resources used in this course include Ameren/UE, University of Missouri Research Reactor, American Nuclear Society, U.S. Department of Energy, and the Health Physics Society.

 

29 March 2016
PDS on Decontamination and Decommissioning

A two-day professional development school (PDS) will be held in Spokane, Washington, on Thursday–Friday, 14–15 July 2016, just before the 2016 Health Physics Society Annual Meeting. The registration fee for the PDS is $695. It will be added to the registration form soon.

Alan Fellman, CHP, PhD, as academic dean, has put together an impressive agenda and list of national and international speakers.

The agenda for "Decontamination and Decommissioning—Case Studies" includes a review of many practical aspects of decontamination and decommissioning as well as lessons learned from actual case studies. The full agenda is available and includes the following topics:

  • Health, Safety, and Environmental Planning
  • Characterization and Early Site Assessment
  • Remediation and Radiological Controls
  • Waste Management
  • Case Studies—Chernobyl, Fukushima, and Others
  • Cost Estimating and Project Management
  • Instruments and Analyses
  • Surveys of Material and Equipment
  • Final Status Surveys
  • Revisions to MARSSIM—2016

Contact Ray Johnson (phone 301-370-8573) for information on the PDS.

 

8 March 2016
NEW Benefit - ICRU Reports for Members

A new benefit for members of the Health Physics Society (HPS) is available on the Members Only side of the HPS website. Members now have full access to all of the International Commission on Radiation Units & Measurements (ICRU) reports for free. The PDF files downloaded from this page are for HPS member individual use only. 

The ICRU develops and promulgates internationally accepted recommendations on radiation-related quantities and units, terminology, measurement procedures, and reference data for the safe and efficient application of ionizing radiation to medical diagnosis and therapy, radiation science and technology, and radiation protection of individuals and populations.

 

8 March 2016
Final EIS Issued on Greater-Than-Class-C and Other Radioactive Waste

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announces the availability of its Final Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the Disposal of Greater-Than-Class C (GTCC) Low-Level Radioactive Waste and GTCC-Like Waste (DOE/EIS–0375), prepared pursuant to the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).

The Final EIS is available on the DOE NEPA website and on the GTCC website.

 

7 March 2016
Call for Current Events/Works in Progress for Annual Meeting

Submissions are being accepted for posters to be presented on Monday, 18 July 2016, 1–3 p.m., at the 2016 Health Physics Society (HPS) Annual Meeting in Spokane, Washington. Individuals will be notified of acceptance of their submissions in June. For questions regarding submissions, contact Lori Strong at the HPS Secretariat at lstrong@burkinc.com or 703-790-1745.

Presentations for "Current Events/Works in Progress" are in poster format only. The abstract due date is 1 June 2016.

 

3 March 2016
NRC Approves Mo-99 Production Facility Construction

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has authorized its staff to issue a construction permit for a first-of-a-kind facility dedicated to medical isotope production. The permit will allow SHINE Medical Technologies™(SHINE) to build the facility for the production of molybdenum-99 and other radioisotopes. The facility will be located in Janesville, Wisconsin, about 64 kilometers southeast of Madison.

SHINE will submit a separate operating license application for NRC approval before it can start production. There is additional information on the SHINE website.

 

5 January 2016
HPS Leadership Election Results

The Health Physics Society (HPS) election results are in. Elected to take office at the 2016 HPS Annual Meeting in Spokane, Washington, in July are:

President-elect: Eric Abelquist
Secretary-elect: Karen Langley
Directors: John Cardarelli, Jason Harris, and Tara Medich

 

4 January 2016
Operational Radiation Safety (ORS) - Where the Rubber Meets the Road

Operational Radiation Safety (ORS) is where the real work of protection gets described. ORS isn't theoretical or research; it's about how to get the work done and be protective of the potential hazards of ionizing and nonionizing radiation. 

Over the years we've had papers on: 

  • How to plan the salvaging of a therapeutic source.
  • What to do if the iodine radiotherapy patient dies.
  • What it was like being in Kiev during the Chernobyl event.
  • Better methods to delineate natural radionuclides prior to building an in situ recovery facility.
  • Many other operational topics.

Sound interesting? You can look these up on the search engine.

Want to contribute your own short description of "how we do it better than before?" Go to our website and add your story.

If you need help, contact Craig Little.

 

30 December 2015
Fukushima Releases: The Truth

Recently, a number of websites have reported grossly false information regarding radioactive releases during the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident. Here are the key facts that refute those claims.

The erroneous information cites a recently “declassified report”:

The claim is that the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) “declassified” documents about Fukushima in December 2015. The truth is that the documents were requested through the Freedom of Information Act and were provided in May 2012, and more documents were provided in March 2014. None of these documents were ever “classified” in the legal sense.

The erroneous information claims that the report says “25% of the total fuel in unit 2 . . . , 50% of the total spent fuel from unit 3 . . . , and 100% of the total spent fuel . . . from unit 4” was released to the atmosphere:

Yes, these are the hypothetical releases that were evaluated in an attempt to understand the worst possible situation. No, these are not the amounts that were released from the reactors or spent fuel rods.

 The truth is that there was a high degree of uncertainty regarding actual releases early in the accident and continuing for several weeks. As a result, the NRC asked the National Atmospheric Release Advisory Center (NARAC) to provide dose estimates for two or more hypothetical scenarios to set bounds on the potential protective actions that might be taken.

 The NRC documents clearly identify those percentages as a hypothetical bounding case, which they asked NARAC to consider. The hypothetical releases were described as a “worst-case scenario” and “realistic worst case.” The NARAC report clearly states the scenario was hypothetical, and the documents also state “There is no evidence this scenario has occurred.”

Read the truth for yourself. These are the notes provided by the NRC on 8 May 2012 and 7 March 2014.

What was released?

Actual (not hypothetical) data show that ultimately there was major fuel damage in Units 1, 2, and 3 reactor cores. Through about mid-March of 2011, releases from these cores were primarily volatile fission products released to air, as well as some soluble fission products released to water. There has been no evidence of releases from any of the on-site spent fuel pools (http://www.world-nuclear.org/info/safety-and-security/safety-of-plants/fukushima-accident/). The total release from the Fukushima accident was about 10-15% that of Chernobyl, though by element, the iodine release was less than 25% and the cesium release was less than 45% of the Chernobyl releases (http://www-pub.iaea.org/MTCD/Publications/PDF/AdditionalVolumes/P1710/Pub1710-TV1-Web.pdf).

Want more true facts about the Fukushima accident?

Check out the reputable resources listed on the Health Physics Society’s website at http://hps.org/fukushima/.

Barbara Hamrick, CHP, JD

 

26 December 2015
Public Comment Request Regarding Siting for Nuclear Waste Storage and Disposal Facilities

The Department of Energy (DOE) has announced that it is implementing a consent-based siting process to establish an integrated waste-management system to transport, store, and dispose of commercial spent nuclear fuel and high-level defense radioactive waste. In a consent-based siting approach, DOE will work with communities, tribal governments, and states across the country that express interest in hosting any of the facilities identified as part of an integrated waste-management system.

As part of this process, DOE wants public input on implementing this system. In order to solicit public feedback, DOE has submitted an Invitation for Public Comment (IPC). Through this IPC, communities, states, tribes, and other interested stakeholders are asked for feedback on how to design a consent-based siting process. In addition, DOE intends to host a series of public meetings to engage communities and discuss the development of a consent-based approach to managing our nation's nuclear waste.

Written comments will be accepted through 15 June 2016. Separate announcements will be made for each public meeting. More information is available on the DOE website.

 

17 December 2015
National Terrorism Advisory System

In 2011 the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) replaced the color-coded alerts of the Homeland Security Advisory System (HSAS) with the National Terrorism Advisory System (NTAS), designed to more effectively communicate information about terrorist threats by providing timely, detailed information to the American public.

It recognizes that Americans all share responsibility for the nation's security and should always be aware of the heightened risk of terrorist attack in the United States and of what they should do.

A workplace poster and an FAQ page are available. The NTAS posts alerts on Facebook and Twitter. Currently there is one bulletin in effect.

 

15 April 2015
Website for Next Year's Annual Meeting in Spokane

Next year's Local Arrangements Committee is already working on the 61st Annual Meeting of the Health Physics Society, which will be held 17–21 July 2016 in Spokane, Washington.

The committee has set up a website that is full of information on things for you and your family to do in your free time. More information will be added as plans are confirmed. Plan to attend the meeting and to enjoy the local area.

 

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