Current News

11 December 2019
December CHP Corner

While the CHP Corner is produced by the American Academy of Health Physics (AAHP), it is relevant to all health physicists, not just those who are certified!

The December 2019 issue of the CHP Corner has been posted to the AAHP website. This edition includes:

  • American Board of Health Physics exam results . . . 48 new CHPs!
  • American Board of Health Physics exam application reminder.
11 December 2019
The Common Denominator: January Health Physics Journal

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

What does almost every study of radiation effects, whether it is a biological or epidemiological study, have in common? The need to accurately assess radiation doses received by the study subjects. This is usually easier in biological studies performed in a laboratory under controlled conditions, but far more challenging in epidemiological studies.

The January 2020 issue of Health Physics takes this challenge head on. Dr. Vladimir Drozdovitch and his colleagues consider thyroid doses in their paper "Estimation of Radiation Doses for a Case-Control Study of Thyroid Cancer Among Ukrainian Chernobyl Cleanup Workers." Eunjoo Kim and colleagues conducted a "Reassessment of Thyroid Internal Doses of 1,080 Children Examined in a Screening Survey After the 2011 Fukushima Nuclear Disaster," and Joshua Hayes and colleagues report on "Effective Half Life Of 134Cs And 137Cs In Fukushima Prefecture When Compared to Theoretical Decay Models." All of these papers consider the denominator in the risk/dose calculation, but we don't ignore the numerator. The important "Position Statement of the Health Physics Society PS010-4: Radiation Risk in Perspective" is also published in the January issue.

You won't want to miss these heavy-hitting papers to start the new year!

11 December 2019
Preparing for the 65th Annual Meeting of the HPS

Local Arrangements Committee

We know some of you are grimacing, perhaps just a little, that the 65th Annual Meeting of the Health Physics Society (HPS) is being held over the Independence Day weekend. Well, from those of us who live here, we can say, unequivocally, that there is no better place to be for the fireworks, music, bands, concerts, and tours than our Nation's Capital.

The Gaylord Hotel (a Marriott property), site of the meeting, is a truly spectacular venue. While we all wish it was a little bit closer to the National Mall, it takes only a 30-minute taxi or shuttle ride to get to the Mall and a 10-minute ride to Old-Town Alexandria, on the other side of the Potomac River. Use Google Maps to check out the area adjacent to the hotel: Tanger Outlets, MGM Grand, carrousel, Ferris wheel, water taxis, Air Force 1, and plenty of places to shop and dine.

A few technical tours are being planned by the LAC, and we are revisiting whether to bring back the Pub Crawl and the Night Out. Look for a premeeting survey to determine level of interest for these events.

The shirts have been designed and are in the process of being ordered. We think everyone who attends will want one, with many symbols of our Nation's Capital proudly embroidered on the patch.

Look for more details in next month's newsletter. In the meantime, we believe it would be a great start to book your room at the Gaylord before the block of rooms is full. Make sure to use the link from the website, which will ensure the rate negotiated with the hotel.

11 December 2019
2020 HPS Midyear Meeting: Last-Minute Tips

Local Arrangements Committee

The Health Physics Society (HPS) Local Arrangements Committee (LAC) is excited to see you in Bethesda, Maryland, for the 53rd Midyear Meeting of the HPS, 26–29 January 2019. We thought it timely to provide a few last-minute tips before the meeting.

The location of the meeting, the Marriott North Bethesda, is surrounded by plenty of things to do. There are many restaurants and pubs within a 5- to 10-minute walk. The area referred to as "Pike and Rose" is a big hit. The no-host night out at Pinstripes is located in this venue complex. There is also a parking garage, and Uber services the area. If you don't feel there is enough for you to do in this area, you can take the red line south to Bethesda downtown or even farther south into Washington, DC, and Virginia.

  • Technical Tours: please note in the registration information that the technical tours are as follows:
    • Monday afternoon, 27 January: Armed Forces Radiobiology Research Institute (AFRRI)—This is available for US citizens only. The charge of $30 is for transportation to and from AFRRI, about a 20- to 30-minute drive from the conference hotel. Once registered, you will be contacted on detailed logistics by mid-January.
    • Tuesday afternoon, 28 January: US Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), Emergency Operations Center (EOC)—There is no charge for this tour, as the EOC is located directly across the street from the hotel. We will assemble in groups and proceed by foot to the EOC. Once registered, you will be contacted on detailed logistics by mid-January.
  • Night Out: the night out is Tuesday, 28 January, at Pinstripes, a unique bowling and dining experience. This is a no-host event—HPS will make a reservation on behalf of the people attending. The cost will be $30 and will include two hours of bowling and rental shoes. Food and beverages must be purchased separately. Several members of the LAC plan to attend and bowl into the evening—it's a fabulous experience.
  • Transportation: Many of us locals of the Washington, DC, metro area rely heavily on the Metro. And for the midyear meeting you are in luck! The hotel is a 5-minute walk from the White-Flint metro stop on the red line. One of my favorite apps is "DC Metro and Bus"—you can navigate the app and determine how to get anywhere on the metro, whether it be to Bethesda downtown area or all the way south to the National Mall, Smithsonian Institutes, or DCA. (It's only 20–30 minutes by red line to the National Mall.)
  • If you are arriving early or staying late (the weekend before or after), please refer to the conference hotel website for things to do around the immediate area. In the winter, we have found that walking the National Mall in the evening is spectacular, followed by a nice (but busy) dinner at Old Ebbit Grill—a nice way to finish off a day in the District.

LAC member Jeff Kowalczik suggested we also look at the end pages of the last NRC RAMP (Radiation Protection Computer Code Analysis and Maintenance Program) meeting program, for a list of things to do and places to go in the DC area.

11 December 2019
2020 HPS Annual Meeting Call for Abstracts

65th Annual Meeting of the HPS


Deadline: 24 January 2020

The 65th Annual Meeting of the Health Physics Society (HPS) will be held in National Harbor, Maryland, 5–9 July 2020. National Harbor is located on the banks of the Potomac River just minutes from the Washington, DC, metropolitan area. It is known for its great shopping, trendy restaurants, waterfront resort space, and the iconic Capital Wheel, making it a destination like no other. The annual meeting will be another great one and you can be a part of what makes it that way. We are putting out the call for papers in the full spectrum of radiation protection specialties. Everyone is welcome to come and share their work, their research, and their experiences, which is what makes the meeting worthwhile every year.

Please submit your abstract (including special session abstracts) through the HPS website. In addition, we still have openings for a few more special sessions. If there is a special topic that you want to get in front of the health physics community, a special session is a great way to introduce it and initiate scientific dialog with your peers. For more information, please contact Zach Tribbett, the 2020 Program Committee representative for special session coordination.

The Program Committee will meet 20–22 February to plan the 2020 HPS Annual Meeting. We will meet face to face to place submitted papers into the appropriate sessions, organize the various sessions into rooms and time slots, and coordinate with the AV people on layout and room size, etc. BEFORE we can do this, the Program Committee must REVIEW all abstracts, so please submit your abstracts by 24 January 2020 to give us ample time to review them in preparation for our planning meeting.

Special Announcement—Early Submissions Rewards Program: This year we are trying a new approach to encourage meeting presenters to submit by the deadline (24 January 2020). The Program Committee will award five $100 registration discounts for abstracts submitted by the 24 January deadline. To be eligible, the following criteria must be met:

  • Abstract must be accepted by the Program Committee at the planning meeting.
  • ONLY abstracts submitted for the general sessions will be eligible (special sessions are not eligible).
  • Posters are not eligible.

The Program Committee will hold a drawing at the end of the planning meeting and the five winners will be announced in Health Physics News following the planning meeting.

For more information and to submit your abstract online go to the abstract website. Only abstracts submitted via this portal will be accepted.

9 December 2019
Membership Committee

Kendall Berry, HPS Director

The Membership Committee requests your help. We are looking for feedback from national and local Health Physics Society (HPS) members on why they value being a member of the HPS and what they would like to see improved. The Society seeks to better understand its existing membership so it can improve initiatives to retain and attract members. Please complete the membership survey by 20 December 2019. Thank you for your time and participation.

2 December 2019
NCRP Publishes Reports No. 183 and No. 184

The National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurements (NCRP) is proud to announce the publication of Report No. 183 and Report No. 184.

Report No. 183: Radiation Exposures in Space and the Potential for Central Nervous System Effects: Phase II summarizes the steps and approaches needed to more fully understand the risk of central nervous system effects in humans following radiation exposures in space and provides guidance for radiation protection, including risk management, by addressing eight key questions. Understanding this topic is essential to continued exploration of space.

Report No. 183 was prepared by experts from a number of fields including biology, physics, radiation dosimetry, behavioral neuroscience, molecular and genetic toxicology, and others, providing a comprehensive evaluation of our understanding of radiation effects of space travel. Anyone who is affiliated with or has an interest in space travel should read this report to get the latest information available about potential effects on the central nervous system from exposure to radiation in space.

The Publication Overview for Report No. 183 is available on the NCRP website.

NCRP Report No. 184: Medical Radiation Exposure of Patients in the United States, is an update to NCRP Report No. 160: Ionizing Radiation Exposure of the Population of the United States (2009). This new report updates medical radiation exposure information with data collected between 2006 and 2016.

The audience for this Report is primarily federal and state agencies responsible for the health and well-being of individuals exposed to ionizing radiation and those agencies with responsibility for ensuring radiation protection safety in medicine. NCRP Report No. 184 includes useful information for health physicists, medical physicists, physicians and other medical professionals, radiation safety officers, managers, workers, members of the public, and the media.

The Publication Overview for Report No. 184 is available on the NCRP website.

2 December 2019
2020 HPS Annual Meeting: Be Part of the Future

Mike Mahathy, HPS Director

In the last newsletter I wrote about engaging presentations and revised meeting guidelines. You told us you would like to be better engaged during our meetings and that some presentations seem stale.

At the 2020 Health Physics Society Annual Meeting at National Harbor, Dan Sowers and I will host a special session to spotlight our new meeting guidelines. For the first time we welcome presentations that incorporate interactive pooling along with question-and-answer features. You can also use links (sound still not supported). However, presentations are not required to use those features; they need only to follow the guidelines for Powerpoint slides that keep your audience engaged as you speak.

Would you like to be a part of the official launch of our Society's future meeting success? We seek presentations on any health physics topic. If you would like more information, please contact Mike or Dan. The official call for abstracts has been posted and the deadline is 24 January.

2 December 2019
December 2019 Short Course Listing

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

Packaging and Shipping Class 7 (Radioactive) Material—Plexus Scientific Corporation

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

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

Facility Decommissioning Training Course—Argonne National Laboratory

27 November 2019
HPS Members Appointed to Texas Radiation Advisory Board

Governor Greg Abbott appointed William "Will" Pate, DrPH, CHP, of League City, Texas, to the Texas Radiation Advisory Board. Dr. Pate is the radiation safety officer (RSO) for the University of Texas (UT) Medical Branch at Galveston. He is secretary of the State of Texas Chapter of the Health Physics Society (HPS) and previously served as president. He is a professional member of the American Society for Healthcare Engineers, a member of the HPS and the NFPA Laser Fire Protection Technical Committee, and a plenary member of the American Academy of Health Physics (AAHP). Additionally, he is vice chair of the UT System Radiation Safety Advisory Group and a member of the Laser Subcommittee of the American National Standards Institute. He is a certified health physicist and a licensed medical physicist specializing in medical health physics. Pate received a bachelor of science in biology from UT San Antonio, a doctor of public health in environmental and occupational health from UT Health Science Center at Houston, and a master of business administration from Texas A&M Corpus Christi. Pate will serve on the Radiation Advisory Board until April 2023.

Governor Greg Abbott reappointed John P. Hageman, MS, CHP of San Antonio, Texas. Hageman is a radiation safety consultant for Southwest Research Institute and served as the institute's RSO for 20 years. He is a member of the AAHP and is a past treasurer and fellow of the HPS. Additionally, he is the treasurer of the Bexar County Local Emergency Planning Committee. Hageman received a bachelor of science in physics from UT Arlington and a master of science in radiological health from UT Health Science Center at San Antonio. Hageman has served as the president of the South Texas Chapter of the HPS, now the State of Texas Chapter, and is editor of The Billet, chapter's newsletter. John has served on the Radiation Advisory Board since 2008 and is the board's chairman; his term will expire in April 2023.

14 November 2019
In Memoriam: Glenn P. Glasgow

Health Physics Society member Glenn P. Glasgow passed away on 28 October 2019. His obituary can be found on the HPS website In Memoriam page.

14 November 2019
Radium City: A History of America's First Nuclear Industry

by Joel O. Lubenau and Edward R. Landa

More than a hundred years ago, a Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, based enterprise, Standard Chemical Company, became the first American company to produce radium. In fact, it produced more radium than any other in the world. In 1921, Marie Curie, codiscoverer of the element, received a gift of one gram of radium from the Women of America costing $100,000. It was made by the company and, after it was presented to her by President Harding at the White House, she travelled to western Pennsylvania to visit the company's plants. The company was founded by two brothers, James J. and Joseph M. Flannery, undertakers-turned-industrialists.

Radium City, A History of America's First Nuclear Industry, by Joel O. Lubenau and Edward R. Landa, is the story of how the brothers utilized science, technology, engineering, and medicine in an innovative commercial enterprise to produce and promote radium for medical purposes. It is an account of the first use of radioactive material in medicine, the role of scientific and medical research to promote its utilization, the effects of radiation on worker health and the environment, and the government's role in these matters. It is about a time when Pittsburgh was—briefly—nicknamed "Radium City."

The Senator John Heinz History Center, Pittsburgh's oldest and largest historical organization dedicated to preserving and interpreting regional history, has posted the book in PDF format on its website and it may be downloaded at no cost.

14 November 2019
IRPA 15 Poster Abstract Submissions Due 31 December

The International Congress Programme Committee (ICPC) of the 15th International Congress of the International Radiation Protection Association (IRPA 15) cordially invites you to submit poster abstract(s) to IRPA 15, which will be held 11–15 May 2020 in Seoul, Korea.

All abstracts must be submitted electronically through the website only. Submitted abstracts can be revised on the website during the abstract submission period. The deadline for a poster presentation abstract is 31 December 2019.

13 November 2019
J. Scott Kirk Receives Nuclear Service Award

Health Physics Society member J. Scott Kirk, an employee at the Savannah River Site (SRS), recently earned the first-ever Nuclear Service Award from the nuclear advocacy group Citizens for Nuclear Technology Awareness for his achievements advancing technology in the field.

13 November 2019
2020 HPS Midyear Meeting Registration Open

Online registration is open for the 2020 Health Physics Society (HPS) Midyear Meeting being held 26–29 January in Bethesda, Maryland, at the Bethesda North Marriott. Save money by registering before the preregistration deadline of Thursday, 2 January.

HPS has arranged for a special rate of $189 a night at the North Bethesda Marriott. For more information about the meeting, please visit the official meeting website.

The meeting schedule will be online within the next two weeks.

For more information contact the HPS Secretariat at 703-790-1745 or

13 November 2019
HPS Meetings: Staying at the Conference Hotels

Why should I book at the conference hotels?

Hotel rates that the Health Physics Society (HPS) has negotiated include many benefits for you and for the HPS. Based on the number of rooms in the HPS block of hotel rooms, the hotels provide complimentary meeting room space and reduced food and beverage charges. These savings are passed on to attendees through HPS inexpensive registration rates. If HPS is unable to meet its room-block commitment because attendees are making reservations at other hotels, the hotels charge HPS an attrition fee to make up the hotel's lost revenue. If this were to become a trend, HPS would be forced to increase the registration fee and cut services.

Is it important for me to let the reservations agent know that I'm associated with the HPS meeting?

Yes. HPS receives credit only when registrants tell hotel staff that they are attending the HPS meeting. Please make sure the reservations agent knows you are attending the HPS meeting—whether you or someone else makes your reservation—or make your reservation through the link on the HPS site and it will be handled automatically.

Why does HPS reserve a block of rooms?

The HPS reserves a block of rooms to assure availability of rooms for meeting attendees, especially during the tourist season, when it can be very difficult to find an affordable hotel room. In addition, if HPS didn't reserve a block of rooms, it would be subject to room rental fees and full food and beverage costs, which would greatly increase the cost of holding the meeting.

What is HPS doing to reduce these attrition fees and still keep the meeting affordable?

HPS tracks sleeping room reservations and cancellations at the meeting so that it can more accurately block a number of rooms that will be filled by attendees in the future. However, every discount we receive at a hotel is based on the number of room nights we block, so as we reduce our block, we are consequently paying more for other services at the hotel. Reducing the block means that attendees will either have to pay a higher registration fee or that services will have to be cut.

Please stay at the HPS conference hotels!

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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