Current News

14 November 2019
Quality Assurance for Radon Measurements: IAEA and CRCPD Webinar

Quality Assurance for Radon Measurements, jointly organized by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and the Conference of Radiation Control Program Directors (CRCPD), will be held on Monday, 18 November 2019 at 4 pm CET.

During the webinar, participants will learn about the purpose of the primary and secondary chambers and the tools for assuring quality in radon measurements. Furthermore, insights from a secondary chamber operator will be shared.

More information can be found on the IAEA website.

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 hps@burkinc.com.

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!

1 November 2019
Health Physics Journal Editor's Note

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

After Things Go Wrong

The December issue of Health Physics presents tools to use when things go wrong. Airi Mori describes the "Development of an External Radiation Dose Estimation Model for Children Returning to Their Homes in Areas Affected by the Fukushima Nuclear Accident." On the biodosimetry front, Dr. Mamadou Soumboundou recounts "Biological Dosimetry Network in Africa: Establishment of a Dose-Response Curve Using Telomere and Centromere Staining," and Dr. Christina Beinke reports on "Cytogenetic Analysis After Temporary Residence in the Area of the Uncontrolled Ruthenium-106 Release in Russia in September 2017." And finally, Dr. Eric Abelquist proposes "To Mitigate the LNT Model's Unintended Consequences—A Proposed Stopping Point for As Low As Reasonably Achievable." Be prepared! Check out the December issue of Health Physics!

Abstract Supplement

Enjoy free access to the abstracts of papers presented at the 52nd Health Physics Society Midyear Meeting and the 64th Health Physics Society Annual Meeting.

Call for Papers

Calling all authors and researchers! We want to hear about your work! Health Physics is issuing a call for original research, review articles, and operational topic articles. See more details.

(Note to HPS members: to access all Journal articles free, first log into Members Only on hps.org. Then, under Resources for You [on right side of page], click the Journal 1999–present icon. This will take you directly to the Health Physics Journal page or, if you have not yet done the single sign-on procedure, you will be asked to "pair accounts"—answer yes and you should be done. If you want to know more about why this process is in place, please see the news item "New Journal Website Login" on HPS Members Only.)

1 November 2019
November 2019 Short Course Listing

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

Facility Decommissioning Training Course—Argonne National Laboratory

Radiation Safety Officer (RSO) Course—NV5/Dade Moeller Training Academy

Medical Radiation Safety Officer (MRSO) Course—NV5/Dade Moeller Training Academy

DOT, NRC, & IATA Requirements for Shipping Radioactive Material Course—NV5/Dade Moeller Training Academy

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

Radiation Safety Officer Training Course—Radiation Solutions, LLC

28 October 2019
Baltimore-Washington Chapter Hosts Nuclear Science Merit Badge Program

In celebration of National Nuclear Science Week, the Baltimore-Washington Chapter of the Health Physics Society hosted a nuclear science merit badge program at the University of Maryland, College Park on Saturday, 12 October 2019. Read more about the full-day program that was attended by approximately 60 scouts, 15 parents, and 30 technical volunteers and was a unique opportunity to teach young people about radiation sciences and health physics.

28 October 2019
In Memoriam: R. Thomas Bell

Health Physics Society member R. Thomas Bell passed away on 1 October 2019. His obituary can be found on the HPS website In Memoriam page.

14 October 2019
October 2019 CHP Corner

Dan Sowers, CHP Corner Editor

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

  • Thoughts on risk communication versus facing our own mortality.
  • ABHP exam application reminder.
  • Online submission of continuing education credits.
9 October 2019
Vermont Becomes 39th NRC Agreement State

Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) Chairman Kristine L. Svinicki and Vermont Governor Philip B. Scott have signed an agreement to give Vermont regulatory authority over certain radioactive materials in the state. Vermont is the 39th state to sign such an agreement with the NRC.

Under the agreement, effective 30 September 2019, Vermont assumes responsibility for licensing, rulemaking, inspection, and enforcement activities related to the industrial, medical, and academic uses of radioactive material. The NRC is transferring 36 academic, commercial, and medical licenses for radioactive material to Vermont's jurisdiction.

NRC retains jurisdiction over the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant, which is currently decommissioning, as well as federal agencies using certain nuclear material in the state.

Before entering into the agreement, the NRC determined that Vermont's radiation control program is adequate to protect public health and safety and is compatible with the NRC's regulations. The proposed agreement was published in the Federal Register for four consecutive weeks for public comment.

More information about the Agreement State Program, including a list of Agreement States, is available on the NRC website.

30 September 2019
ICRP 2019 Keynote Speakers to Include Canadian Astronaut Dr. Robert Thirsk

The 5th International Symposium on the System of Radiological Protection (ICRP 2019), 17–21 November in Adelaide, Australia, will feature four days of presentations and discussions on "Mines, Medicine, and Mars."

Day 4 of the International Commission on Radiological Protection's (ICRP) biennial symposia series will feature Dr. Robert Thirsk, who has academic backgrounds in mechanical engineering, medicine, and business administration and has flown on two space missions as a member of the Canadian Space Agency's astronaut corps. Day 4 will include presentations and panel discussions on the current work and future trends of RP in space.

The Australasian Radiation Protection Society (ARPS) will hold its annual forum on Day 1 and will mark the commencement of the ARPS Trade Exhibition. Also on Day 1 will be the Bo Lindell lecture, given by 2019 Bo Lindell Medal recipient Liz Ainsbury.

On Day 2—"Mines"—will include topics related to the mining industry on RP of workers, public, and the environment; radon in mining and beyond; and other NORM industries. The panel will consist of discussions on NORM, mines, and future trends. Keynote speaker is Laura Tyler, asset president of Olympic Dam and chief geoscientist at BHP.

Day 3 will feature Professor Brendan Murphy, chief medical officer for the Australian Government and the principal medical adviser to the minister and the Department of Health. He also holds direct responsibility for the Department of Health's Office of Health Protection and the Health Workforce Division. Day 3 will also include sessions on health practitioners, the role of equipment manufacturers in RP, and patient focus. The panel will discuss raising awareness of RP in medicine.

The detailed program ICRP 2019 will be released soon on the ICRP 2019 website, where registration, sponsorship and exhibition packages, program information, and more can also be found. For more information about this event, or anything ICRP related, please contact ICRP Development and Communications Manager Kelsey Cloutier.

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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