Nearly 200 attendees gathered in Pasco, Washington, 1–3 October 2018 to participate in the joint American Nuclear Society and Health Physics Society conference "Applicability of Radiation-Response Models to Low-Dose Protection Standards." Read an overview of this international conference—three days packed full with engrossing scientific presentations, lively panel discussions, and stimulating comments and questions from the floor.
It's February and 70 degrees with sunny skies. Or did you decide to stay home? February is a great time for a midwinter warm-up at the 2019 Health Physics Society Midyear Meeting in San Diego, California. The low temperature in San Diego is probably above the high temperature where you live.
Other than the great weather, we have an interesting program lined up for the meeting, which will take place 17–20 February. The Military Health Physics Section session leads off with a review of the history of its Health Physics Program. Not to give the talk away, but did you know the first guidelines for patient exposure were developed by the military in 1898? Military programs cover almost every aspect of health physics. We're sure they will have a program that matches your interest.
We will also have a Medical Health Physics Section special session on Wednesday morning. In the afternoon, there is an International Radiological Protection Association special session on Radiation Safety Culture in Medicine.
Check the 52nd HPS Midyear Meeting web page for meeting information.
The Main Commission of the International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP) held its 90th anniversary meeting in Stockholm, Sweden, 12–15 October 2018. The meeting included a review of each of the ICRP task groups, approval of two reports for public consultation (Relative Biological Effectiveness and Reference Animals and Plants, and Application of the Commission's Recommendations for NORM) and approval of a report for publication (Occupational Intake of Radionuclides Part 4). The meeting also included expansion of work on veterinary activities and establishing a new task group on individual sensitivity. The Main Commission held a joint session with the International Commission on Radiation Units and Measurements, a day-long discussion with organizations in liaison relationship with the ICRP, and participated in the 90th Anniversary Colloquium organized by the Swedish Radiation Safety Authority SSM. During that colloquium, the ICRP presented the first Bo Lindell medal, recognizing an early- to mid-career individual making a significant contribution to the promotion of radiological protection, to Health Physics Society member Dr. Nicole Martinez of Clemson University. A summary of the meeting is now available on the ICRP website.
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.
52nd Midyear Meeting: 17–20 February 2019; San Diego, California
64th Annual Meeting: 7–11 July 2019; Orlando, Florida
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
Donald Cool, ICRP
To celebrate the 90th anniversary of the International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP), the Commission is hoping to make a permanent change in the way we as professionals around the world access the Annals of the ICRP. The Annals are used to publish recommendations, the most recent general recommendations being Publication 103. Recommendations are published on many topics such as radon, medical exposure, and dose coefficients. To realize this change, ICRP needs to raise €500,000 by the end of 2018. The campaign—called "Free the Annals"—has already achieved 50% of that goal in firm commitments. Once achieved, access to all but the most recent two years of publications will be free, and it will continue this way indefinitely. We encourage Health Physics Society members across the country to speak with their organizations about the possibility of contributing to this worthy cause. Many individuals, globally and within the United States, have made personal contributions through the ICRP website. Interested members may contact Kelsey Cloutier for further details.
Read more on the ICRP website.
In his November message, Health Physics Society (HPS) President Nolan Hertel shares his thoughts on the recently held meeting "Applicability of Radiation Response Models to Low-Dose Protection Standards," cosponsored by the HPS and the American Nuclear Society. He also addresses a unique opportunity to help educate the public about radiation by joining the First Lego League Challenge—Into Orbit.
A new list of short course offerings has been posted on the Short Courses page of the HPS website. Information on the following courses is available:
DOT, NRC, & IATA Requirements for Shipping Radioactive Material Course—NV5/Dade Moeller Training Academy
Medical Radiation Safety Office (MRSO) Course—NV5/Dade Moeller Training Academy
Radiation Safety Office (RSO) Course—NV5/Dade Moeller Training Academy
Internal Dosimetry—Technical Management Services, Inc.
Radiation Safety Officer (RSO) School and Refresher Class—RSO Services, Inc.
Radiation Safety Officer Training Course—Radiation Safety & Control Services, Inc.
Site Characterization in Support of Decommissioning: Planning, Implementation, and Evaluation—ORAU's Professional Training Programs
Gamma Spectroscopy—ORAU's Professional Training Programs
The November edition of the CHP Corner has been posted on the American Academy of Health Physics (AAHP) website.
The results of the readership survey are provided. Read a report on AAHP guidance from the parliamentarian. A link to the slides of the 2018 AAHP Special Session is presented. Information is also available on the process and deadline for the American Board of Health Physics examination.
Find the CHP Corner (on the left side list of links) on the AAHP website.
Brant Ulsh, CHP, PhD, Health Physics Editor in Chief
Beginning with the January 2019 issue of Health Physics, we are updating our Instructions for Authors (IFAs). The most significant change is the formatting of submitted manuscripts so author information is separated from the main article. We are doing this to guard against conflict of interest as we move to double-blind peer review (authors don't know the identity of reviewers and reviewers don't know the identity of authors). This measure is intended to allow authors to suggest qualified peer-reviewers, hopefully accelerating the peer-review process. We have also made a number of other changes intended to give authors more freedom and make the publishing process a little less challenging. So if you are a returning author, don't just assume everything is the same as it has always been! We encourage all prospective authors to review the updated IFAs carefully before submitting new manuscripts. Watch for these changes on the Health Physics website in January.
A Little Background Reading
Brant A. Ulsh, CHP, PhD, Health Physics Editor in Chief
The December issue of Health Physics contains two articles of interest for health physicists doing environmental work. In "Measurement of the Background Gamma Dose Rates in Houston, Texas: A Descriptive Summary of an Undergraduate Research Mentored Project Performed by Students Underrepresented in the Health Physics Profession," Anastasia Ozain-Porterie and her colleagues from Texas Southern University (TSU) report the radiation dose you would experience from living in Houston. It is exciting to see undergraduates beginning their health physics career, and as TSU is one of the largest Historically Black Colleges and Universities in the nation, it is doubly exciting to see the work of young health physicists diversifying our field. For another environmentally focused study, but with an international flavor, this issue also has "Measurement of Radioactivity in the Granites of Pakistan: A Review" by Dr. Hannan Younis and colleagues. This issue also contains a couple of articles on nonionizing radiation, a couple more on biomarkers, and a couple on statistical techniques. Finally, this is the issue in which we recognize our colleagues receiving awards from the Health Physics Society for their outstanding contributions. Finish out 2018 by checking out the December issue of Health Physics!
Read "The Road to Health Physics in Alabama" by Emily A. Caffrey, PhD, about the the University of Alabama at Birmingham's new Master's of Health Physics Program, with its first cohort of students starting classes in fall 2016 and its first graduate, Misty Liverett, completing all requirements in August 2018.
The American Nuclear Society/Health Physics Society conference "Applicability of Radiation-Response Models to Low-Dose Protection Standards" reviewed the current knowledge and understanding of the science underlying low-dose radiation effects and critically evaluated the need for updating radiation protection standards and regulations. Information on the meeting can be found on the conference website. Click on Presentations and then Oral Presentations to download slides from the talks.
The North Carolina State University Nuclear Engineering Department is pleased to announce an approved minor offered in health physics with associated graduate research and faculty supporting this discipline. The technical content of the coursework for the minor is intended to both support decommissioning and decontamination for nuclear power plants whose license has expired as well as general radiation safety practice for the industry as a whole. In addition, the minor was designed to simultaneously couple with the department's current accelerated bachelor's to master's program for students to get the health physics minor while fast tracking to complete a master's degree in nuclear engineering (MNE). This allows students to accomplish within a cumulative 5-year time frame both a bachelor of science in nuclear engineering (BSNE) and an MNE while simultaneously obtaining the health physics minor and doing research work in health physics. Research topics include dosimetry, air monitoring, and radiation detection. The required coursework for all electives and general education is listed below, which when coupled with the traditional BSNE, would equip students to serve this facet of our industry.
Health Physics Minor Required Courses
- ET105 Introduction to Environmental Regulations
- NE202 Radiation Sources, Interaction, and Detection
- NE290 Introduction to Health Physics
- MEA215 Introduction to Atmospheric Science
- AES323 Water Management
- ST370 Probability and Statistics for Engineers
- NE404/504 Radiation Safety and Shielding
- MEA412 Atmospheric Physics
- NR484 Environmental Impact Assessment
- NE431/531 Nuclear Waste Management
- NE490/590 Radiological Assessment and Nuclear Emergency Response
Marking the anniversary of the 8 November 1895 discovery of x rays by Wilhelm Conrad Roentgen, the Health Physics Society (HPS) is recognizing 4–10 November 2018 as Radiation Protection Professionals Week.
In March 1896, soon after the discovery of x rays, natural radioactivity was discovered. While radiation and radioactivity are useful and necessary to our modern world, they can pose a hazard to people and the environment. A health physicist's job is to manage the beneficial use of radiation while protecting workers and the public from those potential hazards.
The HPS has a goal of providing information for the public to assist in the understanding of the field of radiation protection. The HPS supports efforts to encourage all citizens to recognize the importance of radiation protection professionals who provide necessary leadership in protecting the public from the hazards associated with the use of radiation.
This week-long observance is dedicated to recognizing radiation protection professionals for their contributions to public safety.
"On behalf of the members of the Health Physics Society, I am pleased to recognize 4–10 November as National Radiation Protection Professionals Week," HPS President Nolan Hertel stated.
Many of the pictures from past Health Physics Society (HPS) annual and midyear meetings have all of those shown identified. However, many have images of those we have not matched with a name. A good example is this picture from the 1980 HPS Annual Meeting in Seattle. The individual at the far left has not yet been identified. Sitting with him are, left to right, Bob Johnson, Dick Burk, Mel Carter, Frazier Bronson, Morgan Cox, and Bill Reinig.
The History Committee has collected thousands of pictures from the annual meetings and midyear meetings and posted over 1,500 on the HPS website. Stop by sometime and visit our Society's past and help us fill in some missing names.
The October 2018 International Atomic Energy Agency e-newsletter is now available.
The Radiation Epidemiology and Dosimetry Course is a free course conducted periodically by the Radiation Epidemiology Branch of the National Cancer Institute's Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics (DCEG). The course is intended for people interested in learning about the health effects of radiation exposure (environmental, occupational, and medical)—particularly the relationship between ionizing radiation and cancer. It will cover the principles of radiation epidemiology, dosimetry, and statistics, as well as cutting-edge research. The course will be held 9–13 September 2019 in Rockville, Maryland. Those interested can send an email to be added to the course listserv. Course details and registration will follow.
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has just published two safety guides that are supporting documents for GSR Part 3, "Radiation Protection and Safety of Radiation Sources: International Basic Safety Standards."
Safety Guide GSG-7, "Occupational Radiation Protection" was jointly developed by the IAEA and the International Labour Office (ILO).
Safety Guide SSG-46, "Radiation Protection and Safety in Medical Uses of Ionizing Radiation" was jointly developed by the IAEA, ILO, Pan American Health Organization, and World Health Organization.
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission's (NRC) FY2019 Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) for its Integrated University Program (IUP) was issued on www.grants.gov 30 September 2018. The FOA will be open for 60 days. Some modifications have been made to this year's FOA that included language describing research areas of interest to the NRC, adherence to service agreements, student repayment debt collection, and timeliness of grant spending.
The FOA is a bit more descriptive this year and focuses details on the topical areas that are of interest to the NRC and the nuclear industry. This is the first time NRC has been able to provide its suggestions of topical areas into the FOA.
The IUP is not a technical-research grant program. It is intended to support academic institutions to encourage careers and research in nuclear-related fields to meet the future workforce needs, while enhancing the nuclear industry broadly. Proposals are not reviewed/rated based on the research, but are competitively rated against specific criteria. These are grants, not cooperative agreements, so NRC can't direct the research being performed or the outcome.