Current News

2 July 2020
July 2020 Products and Services Listing

The July Products and Services offerings have been posted on the Products and Services page of the HPS website. Information on the following products and services is available:

Radiation Dosimetry Services—PL Medical Dosimetry Services

2 July 2020
July 2020 Short Course Listing

The July 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 (RSO) Training Course and Refresher Class—RSO Services, Inc.

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

MicroShield® Expert Certification—Grove Software, a Division of Grove Engineering, Inc.

30 June 2020
Polonium-210 Fact Sheet Updated

Dan Sowers, HPS Public Information Committee

It's always a good day to see a team's progress culminate in a finished, published product. The members of the Health Physics Society's (HPS) Public Information Committee, chaired by Emily Caffrey, are working to update HPS fact sheets (as useful tools to communicate many valuable facets of health physics to the general public). Just this week, after a lengthy debate, revision, and peer-review process, we've published the revised Polonium-210 fact sheet.

Steve Sugarman took the lead on the Polonium-210 fact sheet. In large part, fact sheets evolve from questions received in the Ask the Experts portal. In the case of this fact sheet specifically, we expanded the discussion on the poisoning of Alexander Litvinenko and added more terms in the glossary in the hopes of catching and educating the curious web searcher. All this public information is free and exists to help the general public understand radiation and health physics, and for you—the health physicist—to more effectively communicate to those who may want to know more, have questions, or have concerns. Take time to know what's there. Understand it. Use it. Reference it. Share it.

For any questions about the Public Information Committee, please contact Steve or Emily.

29 June 2020
SAFRON Internship

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) is offering a one-year internship, beginning in September 2020, to support the SAFRON Incident Learning System. The main purpose of this internship is to assist the Radiation Protection of Patients Unit in the radiation protection of patient activities. The deadline for applying for the internship is 16 July 2020. More information can be found on the IAEA website.

23 June 2020
Free NCI Radiation Epidemiology and Dosimetry Course

Lecture videos from the 2019 National Cancer Institute (NCI) Radiation Epidemiology and Dosimetry Course are now freely available online.

The Radiation Epidemiology and Dosimetry Course is conducted periodically by the Radiation Epidemiology Branch of the NCI Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics (DCEG). The course is intended for people who are interested in learning about the health effects of radiation exposure. The course begins with the fundamentals and progresses to topical sessions that provide an overview of the methods and key findings from studies of medical, occupational, and environmental radiation exposures.

More information and the videos can be found on the DCEG website.

23 June 2020
Christopher T. Hanson and David A. Wright Sworn in by NRC

Christopher T. Hanson was sworn in on 8 June 2020 by Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) Chairman Kristine L. Svinicki as the fifth NRC Commissioner. Hanson was nominated by President Donald J. Trump and confirmed by the US Senate to serve the remainder of a five-year term expiring 30 June 2024. Hanson will begin serving his term immediately.

Hanson has more than two decades of government and private-sector experience in the fields of nuclear energy. Prior to joining the NRC, he served as a staff member on the Senate Appropriations Committee. Before working in the Senate, Hanson served as a senior advisor in the Department of Energy's Office of Nuclear Energy. He also served as a consultant at Booz Allen Hamilton, where he led multiple engagements for government and industry.

Hanson earned master's degrees from Yale Divinity School and Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, where he focused on ethics and natural resource economics. He earned a bachelor of arts degree in religious studies from Valparaiso University in Valparaiso, Indiana.

David A. Wright, nominated by President Trump and confirmed by the US Senate, was sworn in on 8 June 2020 as an NRC Commissioner by Chairman Svinicki for a second term. Wright's second term as Commissioner will begin 1 July 2020 and will end on 30 June 2025.

Wright previously served as owner/president of Wright Directions, LLC, a strategic energy and water consulting and communications business. He also served as a member and chairman of the South Carolina Public Service Commission from 2004 to 2013. He was elected and served as president of the National Association of Regulatory Utility Commissioners from 2011 to 2012. Additionally, he has served as a council member and mayor of Irmo, South Carolina, and as a member of the South Carolina House of Representatives.

A colon cancer survivor, Wright is an advocate for cancer awareness and education. He received a bachelor's degree in political science from Clemson University.

22 June 2020
Message From the Treasurer About the Tesla Raffle

Dear HPS Member,

This year the Finance Committee tried to inject a bit of fun by having the HPS raffle off a 2020 Tesla Model 3 Long Range. We were hoping to make about $25,000 by doing this. Right now we have sold enough raffle tickets to cover the cost of the car. I can’t thank the membership enough!

I’d like to meet our budget goal of an additional $25,000. That means we need to sell an additional 500 tickets. If you haven’t purchased a ticket, why not consider it now. The drawing will be performed by the company Rally Up after the closing date of 7 July 2020. 

I know the coronavirus put a dent in our raffle, but don’t let it defeat us! Purchase a ticket for a family member for a birthday, an anniversary, or any reason. The odds are currently about 1 in 1,000!!!

Tell your friends and coworkers about the Tesla raffle.

Please help out your society. These funds go toward helping younger members, putting on first-class meetings, making committees successful, etc. It is a tax write-off if you qualify or make it a donation.

Thank you in advance for your commitment to the Health Physics Society.

--Steven King, HPS Treasurer

Click here to enter the HPS Tesla raffle!

17 June 2020
HPS Board News: Annual Meeting Virtual Alternative

Barbara Hamrick

The Health Physics Society (HPS) Board of Directors would like you to know they are hard at work preparing to provide a virtual alternative to this year's annual meeting, to include a series of topical sessions and opportunities to earn continuing education units. In the meantime, plans are in the works for a virtual Business Meeting, tentatively scheduled for 3:00 pm EDT on Wednesday, 8 July 2020. Details for participating will be announced in the near future, but the Tesla raffle drawing will definitely be on the schedule, in addition to the annual reports and transition of leadership. Watch this space and your emails from HPS.

16 June 2020
Low-Dose Radiation as a COVID-19 Treatment

On 8 June 2020, medRxiv: The Preprint Server for Health Sciences published the research communication "Low-Dose Whole-Lung Radiation of COVID-19 Pneumonia: Planned Day-7 Interim Analysis of a Registered Clinical Trial," which discusses results of a non-peer-reviewed pilot trial using radiation to treat COVID-19. The study, conducted at Winship Cancer Institute of Emory University, was small, with only five patients ranging in age from 64 to 94 and a median age of 90. All were suffering from severe pneumonia, on supplemental oxygen, and clinically deteriorating. The patients were each given a single 1.5 Gy dose to both lungs in a front to back beam configuration. Three of the patients were off oxygen in 24 hours and released from the hospital within 12 days. A fourth patient was off oxygen within 96 hours and awaiting discharge at the time of the publication. In theory, the radiation mitigates the uncontrolled systemic inflammatory response, called the cytokine storm, which results in acute respiratory distress. Further, larger studies at other institutions are planned for the near future.

15 June 2020
IAEA Expands SAFRON to Improve Safety in Radionuclide Therapy

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has recently launched SAFRON for Radionuclide Therapy, an incident learning system to help medical facilities improve safety of patients and staff. The objective of this new learning system platform is to enhance the planning of radionuclide therapy used to treat, mitigate, or control cancer and other diseases by identifying potential safety issues from reported events.

More information, including details on registering for SAFRON Radionuclide Therapy Incident Learning can be found on the IAEA website.

15 June 2020
Airport and Security Screening Systems Fact Sheet Updated

Dan Sowers, HPS Public Information Committee

It's always a good day to see a team's progress culminate in a finished, published product. The members of the Health Physics Society's (HPS) Public Information Committee are working to update all HPS fact sheets as useful tools to communicate many valuable facets of health physics to the general public. Just this week, after a lengthy debate, revision, and peer-review process, we've published the revised and expanded-in-scope Airport and Security Screening Systems fact sheet.

In large part, the Airport and Security Screening Systems fact sheet and the other fact sheets evolved from questions received in the Ask the Experts portal. In the case of this fact sheet specifically, we expanded the scope from just airport personnel security systems to include other security systems as well, based on a trend of questions received. All this public information is free and exists to help the general public understand radiation and health physics and for you—the health physicist—to more effectively communicate to those who may want to know more, have questions, or have concerns. Take the time to know what's there. Understand it. Use it. Reference it. Share it.

For any questions about the Public Information Committee, please contact Dan Sowers or Emily Caffrey.

15 June 2020
Passing of Allen Brodsky

We are saddened to inform you of the passing of Allen Brodsky, a charter member and former Board member of the Health Physics Society (HPS). Allen died on 13 June 2020, subsequent to a stroke he suffered a few weeks ago. An In Memoriam piece is being prepared for posting on the HPS website and will be announced in Health Physics News.

15 June 2020
In Memoriam: Richard V. Griffith

Health Physics Society member Richard V. Griffith passed away on 16 February 2020. His obituary can be found on the HPS website In Memoriam page.

9 June 2020
Mark Your Calendar: IRPA North American Congress

Mike Mahathy, Congress Organizing Committee Chair

The Health Physics Society (HPS) will host the inaugural International Radiation Protection Association (IRPA) North American Congress 20–24 February 2022 in St. Louis, Missouri. IRPA approved the HPS proposal on 7 June 2020.

The theme for the congress is "Meeting the Challenges in the Practice of Radiation Protection." Radiation protection societies in Canada and Mexico are cosponsoring. Nolan Hertel is the congress president and chair of the Executive Committee, Ed Waller (Canadian Radiation Protection Association) is congress vice-president, and Mike Mahathy is chair of the Organizing Committee.

We will be seeking presentations from young scientists and senior professionals practicing in the field of health physics. The Organizing Committee will share more details in coming weeks.

9 June 2020
IAEA Scrap Metal Tool Kit

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Control of Sources Unit has launched the Scrap Metal Tool Kit, a collaboration platform for information and experience exchange for the control of radioactive material inadvertently incorporated into scrap metal and semifinished products of the metal-recycling industries.

The e-learning "Control of Radioactive Material Inadvertently Incorporated Into Scrap Metal"—which complements the tool kit—has been launched simultaneously and is available on the IAEA's self-directed Learning Management System of the CLP4NET.

A short video with an overview of the e-learning and tool kit is also available.

8 June 2020
Young Professionals NORM2020 Conference Essay Contest

The International Atomic Energy Agency-Environet (Network on Environmental Management and Remediation) invites young professionals (younger than 35 years) to develop an essay outlining innovative strategies and approaches to manage NORM residues and waste. The writer of the best essay will be granted a lump sum (to cover airfare and lodging over the entire duration of the Conference) and will be entitled to make a 20-minute presentation during the closing session of the International Conference on the Management of Naturally Occurring Radioactive Materials (NORM) in Industry (NORM2020 Conference) to be held in Vienna, Austria, 19–23 October.

The NORM2020 Conference amplifies the objectives of the IAEA-Environet NORM Project, which has established three tasks groups (1) providing guidance on the establishment of policies and strategies for NORM, (2) defining strategies to establish NORM inventories in member states, and (3) establishing cost estimation of different NORM residue and waste management approaches.

The NORM2020 Conference wishes to establish a look into the future in which sustainability principles, aligned with the UN Sustainable Development Goals, are of paramount importance to back up development objectives. In this context, making efficient use of raw materials and natural resources is of strategic importance and these are linked with principles and practices that are aimed at eliminating waste and promoting the responsible and cyclical use of resources.

The essay should be two pages long, indicating the industry where the residue/waste comes from, the feasibility of the intended approach, and the fields of application. Economic considerations, safety/regulatory implications, and stakeholder acceptability may be also considered. The essay must be original, written in English, and limited to 800 words.

Essays should be sent by email to NORM2020 Conference by 14 August. The submitted essays will be reviewed by the chair and work group leaders of the Environet NORM Project.

5 June 2020
In Memoriam: John B. Little

Health Physics Society member John B. Little passed away on 24 May 2020. His obituary can be found on the HPS website In Memoriam page.

5 June 2020
Back to the Laboratory - July Health Physics Journal

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

The July issue of Health Physics goes back to the laboratory with our latest installment of research from the "Global Conference on Radiation Topics—Preparedness, Response, Protection, and Research" (ConRad). Our lineup includes the latest developments in radiation biology, with a focus on responding to emergency situations. Dr. Michael Abend and colleagues provide papers considering "Living in Contaminated Areas, Consideration of Different Perspectives" and "Bringing Radiation Exposures and Associated Health Risks Into Perspective—Development of an App." There are several biodosimetry-focused papers, including "Effect of Different Antioxidants on X-Ray Induced DNA Double Strand Breaks Using γ-H2AX in Human Blood Lymphocytes" by Dr. Octavian Calborean and colleagues, "Radiation Exposure Biomarkers in the Practice of Medical Radiology: Cooperative Research and the Role of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Biodosimetry/Radiobiology Laboratory" by Professors Oleg Belyakov and Volodymyr Vinnikov, "Automated Dicentric Aberration Scoring for The Triage Dose Assessment: 60Co Gamma Rays Dose-Response at Different Dose Rates" by Dr. Uma Subramanian and colleagues, and "Gene Expression and Cellular Markers of Occupational Radiation Exposure in Chornobyl Shelter Construction Workers" by Dr. Dimitry Bazyka and colleagues. Be sure to check out the latest developments in this active and fascinating area of radiation protection in the July issue of Health Physics.

28 May 2020
HPS2020 Shirts for Sale by BWCHPS!

Jeff Chapman and Gary Chen, Local Arrangements Committee Cochairs

In case you missed this in the April or May newsletter:

Thank you to those of you who saw this announcement in the April and May issues of the newsletter and ordered shirts. The Baltimore-Washington Chapter of the Health Physics Society (BWCHPS) preordered and purchased a lot of shirts for the midyear and annual meetings. We still have a good many left.

Please visit the BWCHPS web store, which is still open and taking orders, to purchase yours today.

The way things are going, these shirts may be collector's items!

The BWCHPS web store page provides up-to-date information on how we intend to distribute the shirts in mid-to-late July 2020.

27 May 2020
SAFRON Update and Webinar

A new update for SAFRON users can be found on the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) website.

SAFRON, Safety in Radiation Oncology, is an IAEA integrated voluntary reporting and learning system in radiotherapy and radionuclide therapy incidents and near misses.

IAEA is also holding the webinar Learning through Experience: Using SAFRON Incident Learning System in Philippines—Case Study on 11 June 2020.

27 May 2020
RadResponder Offers Webinars

The RadResponder organization is offering the following no-cost webinars:

More information can be found on the RadResponder website.

27 May 2020
EFRS Webinar Series on Radiation Protection

The European Federation of Radiographer Societies (EFRS), in collaboration with the Radiation Protection of Patients Unit of the International Atomic Energy Agency and EuroSafe Imaging, has begun its 2020 Webinar Series on Radiation Protection.

The aim of the webinar series is to act as an additional tool to improve the knowledge, skills, and competences of radiographers in this field. The webinar series will also serve as a continuing professional development (CPD) for radiographers.

The first two topics in the EFRS Radiation Protection Webinar Series are:

  • Radiation Protection in Computed Tomography (5 episodes)
  • Radiation Protection in Radiotherapy (5 episodes)

Several episodes have already occurred, but you are able to listen to a recording of the episodes.

Certificates: When you have followed a webinar presentation from start to end, you will receive an automated email within 48 hours with a link to download your certificate. For listening to the recording, no certificates are issued.

Visit the EFRS website for the full program overview and registration.

7 April 2020
Plenary Sessions: HPS 2020 Midyear Meeting

The Health Physics Society 53rd Midyear Meeting, which was held in Bethesda, Maryland, in January 2020, included a plenary session each morning. The speakers are shown here. All photos are courtesy of Casper Sun.

Monday

HPS President Eric Goldin
 

NRC Commissioner David Wright
 

Jonathan Edwards, EPA – "The Intersection of Radiation Science and Communication"

 

Tuesday

Maria Korsnick, NEI – "Nuclear Industry Overview and Outlook"
 

Donald Miller, PAC 4 Committee, FDA – "Overview of NCRP Activities (Emphasis on Radiation Protection in Medicine)"

 

Wednesday

Rod Baltzer, Deep Isolation – "Innovations in Disposal of High-Level Nuclear Waste"

 

7 April 2020
UAB HP Student Kayla Stinson Receives Outstanding Student Research Award at 2019 HPS Annual Meeting

Muhammad Maqbool, UAB Health Physics Program

Kayla Stinson, a University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) School of Health Professions MS in health physics student, was awarded the Health Physics Society (HPS) Outstanding Student Research Award for her research presentation at the HPS 64th Annual Meeting in July 2019. Her oral presentation for the award competition, based on her poster "Characterization of MCP-124 and MCP-150 Alloys for Beam Collimation and Radiation Shielding," was one of only two awarded out of more than 250 oral and 70 poster presentations.

"This is a huge honor for a young program to win an award competing against so many researchers from around the world," said Stinson's mentor, Associate Professor Muhammad Maqbool, PhD, Health Physics Program, UAB Department of Clinical and Diagnostic Sciences.

Stinson's research investigates different materials' shielding properties—testing how well they protect against radiation. Her work looked at many different factors, including scattered radiation and buildup as well as mathematical developments based on the Klein-Nishina formula. The work was designed to consider scattering cross sections and radiation dose accuracy for radiation workers and patients.

The MCP-124 is a eutectic of the bismuth-lead system with a low melting point designed for biomedical applications as it can easily be bent, with a melting point of 124 degrees Celsius. Stinson has also published her work with wax, a commonly used material in this area.

Maqbool says research in this area continues at UAB. He is expanding the research with three students—two in health physics and one in nuclear medicine technology. Their goal is to present updated results for publication in early 2020.

Stinson, who earned a cash award and a plaque for her research award, graduated in December 2019.

13 February 2020
BWCHPS Highlights From the 2020 HPS Midyear Meeting

HPS Local Arrangements Committee

The Baltimore Washington Chapter of the Health Physics Society (BWCHPS) was pleased to support local arrangements for the 2020 HPS Midyear Meeting, which was held in Bethesda, Maryland, the week of 19 January 2020. While there were many highlights of the meeting, we must say that there was great interest in the two tours that were arranged as well as the cool dry-fit HPS 2020 polo shirts that were offered for sale by the chapter and that will continue on sale through the annual meeting in National Harbor.

Tour of the Armed Forces Radiobiology Research Institute

HPS midyear participants at AFRRI. Photo courtesy of Dr. William F. Blakely
 

The Armed Forces Radiobiology Research Institute (AFRRI) supported a request from the BWCHPS and hosted a visit to AFRRI on Monday, 27 January. Maj. Joshua Molgaard and Dr. William F. Blakely, both of AFFRI, organized the visit, which involved about a dozen attendees of the 2020 HPS Midyear Meeting. AFRRI tour participants saw AFRRI's 60Co Facility, Reactor Facility, and Cytogenetic Biodosimetry Laboratory. Several AFRRI staff assisted as tour guides, including Dr. V. Kumar, Dr. David Schauer Maj. J. Molgaard, Charles (Bob) Woodruff and SFC S. Moore. Additional AFRRI staff, who supported the AFRRI tour, includes Maj. C. Barrera, Dr. David Bolduc, C. Lingerfelt, and SFC B. Knibbe.

 

Tour of the US NRC Headquarters Operations Center

HPS midyear participants at the NRC Headquarters Operations Center. Photo courtesy of Jeff Kowalczik
 

On Tuesday, 28 January, about 25 HPS midyear meeting participants toured the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission's (NRC) Headquarters Operations Center. The center serves as the coordination point for communications with NRC licensees, state entities, and other federal agencies during incidents and emergency events at NRC-licensed facilities. The tour was hosted by HPS member Jeff Kowalczik.

 

HPS 2020 Dry-Fit Polo Sales

HPS polo shirts were sold at the midyear meeting. Photo courtesy of Jeff Chapman
 

Throughout the week of the midyear meeting, HPS polo shirts were offered for sale. These shirts feature in red, white, and blue a 4th of July celebration over our Nation's Capital, Washington, DC. We will continue to offer these shirts. Soon you will be able to preorder them online prior to the HPS annual meeting in National Harbor, Maryland.

 

Midyear Night Out at Pinstripes-Bistro-Bowling-Bocce

Bowling at Pinstripes. Photo courtesy of Jeff Chapman
 

BWCHPS members were joined by two HPS members attending the midyear meeting for a fun evening of bowling, food, and beverage at the upscale Pinstripes bistro. We are pleased to report results: n=7 and mean and 1sd of 112 ± 11. Ed Tupin was the clear winner, having amped up his game prior to attendance. When someone walks onto the alley wearing their own personal bowling shoes, beware.

 

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.

65th Annual Meeting: The July 2020 meeting has been cancelled. Information will be updated as the Board continues to look at options for this meeting.

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

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

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