Current News

20 March 2017
No Page Charges for Student Papers in HPS Journals

Just a reminder:

Health Physics students, here's your opportunity to publish your work free of page charges in the journals Health Physics and Operational Radiation Safety. Mike Ryan, editor of Health Physics, and Craig Little, editor of Operational Radiation Safety, are always looking for ways to encourage students to submit papers for publication. An objection that we sometimes hear is that students have no funds to pay for published page charges. While the page charges of the Health Physics Society's (HPS) journals are modest at $70 per published page, that amount is still sometimes an obstacle. Therefore, for the next year, from 1 July 2016 through 30 June 2017, we are offering to publish papers written by students free of page charges.

To qualify for publication without page charges, the paper must be submitted to one of the journals via the Editorial Manager website before the student author graduates. The student's academic advisor must verify the student's status. Additionally, the student must be the senior and corresponding author of the paper. Finally, since color figures are expensive to produce, there will be a charge for such figures at the rate published in the author guidelines on the Editorial Manager website.


7 March 2017
Nuclear Science & Engineering Summer School for Secondary Science Teachers

The University of Missouri-Columbia's NE 7313: Nuclear Science & Engineering for Secondary Science Teachers—a week-long, three-credit-hour course on the University of Missouri (MU) campus—is designed for science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) instructors who wish to develop a deeper understanding of nuclear science and to bring this information to their classrooms. The dates are 12–16 June 2017. Costs for participation in this class are paid by course sponsors. 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 the current fleet and small modular and advanced reactor concepts). 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.

This is the 35th summer course on energy topics to be conducted by UM Research Reactor faculty. Over 720 teachers have attended past classes, representing more than 250 schools across Missouri and the Midwest. The course instructor and guest speakers are subject experts on nuclear science, its engineering applications, and current topics in nuclear energy. They have worked extensively with regional high schools and community groups on educational initiatives. Contributing organizations that provide information and other resources used in this course include Ameren/UE, the University of Missouri and the MU Research Reactor, the American Nuclear Society, and the Health Physics Society.


2 March 2017
NAS Proceedings From SI Workshop

The National Academies has released the new workshop proceedings titled Adopting the International System of Units for Radiation Measurements in the United States: Proceedings of a Workshop.

The proceedings is available for free download on the National Academies Press website.


28 February 2017
Recognition for Women in Medical Physics Publication Issued by IOMP

A special issue of Medical Physics World dedicated to women in medical physics has been officially released on the International Organization for Medical Physics (IOMP) website in advance of the upcoming European Congress of Radiology (Vienna, Austria, 1–5 March 2017) and International Women's Day (Wednesday, 8 March 2017).

On the cover of the 28-page edition is a photo of Marie Curie with her quote:

"We must believe that we are gifted for something, and that this thing, at whatever cost, must be attained."  (Marie Sklodowska Curie, 1867–1934)

The IOMP hopes this issue will contribute to the popularization of the medical physics profession and to attracting more women to the field of medical physics.


28 February 2017
Characteristic Patterns of DNA Damage Caused by Radiation

In a recent study, researchers from the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute and their collaborators have been able to identify two characteristic patterns of DNA damage caused by ionizing radiation in human cancers. These characteristic patterns may now enable doctors to identify which tumors have been caused by radiation.

The scientific article, "Mutational Signatures of Ionizing Radiation in Second Malignancies," is available on the Nature Communications website.

Read more on the University College London News web page.


28 February 2017
IRPA Guidance Document on Eye Dose and Monitoring

The International Radiation Protection Association (IRPA) has issued IRPA Guidance on Implementation of Eye Dose Monitoring and Eye Protection of Workers. This document was prepared by an IRPA task group assigned to identify key issues in the implementation of the revised eye dose limit recommended by the the International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP) in April 2011. The ICRP revised its eye dose threshold for cataract induction, identifying a limit of 0.5 Gy, compared with the previous threshold doses for visual-impairing cataracts of 5 Gy for acute exposures and greater than 8 Gy for highly fractionated ones.

The reduction of the limit for occupational exposure for the lens of the eye has significant implication in view of the application to planned exposure situations for the different areas of occupational exposure and needs adequate approaches for eye protection and eye dose monitoring.

This guidance provides practical recommendations about when and how eye lens dose should be monitored in the framework of the implementation of the new ICRP dose limit for the lens of the eye, as well as guidance on use of protective devices depending on the exposure levels.


14 February 2017
Disposal of Disused Sources

A disused source is any sealed source of radioactive material that is not currently being utilized and will never be utilized again for the original intended purpose. There are approximately 2 million sealed sources and tens of thousands of disused sources in the United States.

In September 2011, at the request of the U.S. Department of Energy National Nuclear Security Administration/Global Threat Reduction Initiative, the Low-Level Radioactive Waste Forum formed the Disused Sources Working Group (DSWG). 

The DSWG has created two brochures: "Proper Management and Dispositioning of Disused Sealed Sources" is intended for current licensees and "Considering the Use of Radioactive Sealed Sources and Devices" is intended for prospective licensees. 

Any questions or comments on the brochures or the DSWG itself can be sent to Health Physics Society (HPS) Agency Liaison Craig Little, who is the HPS liaison to DSWG.


14 February 2017
New Standards Coordinator

The American National Standards Institute/Health Physics Society (ANSI/HPS) Accredited Standards Committees N13 and N43 welcome Amy Wride-Graney as our new standards coordinator. She replaces Nancy Johnson, who recently retired. Amy has been with Burk and Associates for the past two years, working with membership and meetings.

Amy is excited about this new transition and will be attending a daylong ANSI training course to enhance her skills. As standards coordinator, Amy will provide support to the ANSI/HPS committees, their working groups, and standards. She will also be supporting the American Academy of Health Physics and certification of the American Board of Health Physics. She looks forward to this opportunity and working with everyone. Away from work, Amy enjoys spending time with her husband and two daughters, traveling, and long days at the beach.    

Matthew Barnett, chair of Accredited Standards Committee N13, Radiation Protection



20 January 2017
Congratulations Newly Elected Officers and Board Members

Congratulations to the officers and Board of Directors members who will take office at the 2017 Health Physics Society Annual Meeting in Raleigh, North Carolina, in July:

  • President-elect Nolan Hertel
  • Treasurer-elect Steven King
  • Directors Mike Mahathy, Thomas Morgan, and Jeffrey Whicker

Learn more about your new officers and Board members in the March issue of Health Physics News.


17 January 2017
Source Security Working Group Publishes Transition Memo to Incoming Administration

The Source Security Working Group (SSWG) recently published its recommendations to the Trump transition team regarding radiological source policy. Highlights of the recommendations include:

  • Maintain the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) as the principal federal regulator for the domestic civilian use of radioisotopes.
  • Do not require artificial transitions to alternative technologies.
  • Support U.S. policy to provide a reliable domestic supply of key radioisotopes.

Read the memo on the SSWG website. The SSWG will continue to engage the incoming administration on these and other issues surrounding radiological source security.

The SSWG is an alliance of industry sectors, including energy, health care, oil and gas applications, and industrial radiography, who seek to ensure continued access to radiological sources. For more information, please contact the SSWG.


17 January 2017
WIPP Repository Reopens

The Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) in New Mexico was formally reopened on 9 January 2017 by Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz and New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez.

Information on WIPP and the reopening is available on the U.S. Department of Energy website and in an article by James Conca on the Forbes website.


12 January 2017
18th Gray Medal Recipient Selected

The International Commission on Radiation Units and Measurements (ICRU) is pleased to announce that the 18th Gray Medal will be presented to Charles Mistretta, PhD.

Mistretta, a fellow of the American Association of Physicists in Medicine (AAPM), will receive the award on 31 July 2017 at the 59th Annual Meeting and Exhibition of the AAPM in Denver, Colorado. The talk he will present is titled "Historical Recollections of Developments in Angiography 1971–2017."

More information is available on the ICRU website.


12 January 2017
DOE Report on National Labs

The Department of Energy's (DOE) scientific and technical capabilities are rooted in its system of national laboratories—17 world-class institutions that constitute the most comprehensive research and development network of its kind. The first Annual Report on the State of the DOE National Laboratories describes the DOE National Laboratory System, its role in advancing the frontiers of science and technology, and efforts to ensure it continues as a national resource for the DOE's near- and long-term missions. The DOE committed to prepare this report in response to recommendations from the congressionally mandated Commission to Review the Effectiveness of the National Energy Laboratories (CRENEL) that the DOE should better communicate the value that the laboratories provide to the nation.

The report organizes issues and recommendations into six themes: Recognizing Value, Rebuilding Trust, Maintaining Alignment and Quality, Maximizing Impact, Managing Effectiveness and Efficiency, and Ensuring Lasting Change.

Overall, the report concludes that the vitality of the DOE National Laboratories has improved over the past decade, in part due to investments made through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and from a focus on enhancing the relationship between the laboratories and the DOE, but that hurdles remain in recruiting and retaining the best and brightest researchers and staff, updating aging infrastructure for 21st century needs, continuing to improve operational efficiencies, and further strengthening the partnership with DOE.

This article is adapted from the DOE website.


9 January 2017
NRC Regulation of Category 3 Sources: Request for Comment

On 18 October 2016, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) asked the staff to conduct an evaluation of, among other things, the pros and cons of different methods of requiring transferors of Category 3 quantities of radioactive material to verify the validity of a transferee's license prior to transfer, the pros and cons of including Category 3 sources in the National Source Tracking System (NSTS), and the risks posed by aggregation of Category 3 sources into Category 2 quantities.

As part of the request for public comment, the NRC has developed specific questions that are separated into sections based on the topics and applicability to relevant stakeholders. These include general questions related to license verification, general questions related to the NSTS, specific questions for licensees related to license verification, specific questions for licensees related to the NSTS, specific questions for Agreement States related to license verification, specific questions for Agreement States related to the NSTS, and other questions.

The NRC is requesting comments on license verification involving transfers of Category 3 quantities of radioactive material and the inclusion of Category 3 sources in the NSTS. Please note that Table 1 of Appendix A to 10 CFR Part 37 provides the thresholds for Category 1 and Category 2 quantities of radioactive material and Appendix E of 10 CFR Part 20 provides the thresholds for Category 1 and 2 sources included in NSTS. The list of radionuclides subject to physical security requirements in 10 CFR Part 37 is different than the list of radionuclides included in NSTS. NRC regulations do not include a definition for Category 3 but the NRC has historically considered the Category 3 threshold to be greater than one-tenth of the Category 2 threshold but less than the Category 2 threshold. The questions may be found on the website under docket ID NRC-2016-0276.

Responses to this solicitation will be considered by NRC in preparing a report to the Committees on Appropriations of the House of Representatives and the Senate, pursuant to Public Law 113–235, Section 403 and will inform staff consideration of the regulatory impacts for any recommendations related to Category 3 source security and accountability, which will be documented in a paper to be provided to the NRC in August 2017. The NRC, however, does not intend to provide specific responses to comments or other information submitted in response to this request.

More information can be found in the Federal Register notice.


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