Current News

15 October 2017
Jason Davis Joins REAC/TS

Jason Davis, CHP, PhD, who was awarded the Elda E. Anderson Award at the 2017 Health Physics Society Annual Meeting, has been named the health physicist for the Radiation Emergency Assistance Center/Training Site (REAC/TS), a world-renowned U.S. Department of Energy asset located at the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE) and managed by Oak Ridge Associated Universities. More information can be obtained on the ORISE website.

 

13 October 2017
Public Meeting on 10 CFR Part 61 Final Rule, "Low-Level Radioactive Waste Disposal"

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has scheduled a public meeting to discuss the regulatory analysis for the 10 CFR Part 61 final rule titled "Low-Level Radioactive Waste Disposal" and the revised guidance for alternative disposal requests titled "Guidance for the Reviews of Proposed Disposal Procedures and Transfers of Radioactive Material Under 10 CFR 20.2002 and 10 CFR 40.13(a)."

The meeting is scheduled from 2 to 5 p.m. EDT on 19 October 2017 at the agency's headquarters in the auditorium of NRC Two White Flint North. The public is invited to participate in the meeting by discussing regulatory issues with the agency at designated points identified on the agenda. Interested stakeholders may also participate via conference call or webinar.

For additional information on the NRC public meeting, please contact Gregory Suber, chief of the Low-Level Waste Branch in the NRC's Division of Decommissioning, Uranium Recovery and Waste Programs, by phone: 301-415-8748 or email: gregory.suber@nrc.gov

A link to the meeting details, which is filed under ADAMS Accession Number ML17269A347, can be found on the Low-Level Radioactive Waste Forum's Part 61 Working Group website and on the NRC website.

 

13 October 2017
Former IRPA President John Lakey Dies

Professor John Lakey, PhD, former president of the International Radiation Protection Association (IRPA), died on 12 September 2017. More information can be found on the IRPA website and the University of Sheffield website.

 

13 October 2017
NRC Announces Discontinuation of Rulemaking Activity

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is discontinuing a rulemaking activity that would have required licensees to remediate residual radioactivity resulting from licensed activities during facility operations, rather than at license termination. The purpose of this action is to inform members of the public that this rulemaking activity is being discontinued and to provide a brief discussion of the NRC's decision to discontinue it. This rulemaking activity will no longer be reported in the NRC's portion of the Unified Agenda of Regulatory and Deregulatory Actions (the Unified Agenda). This action is effective 6 October 2017. Please refer to Docket ID NRC-2011-0162 when contacting the NRC about the availability of information regarding this action. You may obtain publicly available information related to this document:

 

7 October 2017
Free or Discounted NCRP Reports and Commentaries Offered to HPS Members

Health Physics Society (HPS) members can now enjoy free access to many National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurements (NCRP) documents (reports and commentaries) as part of their membership. For those publications that are not freely available, HPS members will receive a 60% discount from the list price for electronic versions of NCRP documents purchased through the HPS Members Only website. Members can now log in to the Members Only site and download a free document or purchase one at 60% off list price!

Burk and Associates, in consultation with HPS leadership, negotiated this agreement with NCRP at cost to HPS of $35,000 per year for five years. This contract is solely for electronically available NCRP reports and commentaries, with special provisions as follows:

  1. The current 20% off hard-copy purchases for HPS members will remain.
  2. NCRP will provide access and download of electronically available PDFs of older NCRP reports and commentaries at no charge.
  3. NCRP will provide hard copies of older NCRP reports and commentaries on occasion for distribution at HPS meetings (beginning with Raleigh meeting in 2017).

 

5 October 2017
2017 AAHP/HPS Salary Survey Deadline Extended

The 2017 American Academy of Health Physics (AAHP) and the Health Physics Society (HPS) Salary Survey expiration date has been extended to 31 October 2017 due to the relatively low participation as of 30 September. To ensure the usefulness and validity of the survey, greater participation is needed.

If you haven't participated in the survey yet, please visit http://hps1.org/hpssalsurv. The survey is easy to complete and will only take a few minutes. Your confidential participation will benefit the entire membership.

 

2 October 2017
New Radiochemistry Track at Illinois Institute of Technology

Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT) will offer a radiochemistry track in its well-regarded master of health physics program beginning in fall 2018 and will accept applications for the track starting on 1 October 2017.

The university recently signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the University of Missouri, Columbia, that will enable radiochemistry-track students to take a one-week radiochemistry laboratory at the Missouri University Research Reactor (MURR). MURR is a 10-megawatt facility and the most powerful nuclear research reactor at a U.S. university. The course at MURR will provide students with hands-on experience in handling, detecting, and analyzing radioactive materials.

Started in 1997, the master of health physics program at IIT is a nonthesis degree program designed for working professionals and people in the military, with most courses available online. Instructors are nationally renowned experts with decades of experience. An advisory board of professionals helps guide the curriculum.

S.Y. Chen, a signee of the MOU, is a longstanding member of both the Health Physics Society and the American Nuclear Society, has 30 years of experience in the field, including senior positions at Argonne National Laboratory. He was a member of the National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurements and of the Enivironmental Protection Agency Science Advisory Board/Radiation Advisory Committee. 

Radiochemistry is the academic field for studying the chemical properties and processes of radioactive materials. In the United States, a large segment of radiochemists in the workforce is reaching retirement age, and not enough people are being trained to fill their spots.

"Cold War-era scientists are retiring," said Chen. "It is crucial to educate new health physicists focused on radiochemistry in order to meet the nation's needs."

Both the National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurements and the National Academy of Science (NAS) have expressed concern about the coming shortfall of radiochemists. NAS reported, "The growing use of nuclear medicine, the potential expansion of nuclear power generation, and the urgent needs to protect the nation against external nuclear threats . . . require a substantial, highly trained, and exceptionally talented workforce."

Currently, only a handful of U.S. universities offer radiochemistry as a field of study, and most programs are not designed with online courses for professionals and those serving in the military.

Interested students can apply to IIT's Graduate Admission Office or call 312-567-3020 or (toll-free in the U.S. and Canada) 866-GRAD-IIT (866-472-3448). 

Adapted from an IIT press release.

 

28 September 2017
New Slide Presentation on Health Physics Careers

Health Physics Society (HPS) President Eric Abelquist has prepared the slide show presentation Careers in Health Physics for HPS members to use in talks and for science teacher workshops. It is available as a PDF on the Careers in Health Physics page and as a slide show on the Members Only Science Support page. It is a good resource, showing the wide variety of careers available to students interested in math and science careers.

The slide show was adapted from a presentation prepared by HPS member Carl Tarantino. You will notice that all photos have attributions showing the source of the photos so that we are in compliance with copyright laws. We ask everyone not to add photos to this show.

 

26 September 2017
New NCRP Reports Benefit

Beginning this fall, Health Physics Society (HPS) members will enjoy free access to many National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurements (NCRP) documents (reports and commentaries) as part of their membership. For those publications that are not freely available, HPS members will receive a 60% discount from the list price for electronic versions of NCRP documents purchased through the HPS Members Only website. Members will soon be able to log in to the Members Only site and download a free document or purchase one at 40% of list price! 

Burk and Associates, in consultation with HPS leadership, negotiated this agreement with NCRP. This five-year contract is solely for electronically available NCRP reports and commentaries, with special provisions as follows:

  1. The current benefit of 20% off hard-copy purchases for HPS members will remain.
  2. NCRP will provide access and download of electronically available PDFs of older NCRP reports and commentaries at no charge.
  3. NCRP will provide hard copies of older NCRP reports and commentaries on occasion for distribution at HPS meetings (which began at the Raleigh meeting in 2017).

 

20 September 2017
Sievert Award Nominees Sought

All International Radiation Protection Association (IRPA) associate societies are invited to nominate a candidate to receive the Rolf M. Sievert Award, which will be presented at the 15th IRPA International Congress in Seoul in May 2020.

The Sievert Award recognizes outstanding contributions to radiological protection and honours the memory of Rolf M. Sievert, PhD, a leader and pioneer in radiological protection. The recipient must be preeminent in the discipline, and in accepting the award, the recipient must agree to be in a position to present the Sievert Lecture at the Seoul international congress.

Nominations must be of people who are not currently members of either the Executive Council or the Sievert Award Committee.

A nomination must be accompanied by a supporting statement to justify the nomination. To guide the Award Committee in evaluating nominations, an IRPA Associate Society that makes a nomination should provide as a minimum for each candidate:

  • A 250-word outline of the particular contributions the candidate has made in the field of radiation protection that are the basis for the nomination and that would justify the candidate's selection as the recipient of the award.
  • The formal assurance that the candidate is the official nominee of an IRPA associate society.
  • A current CV for the candidate, including a summary, approximately 500 words, of the candidate's career.
  • Any pertinent supporting documentation.
  • An assurance that the recipient of the Sievert Award will deliver the Sievert Memorial Lecture at the Congress and will make a copy of the lecture available to the publications director for publication.

Names of nominees should be sent to Health Physics Society Awards Committee Chair Robert Cherry by 31 December 2017.

 

23 August 2017
NRC Request for Comments

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has announced that it is seeking comments on a petition from a representative of the Organization of Agreement States (OAS) requesting that the NRC amend its existing regulations in Appendix B to 10 CFR 30, "Rules of General Applicability to Domestic Licensing of Byproduct Material," to specifically add the appropriate radionuclides and their corresponding activities to the list of "Quantities of Licensed Material Requiring Labeling."

The NRC staff is requesting public comment on the following specific questions:

  1. What products or technologies, other than the germanium-68 generators cited in the petition, are being or could be negatively affected because the radioactive materials required for these products or technologies are not currently listed on the table in Appendix B of 10 CFR 30?
  2. Please provide specific examples of how the current NRC regulatory framework for decommissioning financial assurance has put an undue hardship on potential license applicants. Explain how this hardship has discouraged the development of beneficial new products or otherwise imposed unnecessarily burdensome requirements on licensees or members of the public (e.g., users of medical diagnostic or therapeutic technologies) that depend on naturally occurring or accelerator-produced radioactive materials (NARM).
  3. Given NRC's current regulatory authority over the radiological safety and security of NARM, what factors should the NRC take into account in establishing possession limits for any of these materials that should be listed in Appendix B of 10 CFR 30?
  4. Does this petition raise other issues not addressed by the questions above about labeling or decommissioning financial assurance for radioactive materials? Must these issues be addressed by a rulemaking or are there other regulatory solutions that the NRC should consider? 

Comments may be uploaded to the federal rulemaking website: http://www.regulations.gov.

Search for Docket ID NRC–2017–0159. Comments are due 6 November 2017.

 

13 August 2017
10 CFR 835 Update to Appendices

Effective 11 September 2017, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is promulgating a final rule to amend values listed in two appendices to its current occupational radiation protection regulation. These are found in 10 CFR 835, Occupational Radiation Protection.

The amendment to Appendix C corrects the air immersion derived air concentration value for any single radionuclide not listed in the Appendix C table with a decay mode other than alpha emission or spontaneous fission and with radioactive half-life less than two hours, adjusted for an eight-hour work day. The amendments to Appendix E correct the activity information of two radionuclides, 102Rh and 102mRh.

 

31 July 2017
HPS on Twitter

As I indicated in my "From the President" column in the August issue of Health Physics News, we have some significant challenges facing us in the years ahead. Part of the feedback I have heard and read has to do with answering the question "What is the value of being a member?"

We are working on several things to answer that question, including getting National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurements (NCRP) reports free or at a significantly reduced price. Another item that might not seem so obvious at first is putting the Health Physics Society (HPS) on Twitter. Yes, this too is a member benefit.

We are @hps_org. We can now share with you items posted on our website, news about members, and any breaking news in radiation safety. The reason this is a benefit is because I and other Board members often hear things like "It would be great if we could see Board minutes" or "It would be nice to have meeting presentations posted." We post these already, but it seems to be a secret for many . . . no one knows! A quick 140-character tweet could keep HPS members quickly updated on the latest from the website and other organizations' news. So please check out @hps_org and follow the HPS on Twitter.

This is just one example to show that we are listening to what you are saying and asking. I'm on email, LinkedIn, and Twitter, and I still have a landline phone. Please provide feedback and let us know what you're thinking; it is up to each of us to make the Society relevant and of value to current and prospective members.

Eric Abelquist, HPS President

 

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