Essential to the Health Physics Society (HPS) mission is the open exchange of ideas, freedom of thought and expression, and productive scientific debate, which require an open, diverse environment, free of bias and intimidation, built on dignity and mutual respect for all participants. HPS is dedicated to providing a safe, welcoming, and productive experience for everyone participating in Society events and other Society activities, regardless of age, color, creed, disability, ethnicity, gender identity and expression, marital status, military service status, national origin, parental status, physical appearance, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, or any other status or condition.
Health Physics Society (HPS) President Eric Abelquist formed the Health Physics Title Protection Task Force to recommend how we might strengthen and protect the "health physicist" title. The task force will review Nuclear Regulatory Commission and state regulations that address requirements for course curriculum and credit hours to support requirements for radiation safety officer positions—and consider same as basis of petition to more rigorously define federal health physics job requirements (e.g., in the U.S. Office of Personnel Management's health physics job series 1306). Also, this task force has been asked to make a recommendation on whether the HPS should pursue licensure and regulation of the health physics profession, and if so, if there are particular states with which we should start the process. A recent article in the Wall Street Journal reveals relevant congressional action that could significantly influence licensure initiatives.
The final program for the Health Physics Society (HPS) 2018 Midyear Meeting, being held 4–7 February 2018 in Denver, Colorado, is now posted on the HPS website. It is not too late to register, and if you preregister by 16 January you will receive a discount on registration fees.
"Radiological Dispersal Device (RDD) Response Guidance Planning for the First 100 Minutes" is available on the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) website. The DHS states, "This document provides actionable guidance, sample text for an RDD response protocol, and annexed tools that can be used for local planning of an effective response to an RDD to protect first responders and the general public, and establish interagency coordination and integration of state and federal assets."
The deadline for submitting abstracts for the 2018 Health Physics Society (HPS) Annual Meeting is 9 February 2018. The meeting will be held in Cleveland, Ohio, 15–19 July 2018, at the Huntington Convention Center of Cleveland.
For discounted hotel rates at the Hilton Cleveland Downtown headquarters hotel, please use this link: https://aws.passkey.com/event/49500610/owner/14238363/home.
The Health Physics Society (HPS) vote on bylaws changes to allow formation of nontechnical sections passed in the December election. The HPS Rules Committee will prepare revisions to the Rules which, in turn, will be sent to the Board for approval. After the Rules revisions are approved by the Board, those preparing to form a new section will do so in accordance with applicable Society procedures.
IRPA Bulletin 16, published by the International Radiation Protection Association (IRPA), is now available. This issue contains information on the 5th Asian and Oceanic IRPA Regional Congress on Radiation Protection, the Australasian Radiation Protection Society, IRPA Consultation, the International Symposium on Radiological Protection in Medicine, the Task Group on Public Understanding, the IRPA14 Congress Proceedings, and the 5th European IRPA Congress.
Congratulations to the officers and Board of Directors members who will take office at the 2018 Health Physics Society (HPS) Annual Meeting in Cleveland, Ohio, in July:
For the last three decades, the American Industrial Hygiene Foundation (AIHF) has awarded almost two million dollars in scholarships to students studying industrial hygiene and related disciplines.
AIHF is currently accepting applications for scholarships through 19 January 2018. Visit the AIHF website to see if you qualify and to apply for an AIHF scholarship today.
Health Physics Society (HPS) President-elect Nolan Hertel is coordinating his chapter visits by geographic regions, and chapters need to contact him soon if they want to be included in the schedule.
The HPS Rules break down the distribution of costs for the chapter visit in the following statement: "When arranging for visits with the Chapters, the President-elect shall inform each Chapter that it is customary for the Chapter to pay the cost of local transportation, lodging, and meals during the visit of the President-elect."
Contact President-elect Hertel in the next couple of weeks if you want to schedule a chapter visit. His current schedule is on Members Only under the Operations icon.
Chapters have the option of selecting one of the following talks:
- "Radiation Protection: What We Know, Don't Know, and Need to Know" – This is a review of the workshop that HPS president Eric Abelquist and Hertel held at Oak Ridge Associated Universities during the summer on research needs for radiation protection.
- "Doses to Members of the Public From I-131 Patient Release" – This is a more technical talk, which discusses recent dose modeling that Oak Ridge National Laboratory did for the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. To date it has been requested by two chapters.
The Health Physics Society (HPS) position statement "Low-Level Radioactive Waste Management" and its supporting document "Background Information on 'Low-Level Radioactive Waste Management'" are now available on the HPS website. This is the latest revision of the HPS position statement initially issued in October 1993. The background document should be considered an adjunct to the position statement and is not a stand-alone document.
Opportunities exist in the following program areas: Advanced Scientific Computing Research (ASCR), Biological and Environmental Research (BER), Basic Energy Sciences (BES), Fusion Energy Sciences (FES), High-Energy Physics (HEP), and Nuclear Physics (NP).
- Preapplication Due Date: 25 January 2018 at 5 p.m. Eastern Time (required)
- Encourage/Discourage Date: 27 February 2018 at 5 p.m. Eastern Time
- Application Due Date: 4 April 2018 at 5 p.m. Eastern Time
Check out the online program to see the excellent talks planned for the Plenary Session of the upcoming 51st Health Physics Society (HPS) Midyear Meeting, 4–7 February 2018, in Denver, Colorado.
Don't forget to register now. Preregister by 16 January to receive a discount on registration fees.
Submit your abstract for the 2018 Health Physics Society (HPS) Annual Meeting, which will be held 15–19 July in Cleveland, Ohio. The Call for Abstracts is available on the meeting page on the HPS website. Submission deadline is 9 February 2018.
Dealing with the medical consequences of a nuclear strike is a topic in the forefront of the news as tensions between the United States and North Korea have grown because of North Korea's recent nuclear tests. Two recently published articles may be of interest to Health Physics Society (HPS) members:
- "Measuring Radiation Doses in Mass-Casualty Emergencies" was authored by HPS Homeland Security Section (HSS) member Mary Sproull. HSS President Jerome Hauer discusses the challenges associated with radiation-related injuries.
- "Readiness for Radiological and Nuclear Events Among Emergency Medical Personnel" discusses a study "conducted to evaluate the relative knowledge, willingness to respond, and familiarity with nuclear/radiological contamination risks among U.S. and Japanese emergency medical personnel."
Don't forget to register now for the upcoming 51st Health Physics Society (HPS) Midyear Meeting, 4–7 February 2018, in Denver, Colorado. Preregister by 16 January to receive a discount on registration fees.
The online program for the meeting has been posted.
The meeting is being held at the Denver Marriott Hotel. HPS group rates start at $180 per night. Book your room reservation here.
Attention Students! The online links are now available for the 2018–2019 Health Physics Society Fellowships, 2018 travel grants, 2018 Dade Moeller Scholarships, and 2018 Environmental Radon Section Scholarship. The deadline for submittal for all is 28 February 2018 (no exceptions!). Notification will take place by 28 April 2018.
Students submit directly for fellowships and travel grants. To apply for these, go to the links below, read the text to see if you are eligible, and then use the forms linked at the bottom of the text to submit your application. You will receive an email at the end of the process confirming your submission.
- Travel Grants: https://hps.org/apply/travelgrant.html
- Fellowships: https://hps.org/apply/fellowship.html
Nominations for Dade Moeller Scholarships and the Environmental Radon Section Scholarship follow slightly different rules—see the information below, apply online, and send information accordingly.
Now is the time to submit your abstract for the 2018 Health Physics Society (HPS) Annual Meeting, which will be held 15–19 July 2018 in Cleveland, Ohio. Find more information and submit your abstract by Friday, 9 February 2018, on the Cleveland meeting page.
Robots have found the melted uranium fuel at the Fukushima nuclear plant six years after the earthquake and tsunami that damaged the reactor cooling system, which resulted in a release of radioactive material to the environment. Read more here.
The International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP) and the International Commission on Non-Ionizing Radiation Protection (ICNIRP) held a joint meeting in Munich, Germany, 8–10 November 2017 to exchange information and views on the scientific basis, ethical basis, and basic principles of protection. According to a joint statement posted by the International Radiation Protection Association (IRPA), "ICRP and ICNIRP share significant common ground, and have reached an agreement in principle to strengthen communication and collaboration between them and with other organisations with similar interests."
More information can be found on the IRPA website.
The balloting period has closed and the results are in—Health Physics Society (HPS) members overwhelmingly supported both proposed changes to the HPS Bylaws:
- Moving to a two-year president's term.
- Reducing the number of directors from nine to six.
These changes will increase our operational efficiency and allow the HPS president to function more strategically. The Executive Committee of the Board will meet in mid-November to begin planning the implementation and communication plan for these changes. Stay tuned for further information on the rollout of these governance changes.
We are moving toward a more agile and effective HPS. We need your continued engagement and value your feedback. This is an exciting time for our Society and demonstrates our willingness to boldly reject the null hypothesis and embrace change.
The Health Physics Society (HPS) has resolved that 5–11 November 2017 is National Radiation Protection Professionals Week, dedicated to recognizing radiation protection professionals for their contributions to public safety. The full resolution can be found on the HPS website.
The Denver Marriott City Center, location of the 2018 Health Physics Society (HPS) Midyear Meeting, will become the Hilton Denver City Center on 1 December 2017. With the new name comes a savings for HPS members attending the meeting—the room rate will be reduced from $205 to $180. When you reserve before 1 December, the room rate will be quoted as $205 and will then be reduced to $180 on 1 December. All reservations will carry over to the new hotel. Visit the HPS Meetings page to reserve your hotel room and to register for the meeting.
The International Radiation Protection Association (IRPA) has posted IRPA Bulletin issue 15, which features information about the XI Latin American Regional IRPA Congress, messages from the president and the Task Group on Radioactive Source Security, and more.
The National Academies has activated a public website for the study "Disposal of Surplus Plutonium in the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant." On this site are the statement of task and notification of the committee's meetings and the names and biographies of the provisional committee. Public comments on the slate of names may be submitted on the National Academies website through 22 November 2017.
The International Radiation Protection Association (IRPA) has commented on the International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP)/International Commission on Radiation Units and Measurements (ICRU) draft report "Operational Quantities for External Radiation Exposure." The IRPA response and statement can be found on the IRPA website.
Health Physics Society member Gayle Woloschak, PhD, testified 1 November 2017 at the Future of Low-Dose Radiation Research, a Subcommittee on Energy Hearing. She is a professor of radiation oncology and radiology at Northwestern University. Woloschak's testimony is available on the Committee on Science, Space, and Technology website, where you can also find a video of the hearing.
Online registration is now open for the 2018 Health Physics Society Midyear Meeting being held 4–7 February in Denver, Colorado. Preregister by 16 January to receive a discount on registration fees. Go to the Meetings section of the HPS website for more information and to register.
Health Physics Society member William (Bill) McCarthy has received the 2017 Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Excellence Award for Innovative Solutions. This award acknowledges the extraordinary efforts made by members of the MIT community. Bill is a deputy director of MIT's Environment, Health and Safety Office and Reactor Radiation Protection Officer at the Nuclear Reactor Laboratory (NRL).
Bill is certified by the American Board of Health Physics (ABHP) and is a member of the ABHP examination panel.
More details can be found on the MIT website.
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:
- The current benefit of 20% off hard-copy purchases for HPS members will remain.
- NCRP will provide access and download of electronically available PDFs of older NCRP reports and commentaries at no charge.
- 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).
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.