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23 September 2015
Workshop on Deep Borehole Disposal of High-Level Waste

The U. S. Nuclear Waste Technical Review Board (NWTRB) will hold an international technical workshop on potential deep borehole disposal of high-level radioactive waste on 20-21 October 2015. The workshop is to evaluate technical and scientific issues associated deep borehole disposal.

The meeting is open to the public and free of charge.  It is to be held at the Embassy Suites Hotel, 1250 22nd St. NW, in Washington.

Specifically, the objective of the workshop will be to identify technical and scientific issues associated with Department of Energy's (DOE) research and development program to assess the viability of the deep borehole disposal concept and to identify issues associated with implementation of deep borehole disposal.

The NWTRB is an independent agency of the U.S. Federal Government. Its sole purpose is to perform independent scientific and technical peer review of the DOE's program for managing and disposing of high-level radioactive waste and spent nuclear fuel and provide findings and recommendations to Congress, the Secretary of Energy, and the interested public.

More information is available on the press release.


21 September 2015
IRPA14 Call for Abstracts From Delegates - Deadline Extended

The 14th International Congress of the Radiation Protection Association (IRPA) will be held 9–13 May 2016 in Cape Town, South Africa. The Scientific Program Committee invites delegates to submit their contribution to the IRPA14 International Congress through the online submission system. Your contribution, once accepted, can be presented at IRPA14 as a poster or as an oral presentation. Your poster PDF or PowerPoint presentation and your full paper will be made publicly available through the IRPA website after the congress. The option of having selected papers published in a leading peer-reviewed journal is planned.

Full details of the submission process and guidelines are available on the IRPA14 website.

To select a topic/subtopic combination that best describes your submission from 16 thematic combinations which will make up the program, go to the IRPA14 General Information page.

Deadline for abstract submission: 10 October 2015


20 September 2015
NRC Seeks Comments on Yucca Mountain's Environmental Impact Statement

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has requested public comment on NUREG-2184, the staff draft “Supplement to the USDOE’s Environmental Impact Statement for a Geologic Repository for the Disposal of Spent Nuclear Fuel and High-level Radioactive Waste at Yucca Mountain, Nye County, Nevada.” The public comment period has been extended to 20 November 2105. 

Two teleconferences will be held to accept public comments.  The first will be held 15 October and the second on 12 November 2015 both from 2:00 - 4:00 ET.  Call in details can be found at


16 September 2015
AIP Fellowship with State Department

If you are a scientist interested in the intersection of science, policy and international affairs, the The American Institute of Physics (AIP) encourages you to apply for an AIP State Department fellowship. The application deadline for the 2016-17 term is 1 November 2015. All information on this fellowship can be found on the AIP website.

Issues involving science and technology are an important part of America’s diplomatic portfolio, and most international policy issues have a technical component, making it essential for the U.S. Department of State to have knowledgeable scientific input. This fellowship is a unique opportunity for a scientist to contribute scientific and technical expertise to the Department and raise awareness of the value of scientific input.

Applicants must have membership in one or more of the ten member societies of the AIP at time of application. They must be a U.S. citizen. They must have a PhD in physics or closely-related field prior to start of Fellowship term (in exceptional cases, the PhD requirement may be waived for outstanding candidates with equivalent research experience).

The fellowship includes a $77,500 stipend, health insurance reimbursement, relocation funds and a professional development allotment.


15 September 2015
IRPA14 Young Professionals Award Deadlines - Abstract Submittal and Nomination by HPS

The International Radiation Protection Association (IRPA) 14 Organising Committee has announced the requirements to be nominated for the Young Professionals Award  to be given at the congress.  They have issued an invitation and encouragement to younger scientists and professionals to attend the congress as delegates. Besides the Young Professionals Award, the Organising Committee will encourage networking among young persons by holding a specific reception for them, allowing them also to meet some of the senior figures in the profession.

Processes that involve radioactive material and radiation require qualified scientists and professionals in the field of radiation protection and safety. The purpose of this award is therefore to promote investigation into radiation protection and all its related disciplines by young scientists and professionals. The IRPA Young Professionals Award renders an opportunity to present the work in an oral form to an experienced international audience of experts and peers.

 To qualify for this distinction young scientists and professionals are required to:

  • be under 35 years, or in exceptional cases if the candidate is older, be in the first five years of their career in radiation protection and
  • be the main author of a paper whose abstract has been approved by the Scientific Committee or Board of the candidate’s Radiation Protection Associate Society in that region.

Only one nominee is allowed per Associate Society and they must be nominated by 15 October 2015.  Eligible persons must mark the relevant box on the registration form.  Additional requirements can be found in the IRPA announcement.

Nominated candidates must submit an abstract for the IRPA Cape Town meeting before the general deadline (20 September 2015) through the admissions system on the IRPA 2016 web site


14 September 2015
ICRP 2014 Annual Report Issued

The International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP) 2014 Annual Report has been issued.  It is available for free download from the ICRP website.


11 September 2015
Fukushima Accident Report Issued

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has publicly released The Fukushima Daiichi Accident, a report by the Director General along with five technical volumes on this topic by international experts.

The report assesses the causes and consequences of the 11 March 2011 accident at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant in Japan, triggered by a tsunami that followed a massive earthquake. It was the worst emergency at a nuclear power plant since the Chernobyl disaster in 1986.

"The report considers human, organizational and technical factors and aims to provide an understanding of what happened, and why, so that the necessary lessons learned can be acted upon by governments, regulators and nuclear power plant operators throughout the world," IAEA Director General Yukiya Amano said in his Foreword to the Report. "There can be no grounds for complacency about nuclear safety in any country."

The report states that "[a]n increase in thyroid cancer among children is unlikely" after the meltdown at Fukushima in March 2011. Increased thyroid cancer is generally the leading health concern after catastrophic nuclear reactor accidents such as at Chernobyl and the Fukushima Daiichi plant. The IAEA stated, "Because the reported thyroid doses attributable to the accident were generally low, an increase in childhood thyroid cancer attributable to the accident is unlikely."

The only caveat was that estimates of thyroid equivalent doses incurred immediately after the accident are uncertain, owing to a lack of reliable personal radiation monitoring data. Detailed screening of children's thyroid glands is being done now in Japan; this will possibly increase the number of children diagnosed with thyroid abnormalities, but if so, this would be due to detection of nodules at smaller sizes.


11 September 2015
CDC Guidelines for Handling Contaminated Decedents

Guidelines for Handling Decedents Contaminated With Radioactive Materials, by Charles M. Wood, Frank DePaolo, and R. Doggett Whitaker, is available on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. The guidelines address both nuclear detonation and radiological dispersal device (RDD) scenarios, as well as procedures to follow after reactor accidents, transportation accidents involving radioactive material, or decedents who recently received injection or implantation of a radiopharmaceutical.

Although there are laws regulating radioactive material in living patients, there are no federal regulations regarding radioactive material in decedents. Some points in the guidelines:

  • People who die immediately from blast injuries can have external contamination but not internal contamination (unless there is radioactive shrapnel). Persons who die later may have inhaled or ingested contaminants, though unlikely in concentrations posing a health risk to caretakers.
  • The medicolegal investigative team usually consists of a medicolegal investigator, a photographer, and a scribe. They should attempt to limit the spread of contamination.
  • Team members should wear protective clothing with a thermoluminescent dosimeter (TLD) inside and a self-reading dosimeter outside. The TLD is the legal record, and the outside dosimeter is for safety.
  • Annual limit on dose to a radiation worker is 0.05 sievert.


8 September 2015
NRC Ends Work on NAS Cancer Risk Pilot Study

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is ceasing work on a National Academy of Sciences (NAS) pilot study (Phase 1 and Phase 2) of cancer risks in populations near U.S. nuclear power facilities. The NRC determined that continuing the work was impractical, given the significant amount of time and resources needed and the agency's current budget constraints.

The NRC continues to find U.S. nuclear power plants comply with strict requirements that limit radiation releases from routine operations. The NRC and state agencies regularly analyze environmental samples from near the plants. These analyses show the releases, when they occur, are too small to cause observable increases in cancer risk near the facilities.

"We're balancing the desire to provide updated answers on cancer risk with our responsibility to use congressionally provided funds as wisely as possible," said Brian Sheron, director of the NRC's Office of Nuclear Regulatory Research. "The NAS estimates it would be at least the end of the decade before they would possibly have answers for us, and the costs of completing the study were prohibitively high."

Since this is the NRC's decision, direct any questions related to the decision to NRC Public Affairs Officer Scott Burnell at 301-415-8200. The NAS can be contacted at


5 September 2015
Upcoming Radiation-Related Webcasts

The National Analytical Management Program (NAMP), operated by Savannah River National Lab, will present the free webcast "High Resolution Gamma Ray Spectrometry Analyses for Normal Operations and Radiological Incident Response" on Thursday, 24 September 2015, at 1:00 p.m. Eastern time. The presenter is Robert Litman, PhD.

Persons interested in viewing the presentation must register online.

Upcoming webcasts include the following:

22 October 2015        Nuclear Radiation Safety

19 November 2015    The Diverse Geologic Environments of Natural Uranium Resources

10 December 2015     Introduction to Nuclear Forensics


5 September 2015
Canadian RP Conference

The Canadian Radiation Protection Association (CRPA) will hold its 38th annual conference in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, 17–20 May 2016.

The theme for the CRPA's 2016 conference is "The Sky's the Limit: From Space Exploration to Deep Geological Repositories." Against this backdrop, CRPA will provide insight into how radiation affects our lives from deep space to natural background and far below the surface. The conference will include invited guest presentations on ionizing and nonionizing radiation, contributed papers spanning the full range of health physics and radiation protection, professional development courses, and exhibitor's displays.

In Toronto, Canada's largest city, you'll discover ways to improve your practice, network with colleagues to find solutions to common problems, and experience unique local hospitality. The annual banquet will be held at the Hockey Hall of Fame and is included in the registration.

The venue is the Allstream Centre, 105 Princes' Blvd, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Point of Contact: Sue Singer, CRPA Secretariat, 613-253-3779,


4 September 2015
NRC Seeks Comments on Draft Reg Guide NUREG–1530, "Reassessment of NRC's Dollar Per Person-Rem Conversion Factor Policy, Revision 1"

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has issued for public comment draft NUREG-1530, "Reassessment of NRC's Dollar Per Person-Rem Conversion Factor Policy, Revision 1." 

This proposed revision to NUREG-1530, "Reassessment of NRC's Dollar per Person-Rem Conversion Factor Policy," revises the dollar per person-rem conversion factor. NUREG-1530 was initially published in December 1995. The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) uses the dollar per person-rem conversion in cost-benefit analyses to determine the monetary valuation of the consequences associated with radiological exposure and establishes this factor by multiplying a value of a statistical life coefficient by a nominal risk coefficient. The 1995 version of NUREG-1530 set the dollar per-person rem value at $2,000. This number resulted from the multiplication of the value of a statistical life ($3 million) by the risk coefficient for stochastic health effects (7.3 x 10-4 per person-rem). NUREG-1530 instructs the staff to round the dollar per person-rem conversion factor to the nearest $1,000 value. This revision to NUREG-1530 makes five changes to the previous version, including updating the dollar per person-rem conversion factor to $5,100 per person-rem.

More information and the draft guide are available on the NRC website.

To ensure consideration, comments should be submitted prior to 3 November 2015.


31 August 2015
NRC Issues New Draft Reg Guide, "Instructions for Recording and Reporting Occupational Radiation Dose Data"

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has issued for public comment draft regulatory guide DG-8030 "Instructions for Recording and Reporting Occupational Radiation Dose Data." The proposed guide has been revised to incorporate additional information identified since revision 2 of Reg Guide 8.7 was issued. The proposed revision describes methods that the NRC staff considers acceptable for licensees to use for preparation, retention, and reporting of occupational dose records. 

The proposed guide includes changes in the process a licensee needs to follow to determine monitoring for occupational exposure, determine prior doses, record monitoring results, and report the results. The revision also references revised versions of NRC Form 4 "Cumulative Occupational Dose History" and Form 5 "Occupational Dose Record for a Monitoring Period," as well as detailed instructions for completing the forms.

The closure date for submitting comments is 27 October 2015. Comments may be submitted on the website by searching for Docket ID NRC-2015-0203.

The basis of the proposed changes is as follows: 

Previously, the definition of the total effective dose equivalent (TEDE) was the sum of the deep dose equivalent (DDE) to account for external exposure and the committee effective dose equivalent (CEDE) to account for internal exposure. Under the revised rule, the TEDE was redefined by replacing DDE with the effective dose equivalent for external exposure (EDEX).

As a result of the definition change to the TEDE, there is a contradiction with the current regulatory guidance. The revised TEDE definition also affected the content of NRC Forms 4 and 5 in that the EDEX is now a quantity to be recorded when monitoring external dose. The term "total organ dose equivalent" (TODE) has been added in the forms to denote the sum of DDE and committed dose equivalent (CDE) to the organ receiving the highest dose, to be consistent with regulations described in 10 CFR20.2016(a)(6). 

The NRC staff has estimated that NRC Forms 4 and 5 will become effective in January 2016.


24 August 2015
Deadline Extended Until 19 November 2015 on LNT Model

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is considering petitions to amend its radiation protection regulations that are based on the linear no-threshold (LNT) model.

Specifically, three petitioners (Carol Marcus, MD, PhD; Mark L. Miller, CHP; and Mohan Doss, PhD) have requested that "NRC greatly simplify and change 10 CFR 20 to take into account the 'vast literature demonstrating no effects or protective effects at relatively low doses of radiation.'"

The recommended changes include:

  • Keeping worker dose limits at present levels, with allowance of up to 100 mSv y-1 from chronic doses.
  • Removing the as low as reasonably achievable (ALARA) approach from the regulations, which is irrelevant if low doses are indeed hermetic.
  • Setting public dose limits to be the same as worker dose limits.

The comment period on the petitions has been extended until 19 November 2015 and 161 comments have been received.

The changes may be viewed and comments submitted on the website using Docket ID NRC-2015-0057.


11 August 2015
NRC Seeks Public Comment on Petitions to End Use of LNT Model in 10 CFR 20

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is considering petitions to amend its radiation protection regulations that are based on the linear no-threshold (LNT) model.

Specifically, three petitioners (Carol Marcus, MD, PhD; Mark L. Miller, CHP; and Mohan Doss, PhD) have requested that "NRC greatly simplify and change 10 CFR 20 to take into account the 'vast literature demonstrating no effects or protective effects at relatively low doses of radiation.'"

The recommended changes include:

  • Keeping worker dose limits at present levels, with allowance of up to 100 mSv y-1 from chronic doses.
  • Removing the as low as reasonably achievable (ALARA) approach from the regulations, which is irrelevant if low doses are indeed hermetic.
  • Setting public dose limits to be the same as worker dose limits.

Comments on the petitions will be accepted until 8 September 2015.

The changes may be viewed and comments submitted on the federal government's rulemaking website using Docket ID NRC-2015-0057.


6 August 2015
August Newsletter Highlights Annual Meeting

If you missed the 2015 Health Physics Society (HPS) Annual Meeting in Indianapolis, you will be delighted to read the August issue of Health Physics News. Mary Walchuk has created an impressive photographic montage of the annual meeting, covering most of the major events. While it is not as good as being there, hopefully this issue fills some of the void for you or helps those who attended relive the experience of celebrating our 60th anniversary.
This month's Student Corner celebrates a newfound synergism between the Academic Education Committee and student branches. These entities are exploring innovative ways of working together for the benefit of our student members.
While precious photographs fill many of the August newsletter pages, you will still find a great deal of other valuable news items of interest, including:

  • An enlightening report from Treasurer Kathy Shingleton elucidating the Society's financial health.
  • A rather different Boice Report that focuses on popular literature and how it relates to radiation protection.
  • A plea by Congressional Liaison David Connolly to get involved in helping reverse the government edict on travel restrictions.
  • Tom Johnston's stamps, which bring the history of the metric system to life for us.
  • An interesting REAC/TS article on medical countermeasures to address the acute radiation syndrome.
  • A letter to the editor from Past President Barbara Hamrick describing how your Board is dealing with current challenges that our Society faces.
  • The CHP Corner with pertinent information for all certified health physicists.

Click here to access the current issue of Health Physics News.

Web Operations is always eager to receive your feedback on how we are doing. Please contact me, Howard Dickson, at


24 July 2015
Report on European Radiation Protection Research Priorities

The OPERRA project (Open Project for the European Radiation Research Area) launched in June 2013 and its goal was to build up a legal and logistical coordination structure to administer future European Union (EU) calls for projects in radiation protection.

The main purpose of the OPERRA project addressed all radiation protection research fields (risks associated with low doses of ionizing radiation, radioecology, management of radiological and nuclear emergencies, dosimetry, medical uses of ionizing radiation, etc.), particularly by implementing EU calls for research projects.

The final analysis of the responses is available on the Multidisciplinary European Low Dose Initiative website.


6 July 2015
Manhattan Project National Historic Park Next Year

In June 2015 the Atomic Heritage Foundation convened a two-day conference in Washington to commemorate the 70th Anniversary of the Manhattan Project. On the second day of this conference participants heard from several speakers about the Manhattan Project National Historic Park that will be established in 2016.

This unit of the National Park Service will encompass Manhattan Project sites at Los Alamos, New Mexico, Hanford, Washington, and Oak Ridge, Tennessee. It will join 49 other National Historic Parks such as Valley Forge, Pennsylvania, Appomattox Courthouse, Virginia, and Chaco Culture, New Mexico.

Legislation establishing this park was included in the fiscal year 2015 National Defense Authorization Act that was signed into law last December. The bill culminated a 15-year effort, initiated by former Senators Jeff Bingaman (D-NM) and Pete Domenici (R-NM), to preserve significant sites associated with the development of the atomic bomb. The National Park Service and the Department of Energy are collaborating on the establishment and management of this park. Under this legislation the park will "preserve and protect . . . nationally significant historic resources associated with the Manhattan Project," "improve public understanding of the Manhattan Project" and its legacy, "enhance public access," and work with other interests to preserve and protect other "historically significant resources."

The National Park Service has produced a short video about this park. Additional information is available on the Department of Energy website.

(Text from FYI, The American Institute of Physics Bulletin of Science Policy News, used with permission.)


15 April 2015
Website for Next Year's Annual Meeting in Spokane

Next year's Local Arrangements Committee is already working on the 61st Annual Meeting of the Health Physics Society, which will be held 17–21 July 2016 in Spokane, Washington.

The committee has set up a website that is full of information on things for you and your family to do in your free time. More information will be added as plans are confirmed. Plan to attend the meeting and to enjoy the local area.


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