Third James E. Turner Memorial Symposium - Advances in Radiological Physics Accepting Abstracts
The Third James E. Turner Memorial Symposium, "Advances in Radiological Physics," will be hosted by the East Tennessee Chapter of the Health Physics Society 21–22 May 2014. The symposium honors the legacy of James E. (Jim) Turner, his
contributions to the field of microdosimetry, and his lifelong emphasis
on providing a strong radiological physics foundation to young health
physics professionals and students.
The symposium will be held in the Pollard Auditorium at Oak Ridge Associated Universities (ORAU), Oak Ridge, Tennessee. James S. Bogard is the Program Committee chair.
The chapter invites members of the Society, students, and other scientists to participate.
Preference will be given to high-quality submissions by students and beginning professionals, but Health Physics Society members and other science professionals are also encouraged to submit abstracts online at hpschapters.org/etchps/2014Turner. Abstracts are due by 18 April 2014.
Prizes will be awarded for the best presentations. Some travel support may be available for students.
Yucca Mountain Safety Evaluation Report
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) has directed the agency staff to complete work on the safety evaluation report on the Department of Energy's (DOE) construction authorization application for the proposed Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository. The NRC has also requested the DOE to prepare a supplemental environmental-impact statement requested by the staff in order to complete its environmental review of the application.
The NRC's order did not direct the staff to reconstitute the Licensing Support Network (LSN) that supported the adjudicatory hearing on the application, but did direct the staff to load documents in the LSN collection into the NRC's nonpublic online database. The order acknowledges that documents used as references in the safety evaluation report and supplemental environmental-impact statement will be publicly released; however, public release of all LSN documents will depend on whether adequate funds are available to do so. The NRC also directed that the adjudication continue to be held in abeyance.
This action responds to an August decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ordering the agency to continue its review of the Yucca Mountain application at least until existing funds appropriated for the review are expended. As of 30 September, the agency had approximately $11 million in funds that were appropriated for the review.
Supply of Medical Isotopes Has Dangerously Decayed
Alan Perkins, a professor of medical physics at the University of Nottingham, United Kingdom, has published the article "Supply of Medical Isotopes Has Dangerously Decayed" on The Conversation website. It is about the dwindling supply of radionuclides for medical and industrial uses.
This is not news to the health physicists who work at hospitals and universities, but may be news to the general public. This had already affected many patients in the United States in recent years when there were shortages in radiopharmaceuticals. Many patients were given alternate radiopharmaceuticals that delivered higher radiation doses in order to obtain medical information, and there was not enough Tc-99m available to provide to all patients. The reactors supplying radiopharmaceuticals have had extended shutdowns and new plants are not being built in time to replace aging reactors. If actions are not taken soon, it may impact the quality of life of the aging baby-boomer generation, who will need nuclear medicine exams and therapies as their health needs increase.
Industrial activities that rely on man-made radionuclides will also be affected. Dr. Perkins states, "The prospect of 'radioinactivity' has been of concern in other fields. The National Aeronautic and Space Administration (NASA) has recently expressed concern about the dwindling supply of radioactive sources, especially plutonium-238 for the thermoelectric batteries that power deep space probes."
The Conversation is an independent source of news and views, sourced from the academic and research community and delivered direct to the public.
HPS Standards Now Being Distributed by IHS
The Health Physics Society (HPS) has signed a new five-year exclusive contract with IHS Inc., a global information company, for distribution of American National Standards Institute (ANSI)/HPS standards. The new distribution method streamlines the purchase of ANSI/HPS standards, provides savings and increased revenues to HPS from these purchases, and increases copyright security on ANSI/HPS standards. All HPS members are encouraged to download new copies of any standards they are using free of charge from IHS and destroy old copies to help prevent copyright abuse.
The first step is to set up an account through the IHS Standards Store (global.ihs.com/standards.cfm?publisher=HPS&rid=HPS). Make sure to mark that you are an HPS member when you are checking out from your shopping cart. Your cost for an electronic file is nothing; if you desire a hard copy, you will have to pay for that additional service at the cost difference noted on the IHS order page when you check out.
After you receive your first standard (potentially delayed by as much as a business day to confirm membership), all other HPS standards will be available to you on demand after you sign in to your IHS account. For additional information, see the November issue of Health Physics News, page 15.
IEM6 on Fukushima Call for Abstracts Date Extended to 31 October
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has announced a call for abstracts for the "International Experts' Meeting (IEM) on Radiation Protection After the Fukushima Daiichi Accident," which will take place in Vienna, Austria, 17–21 February 2014.
The objective of this IEM is to provide a forum for Member States to exchange information and experience related to radiation protection, with an emphasis on preparing for and managing the long-term consequences of a nuclear or radiological accident. In the light of the Fukushima Daiichi accident, the IEM will focus on the complex technical, societal, environmental, and economic issues in radiation protection that have broad application and may need to be addressed during remediation and long-term recovery operations following a nuclear or radiological accident.
The IEM is targeted primarily toward international experts—in particular those from national regulatory bodies, public health authorities, and technical-support organizations—concerned with radiation protection issues that need to be addressed in the medium and longer term following a nuclear or radiological accident. The IEM will pay particular attention to the public communication and stakeholder involvement aspects that need to be taken into account.
Young professionals, defined as those working in the field of radiation protection for 10 years or less, are particularly encouraged to take part in the meeting. The IEM will provide an opportunity to engage with young professionals and to hear their views and aspirations for the future of radiation protection.
There is no fee for registration.
The deadline for submission of abstracts for papers and posters is 31 October 2013. Read about the Call for Abstracts here.
Read more about the meeting here.
Here is a color brochure on the meeting.
Here is a flyer for the meeting.
Apply for ASC Summer School by 1 February 2014
The American Chemical Society (ACS) sponsors a Nuclear and Radiochemistry Summer School Program and is seeking curious and highly motivated students with strong science backgrounds. Those selected receive an all-expenses-paid opportunity to complete a six-week summer course in nuclear and radiochemistry in either California or New York. They also earn hours (tuition paid) of undergraduate chemistry credit through either San Jose State University or SUNY-Stony Brook. Selected students also receive a stipend of $4,000. Twelve (12) students are selected.
Information on the summer school and an online application form can be found at http://chemistry.missouri.edu/nucsummer/index.shtml.
The deadline for applications is 1 February 2014. If you have questions, contact J. David Robertson, National Director, ACS Summer Schools in Nuclear and Radiochemistry, at 573-882-5346 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
International Conference on Radiation Protection in Medicine (RPM2014)
The International Conference on Radiation Protection in Medicine (RPM2014) will be held 30 May—20 June 2014 in Varna, Bulgaria.
The motto of the conference is "Facing Increasing Challenges," and the conference program will assess how much difference has been made since the last RPM in 2010 and how to move forward.
Professionals involved in radiation protection such as imaging and therapy physicians, referring physicians, medical physicists, engineers, radiographers, regulators, manufacturers, patient organizations, and public relations and risk communication specialists are invited. The conference is expected to provide a platform to share experiences and develop strategies to deal with current and upcoming issues.
Abstracts submissions can be made until 20 January 2014. Online registration is open until 20 May 2014.
Read more on the RPM2014 website at rpm2014.org/welcome.
Professional Development School - Radiation Safety in Medicine
The next professional development school (PDS), Radiation Safety in Medicine, will be held 12–15 February 2014 at the Lod Cook Alumni Hotel/Conference Center at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
Online registration will be on the Health Physics Society website by early November. The cost for the school is $600.
The hotel block for PDS attendees is at The Cook Hotel. Call 866-610-2665 (COOK) to book a reservation and mention "Radiation Safety in Medicine" for the discounted room block pricing.
Click here for the program. Click here for the color poster. The PDS website is here.
Stabin Honored With Hal Anger Lectureship & Award by the SNMMI
Michael G. Stabin, PhD, CHP, was honored with the Hal Anger
Lectureship & Award at the annual meeting of the Society for Nuclear
Medicine and Molecular Imaging (SNMMI), giving his lecture at the plenary session. The Anger Award is one of the major research awards
given by the SNMMI. It is named for Hal O. Anger, who invented the Anger camera (now known as gamma cameras) and well counters.
The message of Stabin's lecture was that patient-specific dosimetry is a must in diagnosis and therapy using radiopharmaceuticals. "Patients are different, they need different therapy,"
he said. He asserted that treating all nuclear medicine patients with a single, uniform method is
consciously choosing that the patient be treated with a lower standard
of care than patients who receive radiation therapy planning. There is a new generation of dose phantoms and selection of sophisticated dose-planning tools and methods that can be used to incorporate dose
calculations into clinical therapy planning. Stabin and his award and lecture were featured in Medical Imaging on 12 June 2013.
Following is a summary of his article on the topic—"The Case for
Patient-Specific Dosimetry in Radionuclide Therapy"—which was published in Cancer Biotherapy and Radiopharmaceuticals (Volume 23, Number 3, 2008):
In this review of the literature and general practice in the use of
radiopharmaceuticals for therapy, an argument is provided to demonstrate that
the use of patient-individualized radiation dose assessment should become
routine in these forms of therapy, as they are in other uses of radiation in
therapy. Individual objections to patient-specific dosimetry will be raised and
addressed, using findings presented in the literature. Such approaches are superior to the use of a fixed activity or activity per unit body weight approach in nuclear medicine therapy, which is current practice. It will be demonstrated that standardized and automated methods, with adjustment for patient-specific
physical and biokinetic data, are of similar cost and difficulty to those used
in other therapeutic modalities. Most importantly, the data show that careful
use of patient- individualized dose calculations will produce calculated
radiation dose estimates that correlate well with observed effects and that use
of a dosimetry-based approach will result in better patient outcomes, improving
the quality of medical care for patients and reducing costs for the
institutions involved. The conclusion of this analysis is that the time has
come for this reasonable paradigm to become routine practice.
Stabin is a researcher at Vanderbilt University School of
Medicine. He is a Board member of the Health Physics Society and the president of RADAR - the RAdiation Dose Assessment Resource.