Current News

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 (HPS) Annual Meeting in Raleigh, North Carolina, in July:

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

Learn more about them in the February 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 regulations.gov 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.

 

5 January 2017
No Revisions to Radiation Regulations

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is no longer pursuing the revisions to regulations in 10 CFR part 20 and 10 CFR part 50, appendix I, concluding that the additional resource expenditure in this area did not justify a recommendation for a revised rule. The commission ruled that the current NRC regulatory framework continues to provide adequate protection of the health and safety of workers, the public, and the environment. More information can be found in the Federal Register, Volume 81 Issue 249 (Wednesday, 28 December 2016) pages 95410–95412.

 

21 December 2016
NASA Space Radiation Summer School

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Space Radiation Summer School (NSRSS) at the U.S. Department of Energy's Brookhaven National Laboratory will be held 5–23 June 2017, with student arrival on 31 May.

NSRRS is designed to provide a "pipeline" of researchers to tackle the challenges of radiation exposure to humans who will travel on space exploration missions. The course is intended for graduate students and postdoctoral fellows with an interest in the radiation sciences, including physics, biology, and engineering. More than 50 lectures cover detailed topics in radiation biophysics, cancer biology, normal tissue radiobiology, charged particle physics, and dosimetry, as well as the characterization of space radiation environments. In-depth laboratory exercises support the lectures.

Applications are open to both U.S. nationals and foreign nationals.

The scientific director for NSRSS 2017 is Amy Kronenberg, ScD, biophysicist staff scientist at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

Detailed information about the application process for the 2017 NSRSS is available through the following link: https://spaceradiation.jsc.nasa.gov/nsrss/2017/.

You may also contact the course administrator, Katy Buckaloo, at katy.buckaloo@gmail.com or 832-978-9542.

 

21 December 2016
Call for Annual Meeting Abstracts

The 2017 Health Physics Society (HPS) Annual Meeting will be held 9–13 July 2017 in Raleigh, North Carolina.

The meeting contains multiple formats for the presentation of scientific information. The technical program kicks off with a plenary session of invited guests on Monday, 18 July, followed by poster presentations in the exhibit hall after lunch. Technical sessions start later in the afternoon and continue through Thursday.

Technical sessions are scheduled throughout the week and include many aspects of the practice of radiation safety. The number of technical sessions varies from year to year.

The call for abstracts is on the HPS website and abstracts may also be submitted online. 

The deadline for submittals is 10 February 2017. 

For more information, contact Program Committee Task Force Chair Chris Shaw.

 

15 December 2016
New Additions to the 2017 HPS Midyear Meeting Page

The 2017 Health Physics Society Midyear Meeting web page now includes the Computer Presentation Guide and the following description of the technical tour:

NNSA Demonstration of Radiological Emergency Response Assets

On Tuesday, 24 January, 1 p.m.–5 p.m., the Department of Energy's National Nuclear Security Administration will host a static demonstration of its radiological emergency response assets available within the National Capital Region and regionally throughout the United States. These include aircraft-mounted radiation-detection systems as well as various handheld and mobile radiation-detection systems. Assets from a National Guard Bureau Weapons of Mass Destruction Civil Support Team will also be on display.

Preregistration is required, and the tour is open to U.S. citizens only. You must bring a valid government ID in order to attend.

 

14 December 2016
IRPA15 Recruiting for Committee Members

After the success of the 14th Congress of the International Radiation Protection Association (IRPA14) in Cape Town, South Africa, planners are forging ahead in preparation for the 2020 IRPA15 Congress in Seoul, Korea.

The International Congress Organising Committee (ICOC) is recruiting candidates who are to be appointed by the associate societies for the International Congress Programme Committee (ICPC) Corresponding Group for IRPA15.

The ICPC is responsible for the scientific and technical programme of an IRPA congress within the framework formulated by the ICOC. In constituting the ICPC, IRPA15 organizers are looking for a group of young and highly qualified experts, with working methods being mainly by email.

All interested persons should send a short CV to Health Physics Society (HPS) Executive Director Brett Burk by 21January 2017, before the 2017 HPS Midyear Meeting in Bethesda, Maryland.

The composition of this team will be finalized around mid-April 2017.

 

13 December 2016
Health Physics Journal Editor in Chief Position Recruitment

Michael T. Ryan, CHP, PhD, has announced his intention to retire as editor in chief (EiC) of Health Physics Journal effective July 2017. By this announcement, we are soliciting nominations and applications for the EiC position.

The intent is to conduct interviews in conjunction with the 2017 Health Physics Society (HPS) Midyear Meeting, which will be held 22–25 January in Bethesda, Maryland. It is hoped a selection will be made by mid-March to allow as seamless a transition as possible. The new EiC would take office in summer 2017.

Candidates should hold a PhD degree or be a certified health physicist and must have published in either Health Physics or Operational Radiation Safety. Experience as an associate editor or familiarity with the publication process would be a plus. Candidates should have extensive experience as an active member and peer reviewer on HPS or other journals. Management experience is also preferred. Candidates must possess excellent communication, organizational, and interpersonal skills, as well as a wide network of professional contacts.

Job Description

  1. Provide a strong editorial vision representative of the goals of the HPS journals.
  2. Together with the publisher, develop strategies to develop high-quality content in both print and online formats, as evidenced by metrics such as increased citations, web traffic, and readership scores.
  3. Participate in publishing contract negotiations for HPS journals.
  4. Champion the HPS journals at professional meetings, workshops, and other appropriate forums.
  5. Select and lead an esteemed Editorial Board whose knowledge base represents the topics covered in the editorial mission of the Journal.
  6. Ensure proper manuscript flow to guarantee on-time publication, soliciting content and/or editorials as appropriate.
  7. Select and manage high-performing associate editors and reviewers.
  8. Make final accept/reject decisions on submitted manuscripts.
  9. Follow HPS Rule 9.1.

Interested individuals should send their curriculum vitae along with a statement of vision for the Journal to EiC Search Task Force Chair Craig Little; those writing to nominate others should also send the nomination to Craig. Please direct any questions about the position to Craig at the same email address or by phone: 970-260-2810.

Deadline for receipt of applications and nominations is 15 January 2017.

 

1 December 2016
U.N. Assessment of Cancer From Fukushima

The head of a United Nations (U.N.) panel mandated to assess the effects of radiation exposure reiterated on 17 November 2016 its view that there is no evident increase in the incidence of cancer caused by the 2011 nuclear disaster at Tokyo Electric Power Company's Fukushima Daiichi plant. Addressing a gathering of local school, medical, and administrative officials in Aizuwakamatsu city, Fukushima Prefecture, Malcolm Crick, secretary of the U.N. Scientific Committee on the Effects of Atomic Radiation (UNSCEAR), said it is inconceivable that there would be any rise in the rate of cancer occurrences stemming from the accident. Crick made the comment as he briefed the audience on a follow-up report tracing the impact of radiation from the crippled plant.

The report that followed the committee's 2013 version evaluated new scientific information published since then on the amount of radioactive substances released into the atmosphere, ocean, and rivers; their effects on food; and doses of radiation. The new report regards radiation exposure doses arising from the accident as much lower than in the 1986 Chernobyl disaster because preventive measures were taken at the time of the Fukushima accident.

The report says the incidence of thyroid cancer among Fukushima children greatly differs from trends seen in the Chernobyl case. Comprehensive and highly precise examinations undertaken by the Fukushima prefectural government have enabled the discovery of tiny thyroid cancer that cannot be usually detected, thereby boosting the tendency of morbidity prevalence rates, according to the report.

Adapted from a Fukushima-Minpo News article.

 

10 November 2016
Scholarships and Fellowships and Summer Programs

long listing of scholarships, fellowships, and summer programs for students is available on the Health Physics Society website. Some deadlines are mid-November, so it is a good time to look through the listing if you are a health physics college student. There are listings for both undergraduate and graduate students.

 

5 July 2016
No Page Charges for Student Papers in HPS Journals

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.

 

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