Kathy McLellan, Local Arrangements Committee Cochair
Welcome to the Local Arrangements Committee (LAC) midyear meeting corner. The 2020 Health Physics Society (HPS) Midyear Meeting will be held 26–29 January in North Bethesda, Maryland. There are many restaurant venues in North Bethesda at the new Pike and Rose complex within walking distance north of the conference hotel, the Bethesda Marriott. If you are interested in more restaurants and entertainment options, Strathmore Music Center is just one Metro stop south of the hotel, downtown Bethesda is two Metro stops from the conference hotel, and the heart of downtown Washington, DC, is an easy Metro ride away.
The Baltimore-Washington Chapter of the Health Physics Society (BWCHPS) LAC is working to schedule some exciting technical tours that will give you an insider look at a few of the unique US government facilities in the Washington, DC, area. Note that two of the tours are at US military installations so attendance will be limited to US citizens.
- Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) Emergency Operations Center: This tour takes place in the newly constructed building across from the hotel and next door to the two NRC tower buildings. At this center, the NRC receives and evaluates event reports and coordinates incident-response activities 24 hours a day. Multiple tours can accommodate high interest levels and busy conference schedules.
- Armed Forces Radiobiology Research Institute (AFRRI): The AFRRI mission is to preserve and protect the health and performance of US military personnel through research and training that advance understanding of the effects of ionizing radiation. The facility is located just 6.5 kilometers south of the conference hotel on the grounds of the Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. Highlights of the tour include a 1.1 MW TRIGA Mark-F nuclear research reactor and a large 60Co irradiator.
- David Taylor Model Basin (DTMB): DTMB is one of the largest ship model basins—test facilities for the development of ship design—in the world. DTMB is located on the grounds of the Carderock Division of the Naval Surface Warfare Center in Bethesda, just 15 minutes away from the conference hotel. This tour will provide a rare glimpse into this unique facility.
Cindy Flannery, CHP
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is seeking public comment on a draft regulatory basis for potential new regulations governing the near-surface disposal of certain low-level radioactive waste.
The NRC classifies low-level radioactive waste based on its potential hazards and has specified disposal and waste requirements for three classes of waste with progressively higher concentrations of radioactive material. Class A is the least hazardous and Class C the most hazardous. However, a fourth type of low-level radioactive waste, called "greater-than-Class-C" (GTCC), contains radionuclides exceeding the concentration limits for Class C. GTCC waste is typically activated metals from power reactors, sealed sources, and waste material from medical isotopes, but it may also contain special nuclear material such as enriched uranium or plutonium.
Currently, there are no facilities licensed to dispose of GTCC waste so it is being stored at nuclear power plants or at interim storage sites. The draft regulatory basis evaluates whether certain GTCC waste could be safely disposed in a near-surface disposal facility. It also evaluates whether regulatory changes would need to be considered to permit such action, and whether the NRC or certain states should regulate such disposal.
The draft regulatory basis is being made publicly available through the NRC's ADAMS online database under accession number ML19059A403. A notice will be published shortly in the Federal Register, which will initiate a 60-day public comment period. Comments may be submitted via the federal government's rulemaking website, www.regulations.gov, using Docket ID NRC-2017-0081.
The NRC will hold a public meeting 27 August 2019 in Austin, Texas, to present the draft regulatory basis and receive public comments.
Kelly Classic, Web Ops Editor in Chief
Here is Part II of our interview with National Nuclear Security Administration Administrator Lisa E. Gordon-Hagerty, who recently spoke at the 2019 Health Physics Society (HPS) annual meeting in Orlando.
Part II Questions
What advice would you give to younger health physicists with regard to their career?
HPS has chapters all around the world. Are there things we can do as a society to further help the NNSA's mission? (Missions: maintaining the stockpile, nonproliferation, counter terrorism, powering the Navy)
It appears that safeguarding the nuclear arsenal has historically been one of NNSA's roles and that you have added a focus on the prevention of RDDs partly through the exchange of source-based equipment (like cesium irradiators) to x-ray-based irradiators. How has the focus on RDDs changed the role of radiation protection/security professionals at NNSA?
You had indicated in your talk that there is a goal by 2027 to be cesium-irradiator free. Are you on target?
Is there anything else you'd like to share with HPS membership?
2019 Service Award
John J. Lanza received the Homeland Security Section's 2019 Service Award at the recent HPS meeting in Orlando. Submitted photo
Brant Ulsh, Health Physics Editor in Chief
The search is on for the Health Physics Journal's next managing editor.
Job description: Manage the flow of papers for Health Physics from acceptance to final publication, including the following tasks:
- Abide by the dates set in the publication schedule.
- Log accepted manuscripts into the "Manuscript Tracking" spreadsheet, and use that record to follow the manuscript through to publication.
- Choose content for each month's issue.
- Choose cover art for each month's issue with the help of the editor in chief.
- Edit each manuscript.
- Edit each proof.
- Work with the publisher (Wolters Kluwer) to prepare entire issue for publication.
- Issue Freedom to Administer for each issue to the publisher to proceed with publication once all corrections are made to the issue.
- Send a copy of the cover from the final proof every month to the Health Physics Society (HPS) newsletter editor.
The managing editor (ME) works with the editor in chief and the editorial assistant to publish monthly issues of Health Physics. This position is currently performed via teleworking on a long-term contract basis and so does not require relocation. The current level of effort is about 35 hours per week (sometimes a little more, sometimes a little less).
It is essential that candidates have editorial experience and a strong background in English. Technical editing and proofreading experience are highly desirable, as is experience teleworking with a high degree of independence. Familiarity with radiation terms and communication style would be a plus, but is not expected or required.
Health Physics, first published in 1958, has provided a wide variety of radiation safety professionals including health physicists, nuclear chemists, and physicians with interest in nuclear and radiological medicine to stay on the cutting edge of scientific and technological advances in the field of radiation safety for these and other disciplines in science and engineering. The Journal provides features that allow readers to understand more about the topics that interest them. These features include original papers, technical notes, articles on advances in practical applications, and editorials. We also publish correspondence that reports on the latest findings in theoretical practical and applied disciplines of epidemiology and radiation effects, radiation biology and radiation medicine, and fate and transport of radioactive materials in biological systems, to name a few. Monthly issues each typically contain about 10 technical articles comprising approximately 100 pages of technical content. More information on the Journal can be found on the Health Physics Journal website.
The Journal is a publication of the HPS. The HPS, formed in 1956, is a scientific organization of professionals who specialize in radiation safety. Its mission is to support its members in the practice of their profession and to promote excellence in the science and practice of radiation safety. More information about the HPS can be found on the HPS website.
Five Health Physics Society (HPS) past presidents attended HPS Past President (1982–1983) Roger Cloutier's Celebration of Life at the Oak Ridge Associated Universities (ORAU) Pollard Auditorium in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, on Sunday, 28 July 2019. Cloutier died 27 January 2019. (An In Memoriam piece can be found on the HPS website.)
Cloutier's son-in-law, Doug Minerd, was the master of ceremonies for the celebration. HPS members presented highlights of Cloutier's professional career. John Frazier outlined his career in the HPS, Jack Beck summarized his career at ORAU, and Howard Dickson told about his extensive mentoring contributions.
Cloutier's sons, Richard and Raymond Cloutier, and grandson, Tim Minerd, reviewed his life with his family and friends. A farewell slide show was presented by Minerd.
Hundreds of colleagues, friends, and family members were in attendance.
HPS Past Presidents, left to right, Eric Abelquist (2017–2018), Howard Dickson (2009–2010), John Frazier (2002–2003), Richard Toohey (2008–2009), and Genevieve Roessler (1990–1991). Photo courtesy of Beverly Toohey
Health Physics Society member Roger J. Cloutier passed away on 27 January 2019. His obituary can be found on the HPS website In Memoriam page.
Add the dates of the following Health Physics Society meetings to your calendar. Check the Meetings and Conferences page of the website for the most current information.
53rd Midyear Meeting: 26–29 January 2020; Bethesda, Maryland
65th Annual Meeting: 4–9 July 2020; National Harbor, Maryland
66th Annual Meeting: 25–29 July 2021; Phoenix, Arizona
67th Annual Meeting: 16–21 July 2022; Spokane, Washington
2019 Superior Civilian Service Award
Robert W. Young, PhD (second from right) receiving the Military Health Physics Section's 2019 Superior Civilian Service Award at the HPS meeting last month. Bob is joined by (left to right) LTC John Bliss, US Army (Ret.), Bob's wife, Ann Parker, and Military Health Physics Section President Colonel John Cuellar, MS, US Army. Photo courtesy of Casper Sun
2019 Young Military Health Physicist
of the Year Award
Major Matthew Stokley, MS, US Army, right, receiving the Military Health Physics Section's 2019 Young Military Health Physicist of the Year Award from LTC Jama D. Vanhorne-Sealy, MS, US Army at the HPS meeting last month in Orlando. Photo courtesy of Casper Sun
2019 John C. Taschner Leadership Award
Colonel Robert N. Cherry, Jr., US Army (Ret.), left, receives the Military Health Physics Section's 2019 John C. Taschner Leadership Award at the Orlando HPS meeting last month. The award is presented by Military Health Physics Section President Colonel John Cuellar, MS, US Army. Photo courtesy of Casper Sun
What's the likelihood of three brothers all following their father into the field of health physics? The Fairchilds are also all members of the Health Physics Society and were together at the annual meeting in Orlando. Left to right, Greg Fairchild is a radiation health officer with the US Navy, Robert Fairchild II is a health physicist and deputy laser safety officer at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, and Brian Fairchild is the assistant health physics and safety manager at the University of Missouri Research Reactor (MURR). Their father, Frank Fairchild, has retired after working almost 40 years as a health physicist. Photo courtesy of Debbie Gilley
Members of the HPS Board, left to right, Secretary Sander Perle, Director Kendall Berry, Director Tim Taulbee, Director Mike Mahathy, President Eric Goldin, Director Jeffrey Whicker, Director Jan Braun, Treasurer Steven King, and Treasurer-elect Ali Simpkins. Not pictured: Past President Nolan Hertel, Executive Director Brett Burk, Director Thomas Johnston, Director Thomas Morgan, and Director Latha Vasudevan. Photo courtesy of Casper Sun
Members of the 2019 class of HPS fellows, left to right, Timothy A. DeVol, Brant Ulsh, James P. Tarzia, Paul K. Blake, Scott Schwahn, and J. Stewart Bland. Not pictured: Elyse Thomas. Photo courtesy of Casper Sun
Faculty members and staff from the Illinois Tech Health Physics Program hosted its growing family at the 2019 HPS Annual Meeting on 9 July. Twenty-plus students and alumni, including five sponsored under the HPS Student Travel Grant, attended the meeting. The meeting venues offered students a great opportunity to learn the profession and to enjoy the friendship. Front row, left to right, Jeff Reilly, Samantha Johnson, Lexi Detweiler, Hanna Bunting, Chad Mullins, Trish Hander, Valerie Grayson, Liz Friedman, and S.Y. Chen; back row, left to right, Shirley Xu, Robert Litman, Julia Sober, Sam Schumacher, Tim Gildea, Matt Bruette, Ian Hoppie, Trent Yadro, Jonathan Haas, Phillip Campbell, Rick Whitman, and Dewoun Hayes. Illinois Tech alumni attendees not present in the photo: Mirela Kirr, Eugene Jablonski, Bob May, and Erin Evans. Photo courtesy of S.Y. Chen
Presenters at the chelation special session at the HPS meeting in Orlando included, left to right, Mitch Findley (MJW Corporation), Rebecca Abergel (Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory), Steve Sugarman (Summit Exercises and Training), John Klumpp (Los Alamos National Laboratory), Luiz Bertelli (Los Alamos National Laboratory), Tom LaBone (MJW Corporation), Deepesh Poudel (Los Alamos National Laboratory), Ray Guilmette (Ray Guilmette and Associates), Anne Van der Meeren (CEA, France), Sara Dumit (Los Alamos National Laboratory), and Ron Goans (MJW Corporation). Photo courtesy of Moira Dooley
The Public Information Committee met at the HPS Meeting in Orlando. Those in attendance were, left to right, Ali Simpkins, Steve Sugarman, Emily Caffrey, Dan Sowers, and Sara Dumit. Photo courtesy of Ali Simpkins
The August events listing has been posted on the Events page of the HPS website. Information on the following event is available:
NORM IX: Ninth International Symposium on Naturally Occurring Radioactive Material—The Conference of Radiation Control Program Directors (CRCPD), International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)
Brant Ulsh, CHP, PhD, Health Physics Editor in Chief
The September issue of Health Physics is a special issue highlighting radiation protection research and practice by our colleagues in Canada. Dr. Julie LeBlanc examines "Radiation Biology and Its Role in the Canadian Radiation Protection Framework" and Dr. Carmel Mothersill moves "Towards a New Concept of Low Dose." Also, did you know that military artifacts in museums can be a source of radon? Read about that in Dr. David Kelly's and Tim Mumby's article, "Radon Off-Gassing From Military Artifacts." Readers will receive a heavy dose of environmental research (from salmon to swallows) and medical health physics. This issue gives readers a peek into the vibrant and active Canadian health physics community. Check it out!
(Note to HPS members: to access all Journal articles free, first log into Members Only on hps.org. Then, under Resources for You [on right side of page], click the Journal 1999–present icon. This will take you directly to the Health Physics Journal page or, if you have not yet done the single sign-on procedure, you will be asked to "pair accounts"—answer yes and you should be done. If you want to know more about why this process is in place, please see the news item "New Journal Website Login" on HPS Members Only.)
The August short course offering has been posted on the Short Courses page of the HPS website. Information on the following course is available:
Radiopharmaceutical Internal Dosimetry Course—NV5/Dade Moeller Training Academy
Kelly Classic, Web Ops Editor in Chief
National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) Administrator Lisa E. Gordon-Hagerty recently spoke at the 2019 Health Physics Society (HPS) Annual Meeting in Orlando. After her talk, she agreed to be interviewed by Deepesh Poudel and me (and videoed by Craig Little). We broke the interview into two parts, one for this newsletter and one for the next.
We always learn something new when we create videos. In this case, we learned that Deepesh and I were either a bit too far from the microphone or need to speak up. Because it is difficult to hear us in the video, I've listed the questions below. We will do better next time!
Hope you enjoy.
Part I Questions
How did you end up in the profession of health physics?
Your plenary presentation centered around an aging workforce and an effort to recruit more young people into health physics/radiation protection fields. For several years, HPS has been talking to folks on Capitol Hill about funding for the Integrated Universities Program—sometimes successfully, sometimes not. How do you think we, NNSA and HPS, can work together on collaborative initiatives to draw more students into health physics programs?
We've read about NNSA's impact on removing the use of highly enriched uranium that is used for shielding Moly generators that are used to obtain 99mTc for medical procedures. This is one of the ways of reducing possible access to nuclear materials that could be used for weapons. Are there other efforts like that?
Eric Goldin became the first two-year-term president of the Health Physics Society (HPS) at the 2019 HPS Annual Meeting in Orlando, Florida. We asked him some questions about himself and his plans for the Society so you can get to know him better and learn what to expect from his presidency. Goldin shares with HPS members his thoughts on the Society and the field of health physics and his goals for his first year as president.
The International Congress Programme Committee of the 15th International Congress of the International Radiation Protection Association (IRPA 15) cordially invites you to submit abstracts to IRPA 15, which will be held 11–15 May 2020 in Seoul, Korea. All abstracts must be submitted electronically through the website only. More information, including deadlines, is available on the IRPA 15 website.
While the CHP Corner is produced by the American Academy of Health Physics (AAHP), it is relevant to all health physicists, not just those who are certified!
- Excitement for the upcoming Health Physics Society meeting in Orlando.
- The 2019 McAdams award winner: Bill Rhodes.
- Call for AAHP nominations.