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Current News

26 May 2015
IRPA Bulletins 4 and 5 Now Available

IRPA Bulletins 4 and 5 are now available.  Bulletin 4 is available in Arabic, Chinese, English, Japanese, and Spanish. Bulletin 5 is available in Arabic, English and Japanese and should be available soon in the other languages.

 

25 May 2015
Upload Annual Meeting Presentations Before the Deadline - 20 June 2015

Presentations for the Health Physics Society (HPS) annual meeting can be uploaded to the HPS website under the primary author's name.

The Computer Presentation Guide is posted for use in ensuring that your presentation will meet HPS Program Committee guidelines to ensure your presentation can be read and seen easily in the large meeting rooms.

If you have any questions, contact Mike Mahathy, the annual meeting task force chair.

The deadline for uploading presentations is Saturday, 20 June 2015.

 

25 May 2015
Call for HPS IRPA14 Delegate Nominations, 1-22 June 2015
The Health Physics Society (HPS) is calling for nominations for HPS delegates to the General Assembly of the 14th Congress of the International Radiation Protection Association (IRPA14), which will be held in Cape Town, South Africa, 9–13 May 2016. Both nominations and required indications of member support can be submitted electronically through the HPS Members Only section of the HPS website 1–22 June 2015.
  1. These nominations are for 16 delegates selected by the HPS Board of Directors from completed nominations of eligible voting members of the Society. An additional eight delegates already chosen from the Board include Nancy Kirner, Barbara Hamrick, Elizabeth Gillenwalters, Ken Krieger, Cheryl Olson, Sandy Perle, Elaine Marshall, and Bob Cherry.
  2. All voting members of the HPS, except members of the IRPA Executive Council, are eligible to serve as IRPA delegates.
  3. Nominations may be made by chapters, sections, and individual voting members of the HPS—only one nomination per chapter, section, or voting member.
  4. Chapter and section nominations must be submitted by the current president of the chapter or section, as indicated in the chapter and section reports submitted for posting to the HPS website.
  5. Nominations by individual voting members require the support of at least 20 voting members of the HPS.
  6. Self-nominations (applications) are encouraged.
  7. Prior to nomination, all nominees should confirm to the nominator that they are willing to accept the travel, cost, and time commitments required to attend IRPA14. The term of a delegate is typically four years, until the next IRPA Congress. However, post-Congress delegate participation is via electronic communications.
  8. An HPS stipend of $1,200 will be available to help defray IRPA14 registration and travel costs. Typically this stipend covers only a small fraction of total costs. The delegate is responsible for the remaining expenses.
  9. Nominee input information required for submittal of a nomination includes name and contact information as indicated in the HPS Members Only Directory and a biographical sketch up to 1,000 words describing service to the profession, service to the Society, and service to IRPA.
  10. Nominees who are also requesting nomination to the IRPA Executive Council require a statement of goals, up to 1,000 words.

For additional information, see the March 2015 issue of Health Physics News and HPS Rule 11.1 – International Radiation Protection Association, both available on the HPS in the Members Only section of the HPS website.

 

21 May 2015
HPS Response to NRC on Proposed Revisions to 10 CFR 20

Health Physics Society President Hamrick has provided comments to the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) on their proposed revision to 10 CFR 20.

 

21 May 2015
NRC Requests Data Collection on Patient Releases After I-131 Therapy

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is requesting public comment on its intention to request the OMB’s approval for the information collection summarized below.

The information collection is entitled, ‘‘Destinations of Released Patients Following Treatment with Iodine-131 and Estimation of Doses to Members of the Public at Locations other than Conventional Residences Receiving Such Patients.’’

Although most patients return to their home after receiving diagnostic or therapeutic of Iodine-131, some patients released by the licensee may stay at another location (such as a hotel) for a few days. However, the extent of this practice is unclear.

The same uncertainty exists regarding patients returning to nursing homes and other institutional settings. Therefore, one of the main objectives of this study is to obtain reliable statistical data that provides good estimates of the prevalence of these practices.

The second objective is to determine, by measurements, the external and internal doses received by members of the general public at hotels, nursing homes, or other institutional settings that receive treated patients immediately after their release.

The NRC is seeking comments that address the following questions:

1. Is the proposed collection of information necessary for the NRC to properly perform its functions? Does the information have practical utility?

2. Is the estimate of the burden of the information collection accurate?

3. Is there a way to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information to be collected?

4. How can the burden of the information collection on respondents be minimized, including the use of automated collection techniques or other forms of information technology?

Comments must by submitted by 20 July 2015. The link to the Federal Register announcement is: http://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2015-05-19/html/2015-12017.htm

 

 

18 May 2015
President-Elect's Webinar Presentation

Did you miss the president-elect's presentation this year? Health Physics Society President-elect Nancy Kirner will be hosting two online renditions of her "Ten Things I've Learned as a Health Physicist" presentation on Tuesday, 19 May, at 6 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time and on Thursday, 21 May, at 5 p.m. Pacific Daylight Time (8 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time). If you want to attend, email Nancy at nancy.kirner@gmail.com with your email address and identify which session you wish to attend.  Attendance is limited to the first 20 people to sign up for each session. 

Click here to view President-elect Kirner's slide show.

 

5 May 2015
Mo-99 Topical Meeting to be held in September

The U.S. Department of Energy/National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) Material Management and Minimization Conversion Program is hosting the "2015 Mo-99 Topical Meeting" to be held in Boston, Massachusetts, at the Hilton Boston Back Bay Hotel 31 August through 3 September 2015.

The 2015 Mo-99 Topical Meeting website has been developed to present the meeting topics, key dates, and useful links and templates for online registration, hotel reservations, and abstract/paper submittals.

The NNSA is inviting all entities and stakeholders involved in the production, distribution, and use of Mo-99 to attend the topical meeting and present their recent progress in the production of reliable supplies of this important medical isotope without the use of highly enriched uranium.

Presentations and papers from the 2014, 2013, and 2011 Mo-99 Topical Meetings are available on the Mo-99 Technology Development website.

 

5 May 2015
Current Events/Works in Progress for the 2015 HPS Annual Meeting

The Current Events/Works in Progress session(s) at the 2015 Health Physics Society (HPS) Annual Meeting in Indianapolis are intended for material and developments in the field of health physics so new that time does not permit the normal abstract-review process. All Current Events/Works in Progress presentations are poster presentations.

All Current Events/Works in Progress abstracts must be accompanied by a justification for inclusion in this special category. The deadline for submission of abstracts for the session(s) is 1 June 2015. Information for submission of Current Events/Works in Progress abstracts will be included in the Preliminary Program.

Any Society member may submit an abstract. Nonmembers desiring to present an oral or poster presentation must be sponsored by a member. Sponsors must endorse the abstract by including their name and HPS ID number on the electronic form.

Submissions are being accepted for posters to be presented on Monday, 13 July, 1–3 p.m. Individuals will be notified of acceptance of their Current Events/Works in Progress submissions in June. For questions regarding Current Events/Works in Progress submissions, contact Lori Strong at the HPS Secretariat at lstrong@burkinc.com or 703-790-1745.

 

2 May 2015
Rooms Available at the Westin Conference Hotel in Indianapolis

Are you preparing for the 2015 Health Physics Society Annual Meeting in Indianapolis? Be sure to make your hotel reservations while there are still rooms available at the conference rates. Rates will increase after 10 June 2015 or when rooms are sold out, which could happen before that date.

The Westin Indianapolis Hotel is the main conference hotel and will be the location of committee meetings, professional enrichment program courses, continuing education lectures, and the American Academy of Health Physics courses.

The single/double room rate is $129. The Westin is located at 301 West Washington Street in Indianapolis. The hotel phone number is 1-888-627-8414. Be sure to mention the Health Physics Society when making reservations by phone to get the conference discount rate.

Don't forget that there are four full days of sessions at the meeting, so plan to stay through Thursday.

 

22 April 2015
Preliminary Program and Additional Government-Rate Rooms at HPS Annual Meeting

The preliminary program for the 2015 Health Physics Society (HPS) Annual Meeting is now available on the annual meeting page.

Additionally, a new block of rooms at the government rate of $98 has been set up at the Hampton Inn Indianapolis Downtown, which is a part of the Hilton Hotel chain.

The Hampton Inn Indianapolis Downtown is across from Circle Centre, near the convention center, at 105 S. Meridian Street, Indianapolis, Indiana 46225 (phone: 317-261-1200).

The rate is good between 11 July and 17 July. Reservations must be made by 19 June to receive this rate!

Registration forms for the 2015 HPS Annual Meeting are available on the meeting website. For attendees who need to use a different charge card or form to pay for their social-program activities, there is a separate registration pdf form called Social Program Registration. Preregistration with the lowest fees is available until 9 June.

More information about the meeting is available on the meeting website.

 

17 April 2015
DOE Report on February 2014 WIPP Accident

The Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Environmental Management (EM) released the Accident Investigation Board (AIB) Phase II report on the 14 February 2014 accident at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP).

The AIB completed an exhaustive investigation at WIPP and Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) to examine the cause of the radiological release at WIPP and identify managerial controls and safety measures necessary to prevent or minimize the probability or severity of a recurrence of this type of accident.

Based on postevent chemical, radiological, and fire forensic analyses, the AIB concluded that the release was caused by an exothermic reaction involving the mixture of organic materials and nitrate salts in one drum that was processed at LANL in December 2013. The AIB also concluded that an underground salt haul truck fire that occurred at WIPP on 5 February 2014 did not cause or contribute to the radiological release event. The AIB's findings identify shortcomings within both contractor and federal processes at LANL, WIPP, EM, and the National Nuclear Security Administration.

This report follows the AIB's Phase I Report, which focused on the immediate response to the radiological event. The AIB also conducted a  separate investigation into the 5 February truck fire in the underground portion of the WIPP facility.

The reports can be accessed on the DOE/EM website.

 

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.

 

7 April 2015
ACMUI Seeks Nominations for Nuclear Pharmacist Opening

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is advertising for nominations for the position of Nuclear Pharmacist on the Advisory Committee on the Medical Uses of Isotopes (ACMUI). Nominees should be practicing nuclear pharmacists. The membership is a four-year term starting in April 2016.

Interested parties should submit an electronic copy of their résumé or curriculum vitae to Sophie Holiday at Sophie.Holiday@nrc.gov. More information is contained in the Federal Register notice.

Nominations are due on or before 8 June 2015.

 

1 April 2015
Meeting Registration Form Available on the Website - Online in Mid April

Registration forms for the 2015 Health Physics Society Annual Meeting are available on the meeting website.

For attendees who need to use a different charge card to pay for their social program activities, there is a separate registration form for the social program only.

Preregistration with the lowest fees is available until 9 June 2015.

Online registration will be available in mid April.

 

29 March 2015
Book at the Conference Hotels Using the HPS Room Block

Why should I book at the conference hotels?

The hotel rates that the Health Physics Society (HPS) has negotiated include many benefits for you and for the HPS. Based on the number of rooms in HPS block of hotel rooms, the hotels provide complimentary meeting room space and reduced food and beverage charges. These savings are passed on to attendees through HPS inexpensive registration rates. If the HPS is unable to meet its room-block commitment because attendees are making reservations at other hotels, the hotels charge HPS an attrition fee to make up the hotel's lost revenue. If this were to become a trend, HPS would be forced to increase the registration fee and cut services.

Is it important for me to let the reservations agent know that I'm associated with the HPS meeting?

Yes. HPS receives credit only when registrants tell hotel staff that they are attending the HPS meeting. Please make sure the reservations agent knows you are attending the HPS meeting—whether you or someone else makes your reservation—or make your reservation through the link on the HPS site and it will be handled automatically.

Why does HPS reserve a block of rooms?

The HPS reserves a block of rooms to assure availability of rooms for meeting attendees, especially during the tourist season, when it can be very difficult to find an affordable hotel room. In addition, if HPS didn't reserve a block of rooms, it would be subject to room-rental fees and full food and beverage costs, which would greatly increase the cost of holding the meeting.

What is HPS doing to reduce these attrition fees and still keep the meeting affordable?

HPS tracks sleeping-room reservations and cancellations at the meeting so that it can more accurately block a number of rooms that will be filled by attendees in the future. However, every discount we receive at a hotel is based on the number of room nights we block, so as we reduce our block, we are consequently paying more for other services at the hotel. Reducing the block means that attendees will either have to pay a higher registration fee or that services will have to be cut.

Please stay at the HPS conference hotels!

 

27 March 2015
NRC Seeks Public Comment on Proposed Changes to Regulations on Low-Level Radioactive Waste Disposal

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is proposing to amend its regulations that govern low-level radioactive waste (LLRW) disposal facilities to require new and revised site-specific technical analyses and to permit the development of criteria for LLRW acceptance based on the results of these analyses.

These amendments would ensure that LLRW streams that are significantly different from those considered during the development of the current regulations (i.e., depleted uranium and other unanalyzed waste streams) can be disposed of safely and meet the performance objectives for land disposal of LLRW.

Comments will be accepted until 24 July 2015. The changes may be viewed and comments submitted on the federal government's rulemaking website, regulations.gov, using Docket ID NRC-2011-0012.

The NRC has issued a press release summarizing the proposed changes.

 

18 March 2015
New IAEA Reports Available for Free Download

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has published three new reports that are available for free download on the IAEA website.

Utilization of Accelerator Based Real Time Methods in Investigation of Materials with High Technological Importance, IAEA Radiation Technology Reports No. 4

This publication presents the state of the art in the development and application of various accelerator based real time techniques. It reports examples of multidisciplinary scientific topics and challenges where application of accelerator based methods would bring significant benefits in terms of research data and further understanding of the scientific issues. The research activities that can profit from real time material characterizations using synchrotron radiation, neutron, ion and electron beams, and simultaneous combinations of different techniques are also briefly discussed. A recurrent theme emerging from the presented papers is that further work is needed to develop more robust and longer working life materials for energy applications.

Electronic version can be found: http://www-pub.iaea.org/books/IAEABooks/10490/Utilization-of-Accelerator-Based-Real-Time-Methods-in-Investigation-of-Materials-with-High-Technological-Importance

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Policy and Strategies for Environmental Remediation,  IAEA Nuclear Energy Series No. NW-G-3.1

To assure the safe, technically optimal and cost effective management of remediation situations, appropriate policies and strategies are required. This publication describes the goals, time scales, efforts necessary for implementation, cost allocation and the different interests of concerned parties with regard to environmental remediation works. It clarifies the differences between a policy and a strategy, and provides advice to Member States on the typical composition and formulation of such documents. Along with previously published IAEA safety publications on environmental remediation, this publication will help national authorities to recognize the necessity for including environmental remediation as a required component in the planning and execution of nuclear related initiatives. Recent events have shown that the existence of an established policy and strategies on environmental remediation prior to nuclear and/or radiological accidents can be of fundamental importance, as it will among other things facilitate the dialogue to be established with different affected parties.

Electronic version can be found:  http://www-pub.iaea.org/books/IAEABooks/10622/Policy-and-Strategies-for-Environmental-Remediation

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Research Reactor Benchmarking Database: Facility Specification and Experimental Data,  Technical Reports Series No. 480

This web publication contains the facility specifications, experiment descriptions, and corresponding experimental data for nine different research reactors covering a wide range of research reactor types, power levels and experimental configurations. Each data set was prepared in order to serve as a stand-alone resource of well documented experimental data, which can subsequently be used in benchmarking and validation of the neutronic and thermal-hydraulic computational methods and tools employed for improved utilization, operation and safety analysis of research reactors.

Electronic version can be found:  http://www-pub.iaea.org/books/IAEABooks/10578/Research-Reactor-Benchmarking-Database-Facility-Specification-and-Experimental-Data

 

18 March 2015
60th Annual HPS Meeting Program is Available Online

The Online Program for the 2015 Health Physics Society annual meeting in Indianapolis, Indiana from 12-16 July 2015 is now available for viewing.

 

12 March 2015
Argonne Internships for U.S. Students at the IAEA in Vienna

The Argonne National Lab International Program is advertising internships on its website for U.S. students at the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in Vienna, Austria.

U.S. students and citizens can subscribe to an email list that notifies subscribers of new job postings.

For assistance, candidates can contact IAEAStaffing@anl.gov.

 

11 March 2015
Dainiak Named Director of REAC/TS

Nicholas Dainiak, MD, FACP, has been named director of the Radiation Emergency Assistance Center/Training Site (REAC/TS) at the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education.

A deployable asset of the U.S. Department of Energy, REAC/TS provides 24/7 emergency medical response for incidents involving radiation anywhere in the world. REAC/TS also provides direct support for the National Nuclear Security Administration's Office of Emergency Operations and the Federal Radiological Monitoring and Assessment Center (FRMAC).

Adding to its depth of radiation response and consultation capabilities, REAC/TS is uniquely qualified to teach medical personnel, health physicists, first responders, and occupational health professionals about radiation emergency medicine. REAC/TS also operates a cytogenetic biodosimetry laboratory, one of only two in the United States, where chromosome aberration analysis is used for ionizing radiation dose assessment.

More information is posted on the REAC/TS website.

 

10 March 2015
Science Camp for Teachers and Students at Annual Meeting

The Indy Local Arrangements Committee for the 2015 Health Physics Society (HPS) Annual Meeting has an exciting announcement! In honor of the 60th anniversary of the HPS, we will hold a "day of giving" event. This will be in the form of the first HPS science camp to be held during an annual meeting.

This camp is open to science teachers and students and allows the HPS to give back to the communities we visit. Admission to this camp is free of charge. However, attendance is limited to the first 50 teachers and 50 students. There will be a waiting list if there are last-minute cancellations. A pamphlet is available with more information.

The camp will consist of volunteers along with local students and teachers performing experiments together while learning about radiation and radiation safety. In the process, we will pass along information regarding our profession and educational opportunities. It is our hope to interest the next generation of health physicists and other radiation professionals. We will supply teachers with materials to take back to their classrooms and pass along to their future students.

If you are have any questions, contact Jeff Mason at Indy2015HPS@yahoo.com. In addition, if you wish to help finance the camp or donate items, please contact Jeff at the same email address. Do not let this opportunity pass you by as we look forward to making a difference in the communities we visit each summer—in Indianapolis and at future HPS meetings.

 

9 March 2015
Annual Meeting Travel Planning—Full Day of Presentations on Thursday

This year's annual meeting runs 12–16 July 2015 in Indianapolis, Indiana. There will be a full day of presentations on Thursday, 16 July, as there was at last year's meeting.

When making your travel plans, make sure to plan to attend for four full days to ensure that you don't miss any of the sessions that are of interest to you.

 

3 March 2015
New IAEA Reports

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has published three new reports that are available for free download on the IAEA website.

Schedules of Provisions of the IAEA Regulations for the Safe Transport of Radioactive Material, 2012 Edition, IAEA Safety Standards Series No. SSG-33

This safety guide aims to aid users of radioactive material and regulators by providing a listing of relevant requirements of the regulations (IAEA Safety Standards Series No. SSR 6) as applicable to the type of radioactive material, package, or shipment. Once a consignor has properly classified the radioactive material to be shipped (following the recommendations provided in Section 2 and Fig. 1 of the safety guide), the appropriate United Nations (UN) number can be assigned and the paragraph numbers of specific requirements for shipment can be found in the corresponding schedule.

Yttrium-90 and Rhenium-188 Radiopharmaceuticals for Radionuclide Therapy, IAEA Radioisotopes and Radiopharmaceuticals Series No. 5

A key requirement for the effective implementation of the therapeutic approach, based on the intravenous administration of radiolabelled compounds (radionuclide therapy), is the sufficient availability of radionuclides with appropriate physical characteristics. Based on their nuclear properties, 188Re and 90Y are considered among the most interesting radionuclides for therapy. Furthermore, they are produced through portable generators, which provide a crucial advantage toward ensuring a worldwide distribution of these radionuclides.

This publication illustrates recent studies aimed at investigating efficient quality-control methods to ensure both the radionuclidic purity of generator eluates and the proper preparation of new target-specific 188Re and 90Y radiopharmaceuticals for various clinical applications.

Feasibility of Producing Molybdenum-99 on a Small Scale Using Fission of Low Enriched Uranium or Neutron Activation of Natural Molybdenum, Technical Reports Series No. 478

This publication documents the work performed within the IAEA-coordinated research project (CRP) on developing techniques for small-scale indigenous 99Mo production using low enriched uranium (LEU) fission or neutron activation. The CRP enabled participating institutions to gain the knowledge necessary for indigenous 99Mo production. The outcome serves to capture the steps participants undertook in examining the feasibility of becoming small-scale 99Mo producers.

Most participants carried out work related to the entire production process, from target assembly through irradiation, planning for target disassembly in hot cells, chemical processing of targets, quality-control practices, and managing waste streams. Some participants focused on one particular area, for example, testing new methods for production of LEU foil for targets and the production of gel generators from 99Mo solution. The publication aggregates all of the work undertaken as part of the CRP in order to present the results as a whole.

 

10 February 2015
The EPA Has Released CAP88-PC Model, Version 4

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced the availability of Version 4 of the CAP88–PC model on its website.

This version may be used to demonstrate compliance with the National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP) applicable to radionuclides. Version 4 has many changes and improvements from previous versions. The most significant of these changes from a user perspective are the incorporation of age-dependent radionuclide dose and risk factors for ingestion and inhalation, the increase in the number of included radionuclides, and a change in the file-management system used by the program.

Operational Radiation Safety published a special issue on the use of CAP88 in 2013. Also, there will be a special session on NESHAPs at the 2015 HPS Annual Meeting in Indianapolis.

 

6 February 2015
YouTube Video, "Do Cell Phones Cause Brain Tumors?"

An eight-minute video called "Do Cell Phones Cause Brain Tumors?"—about the risk of cancer from the use of cell phones—can be found on Veritasium, an educational science channel on YouTube. The video starts with interviews of people on their perception of the risk of cell phone use and what different studies have concluded. It then discusses different types of epidemiological studies. The video provides a good example of how to present risk in an understandable way. It is based on an article by Emily Oster, PhD, on the website FiveThirtyEight.com.

 

17 December 2014
Inaugural HPS Science Camp at Indy Meeting

The Indy Local Arrangements Committee for the 2015 Health Physics Society (HPS) Annual Meeting has an exciting announcement! In honor of the 60th anniversary of the HPS, we will hold a "day of giving" event. This will be in the form of the first HPS science camp to be held during an annual meeting.

The camp will consist of volunteers along with local students and teachers performing experiments together while learning about radiation and radiation safety. In the process, we will pass along information regarding our profession and educational opportunities. It is our hope to interest the next generation of health physicists and other radiation professionals. We will supply teachers with materials to take back to their classrooms and pass along to their future students.

The camp is in the formative stage, so there are plenty of opportunities for individuals to get involved in a "first." We are looking for volunteers to serve on a committee to oversee the event along with camp "counselors." We are also looking for material donations and for financial support to pay for expendables and take-away materials for the attending teachers.

If you are interested in serving as a committee member or playing a role at the camp, please contact Jeff Mason at Indy2015HPS@yahoo.com. In addition, if you wish to help finance the camp or donate items, please contact Jeff at the same email address. Do not let this opportunity pass you by as we look forward to making a difference in the communities we visit each summer—in Indianapolis and at future HPS meetings.

 

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