Current News

14 February 2017
Disposal of Disused Sources

A disused source is any sealed source of radioactive material that is not currently being utilized and will never be utilized again for the original intended purpose. There are approximately 2 million sealed sources and tens of thousands of disused sources in the United States.

In September 2011, at the request of the U.S. Department of Energy National Nuclear Security Administration/Global Threat Reduction Initiative, the Low-Level Radioactive Waste Forum formed the Disused Sources Working Group (DSWG). 

The DSWG has created two brochures: "Proper Management and Dispositioning of Disused Sealed Sources" is intended for current licensees and "Considering the Use of Radioactive Sealed Sources and Devices" is intended for prospective licensees. 

Any questions or comments on the brochures or the DSWG itself can be sent to Health Physics Society (HPS) Agency Liaison Craig Little, who is the HPS liaison to DSWG.


14 February 2017
New Standards Coordinator

The American National Standards Institute/Health Physics Society (ANSI/HPS) Accredited Standards Committees N13 and N43 welcome Amy Wride-Graney as our new standards coordinator. She replaces Nancy Johnson, who recently retired. Amy has been with Burk and Associates for the past two years, working with membership and meetings.

Amy is excited about this new transition and will be attending a daylong ANSI training course to enhance her skills. As standards coordinator, Amy will provide support to the ANSI/HPS committees, their working groups, and standards. She will also be supporting the American Academy of Health Physics and certification of the American Board of Health Physics. She looks forward to this opportunity and working with everyone. Away from work, Amy enjoys spending time with her husband and two daughters, traveling, and long days at the beach.    

Matthew Barnett, chair of Accredited Standards Committee N13, Radiation Protection



26 January 2017
Student Travel Grants for 2017 HPS Annual Meeting

Student travel grant applications for the 2017 Health Physics Society (HPS) Annual Meeting are now available on the HPS website. The deadline for submittals is 24 March 2017. Don't delay in applying.  


23 January 2017
Dade Moeller/NV5 Exhibits at the HPS Midyear Meeting

Health Physics Society (HPS) affiliate member Dade Moeller, an NV5 Company, has announced that it will highlight its new ownership at the 50th Midyear Meeting of the HPS. Dade Moeller joined NV5 Global, Inc., a provider of professional and technical engineering and consulting solutions, in May 2016. 

Three NV5 health physicists will attend the meeting, which is being held at the Bethesda North Marriott Hotel and Conference Center 22–25 January. Visit the NV5 team at its exhibit hall booth to learn more about the company and its available services.

For more information, visit the Dade Moeller/NV5 website. The NV5 media contact is Paula Tumlinson, 509-942-3704,


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 Annual Meeting in Raleigh, North Carolina, in July:

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

Learn more about your new officers and Board members in the March 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 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.


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.


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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