Single Session

[Schedule Grid]

MPM-C - Government Relations in the Health Physics Society

Woodrow Wilson C   14:30 - 17:20

Chair(s): Craig Little
MPM-C.1   14:30  The HPS Government Relations Program: The Society’s Voice on Regulatory Affairs and Legislation CA Little*, HPS

Abstract: The Government Relations Program (GRP) of HPS was created to facilitate communication between HPS, Congress, federal regulatory agencies and select non-governmental organizations. Primary areas of communication include legislation and regulation related to radiation protection of workers, the public and the environment. The GRP has three parts: the Federal Agency Liaison (FAL), the Congressional Liaison (CL) and the Government Relations Committee (GRC). Working with an HPS director and in keeping with the HPS Strategic Plan, the three parts work together to allow HPS to effectively communicate the society’s positions and desires. The FAL monitors potential changes in regulations and tracks legislation that might impact the health physics profession and funding for health physics education and research. The CL and the FAL conduct HPS leadership semiannual visits to Washington to meet with selected agencies and congressional staff. The GRC drafts responses to various requests for public input on radiation protection issues. The presentation describes the organization of the GRP, recent successes in championing legislation and continuing relationships with various agencies and congressional committees.

MPM-C.2   14:50  HPS Government Relations Committee J. Ring*, HPS Gov Relations Committee ; Jo Ring

Abstract: The Health Physics Society’s Government Relations Committee reviews and comments on regulations and legislation affecting the health physics community. The goal is to have the HPS recognized as an independent, professional, and expert information source on radiological sciences and radiation safety. The intent is to have legislation, regulations, and public policies based on current, sound science and good radiation safety practices. With the involvement of the Society’s members, health physicists from a variety of backgrounds collaborate to develop a position on pending regulatory action or in response to a request for assistance. This presentation provides an overview of comment process and the Society’s effort to prepare a response. This process benefits the Society, regulator and member by bringing together individuals with different viewpoints and expertise to prepare the comment. This results in a strong comment based on experience while advancing the member’s professional development. The Society and comment process benefits from the group’s collective experience and helps the HPS reach its Mission of excellence in the science and practice of radiation safety.

MPM-C.3   15:10  Legislative Program of HPS David Connolly*, HPS

Abstract: Abstract What Can the HPS Government Relations Program Do for You? The legislative program of the Health Physics Society is designed to allow Society representatives the opportunity to interact with Senators, Representatives, their staffs and those of the Committees of each body on matters of mutual interest to the Society and the Congress relating to radiation safety. After a brief overview of the structure of the two chambers of the Congress: the Senate and the House of Representatives, a description will be given as to the means and techniques that the Society utilizes to communicate with them. The presentation will focus on the semi-annual meetings of the Society’s leadership team on Capitol Hill, and the day-to-day activities of the Congressional Liaison in maintain open lines of communication with the Congress. Finally, a number of the present issue areas of importance to the Society will examined along with a prediction about the future of science policy in the Biden Administration and the Congress.

MPM-C.4   15:30  Break

MPM-C.5   16:00  Health Physics Pathways at the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission TV Clark*, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission

Abstract: The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) employs hundreds radiation protection professionals to carry out its public health and safety mission. Given the national and international need for health physicists in a variety of impactful fields, the NRC is taking steps to increase the pipeline of health physicists through its grants programs, as well as through collaboration with other agencies and organizations. The agency is also leveraging a variety of hiring strategies to advertise opportunities and recruit talented candidates. Once health physicists are on board, there is a concerted effort to develop and retain these professionals to meet the transforming needs of the agency. In this presentation, Ms. Clark will highlight some of the achievements and challenges of the NRC in these areas and share opportunities for partnership on common challenges.

MPM-C.6   16:20  GAO Covert Testing of NRC Materials Licensing A Bawden*, GAO ; N Woodward, GAO; J Barron, GAO

Abstract: In a report issued in 2022, GAO found that NRC's current system for verifying licenses does not adequately protect against the purchase of high-risk radioactive materials using a fraudulent license. Licenses control the type and quantity of radioactive material allowed to be possessed. Using shell companies with fraudulent licenses, GAO successfully purchased a category 3 quantity of radioactive material of concern from two different vendors in the U.S. Specifically, GAO provided a copy of a license that GAO forged to two vendors, subsequently obtained invoices, and paid the vendors. GAO refused to accept shipment at the point of delivery, ensuring that the material was safely and securely returned to the sender. GAO’s investigation demonstrates that the integrity of NRC’s current license verification processes can be compromised. In its report, GAO made recommendations to NRC to address persisting vulnerabilities in its radiological materials licensing program. (See GAO-22-103441)

MPM-C.7   16:50  Radioactive Source Security and Accountability K Williams*, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission ; A Giantelli, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission

Abstract: The National Materials Program (NMP) is the broad collective framework within which both the United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) and the 39 Agreement States function in carrying out their respective regulatory programs for radioactive material in the United States (US). The goal of the NMP is the protection of public health, safety, security, and the environment associated with the hazards of radioactive material while effectively using regulatory resources. While licensees (users) have the primary responsibility for the safe and secure use of the radioactive materials in their possession the NRC and Agreement States maintain strict oversight – inspection and enforcement – programs to ensure compliance. In recent years, the NRC and Agreement States have considered whether the radioactive source security and accountability infrastructure could be strengthened for category 3 quantities of radioactive materials. In 2021, the Commission approved staff recommendations and included in the Commission approval is direction to the staff to prepare a draft rule to require that licensees transferring category 3 quantities of radioactive material verify that the recipient licensee is authorized to possess and use the type, form, and quantity of the radioactive material being transferred through the LVS or by contacting the license-issuing authority. This proposed rulemaking would address recommendations made by the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) in past audits and their most recent investigation in 2022. This presentation will describe the actions the NMP has taken to address concerns raised by the GAO.

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