July 2, 2021, 2:15PMUpdated December 30, 2021, 7:15AMNuclear News
A hot cell at Argonne National Laboratory was used to demonstrate a process for purifying molybdenum-99, an important diagnostic medical isotope. (Photo: Wes Agresta/ANL)
As 2021 comes to a close, Nuclear News is looking back at the feature articles published in each monthly issue this past year. The article below was featured in our July issue, which focused on health physics and low-dose radiation and also included the ANS president's profile. The article below describes efforts to shape a new national low-dose radiation research program under a strategic plan being developed by a committee of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine.
The biggest impact of radiation in our lives may come not from radiation itself, but from regulations and guidelines intended to control exposures to man-made sources that represent a small fraction of the natural radiation around us.
A Japanese rat snake is fitted with a GPS transmitter that will allow researchers to track its movements. (Photo: Hannah Gerke)
Training for the realities of radiological incidents and emergencies
One of the biggest challenges in training for incidents and emergencies that involve high-radiation-dose hazards is balancing between realism and safety. To be truly prepared for the realities of real-world nuclear and radiological emergencies, responder personnel need experience against those hazards but without introducing additional and very personal risks associated with unnecessary radiation exposure. The difficulty is in figuring out how we can achieve a level of realism that encompasses the entire process, from the initial detection of a hazard or threat, through its characterization, to recommending actions and leadership decision-making.