North Central Chapter
Fall Meeting

The fall meeting of the North Central Chapter of the Health Physics Society (NCCHPS) was held on October 25, 2002. Over 50 members attended the meeting held at the 3M Tartan Park Facility in Lake Elmo, Minnesota.

Jerry Staiger, Radiation Safety Officer at the University of Minnesota reviewed the new Part 35 of the Code of Federal Regulations, Medical Use of Byproduct Material. He discussed the significant changes and provided a comparison between the old and new requirements. See the December 2002 issue for a summary.

Claudiu Lungu PhD, Assistant Professor at the University of Minnesota presented a talk entitled “Sorption of Radioactive Xenon in Building Materials, Implications for Radon Sampling.” He summarized his research on xenon recovery from building materials, and he reviewed the similarities between xenon and radon while noting that greater desorption would be expected when sampling at higher temperatures. The effects on concentration dynamics will continue to be studied at the University’s School of Public Health.

Sue McClanahan from the Minnesota Department of Health and Mark Bunge from the Wisconsin Department of Health and Family Services reviewed their respective state’s status on becoming Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) agreement states. Minnesota looks to become an agreement state in 2004 while Wisconsin’s final application was submitted and accepted by the NRC in September 2002. The State of Wisconsin is conducting licensee information sessions regarding the conversion and effects of becoming an agreement state.

HPS President-elect Dr.Ken Kase addressed the chapter on “Health Physics Society Strategic Plan and Important Initiatives”. He discussed the points of his strategic plan: Support the science and sound practice of radiation safety, provide enhanced support for the membership, sustain the health physics profession, maintain and improve recognition of HPS, and foster sound science in public policy.

“Teaching Nuclear Chemistry to a New Generation” was the title of the talk by Dr. Wayne C. Wolsey, Professor of Chemistry at Macalester College. He explained his use of case studies with a dilemma for the students to resolve. He also spoke about the future of nuclear education and sources of funding. Dr. Wolsey’s presentation tied in nicely with the Wissink Memorial Lecture, named in honor of Robert (Bob) Wissink, a founding member of the North Central Chapter. Clark Erickson, Executive Board, Minnesota Science Teacher’s Association spoke on “Current Trends in Teacher Education and Workshop Development”. The lecture was very well received and rekindled enthusiasm within the Chapter for hosting teacher workshops again.

Longstanding member and physics professor extraordinaire, Bro. Jerome Rademacher was honored with the Chapter award presented by Chapter president, Greg D. Smith. Bro. Jerome has been with the physics department at St. Mary’s University of Minnesota for nearly 40 years. Of course, for many of the Chapter members who took his radiation physics course (or the radiation biology course) back then it was simply known as St. Mary’s College. Beyond his prowess as a lecturer in the classroom, he demonstrates that he really keeps the best interests of his students to heart by adapting his course offerings to fluctuations in the job market and by preparing them for internships, graduate school or industry by offering challenging yet wholly practical laboratory exercises (carried out on government surplus equipment that he tirelessly pursued!).