The Pacific Northwest National Laboratory has released a series of educational videos to address the risks posed by high-activity radioactive material used in hospitals, specifically cesium-137 blood irradiators. These videos—designed for hospital staff and administrators as well as others interested in the issues--feature presentations and discussions from a June 2017 event hosted by the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene and the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, in partnership with the National Nuclear Security Administration’s Office of Radiological Security. Experts at this event included NTI’s Vice President Andrew Bieniawski who highlighted the availability of safe and effective alternative X-ray technology to help permanently remove the risk of this radioactive material being used to create a “dirty bomb.”
This event was part of a city-wide campaign led by the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene to significantly reduce radiological risks in the city, which led to an announcement in October 2017 about a first-of-its-kind, innovative program to replace high-activity radiological sources with effective alternative equipment at hospitals, medical facilities and blood banks throughout New York City.
NTI is working with federal and state partners, including the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, the Mount Sinai Health System, and the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration, to raise awareness about the threat of cesium-137 and other dangerous isotopes, and to encourage the use, where feasible, of safe and effective alternative technologies for eliminating the threat permanently. Read more about NTI’s work on this issue on the “Preventing a Dirty Bomb” project page.
Keynote presentation by Andrew Bieniawski: Current assessments on risks and vulnerabilities from high activity rad sources
Panel discussion chaired by Andrew Bieniawski: Threat reduction and comparative studies
Presentation by Dr. Lance Garrison (NNSA): National initiatives and global collaborative efforts in risk reduction through alternative technologies
Presentation by Dr. Colin K. Hill (University of Southern California): Switching to X-ray irradiators for research at the University of Southern California