[ RadSafe ] Veterans exposed to radiation lose in court

Sandy Perle sandyfl at earthlink.net
Mon Aug 28 16:17:45 CDT 2006


Veterans exposed to radiation lose in court
One-two Particle Punch Poses Greater Risk For Astronauts
Piketon in running for nuclear recycling site
Westinghouse Signs New Nuclear Plant Contracts in South Korea
Proton treatment could replace x-ray use in radiation therapy 
Raytheon targets nuclear smuggling
Nuclear cleanup company criticized over safety issues at Paducah
Australia - Physicist joins nuclear taskforce
New devices to monitor radiation

Veterans exposed to radiation lose in court

Decision 'closes the door' to those seeking redress for illnesses 
after atomic blast, biological, chemical agents fallout

WASHINGTON  Contra Costa Times Aug 26 - Radiation exposure took Alice 
Broudy's husband a generation ago.This week, a court ruling sliced 
away at her bid for redress.

In a quiet ruling that nonetheless resonates nationwide, a federal 
appellate court rejected efforts by Broudy and others seeking claims 
on behalf of "atomic veterans." The same court simultaneously 
rejected bids by other veterans exposed to biological and chemical 

Taken together, the dual rulings by the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals 
will likely impede many veterans hoping for compensation. At the very 
least, it will complicate future claims.

"It's a significant ruling," Washington-based attorney David Cynamon, 
who represented veterans in both cases, said Friday. "Unfortunately, 
it's a significantly bad ruling."

A Department of Veterans Affairs spokesman couldn't be reached to 

Broudy, a resident of California's Orange County, has long been 
seeking full compensation for the death of her husband, a Marine 
major who was repeatedly exposed to radiation. She has company.

George Woodward, who lives north of Wichita, Kan., in the town of 
Miltonvale, was exposed to radiation during a 1955 test blast. Kathy 
Jacobovitch, a resident of Vashon Island, Wash., lost her father 
through exposure to contaminated ships in Puget Sound. Ernest 
Kirchmann, a 62-year-old Navy veteran who lives south of Minneapolis 
in tiny West Concord, who's filed a separate lawsuit, was exposed 
during a 1964 nuclear submarine accident.

"It isn't just my personal case," Broudy said Friday. "It's the 
entire veterans community. It makes me so angry."

Broudy married her husband, Charles, in 1948. Three years earlier, 
he'd walked the war-poisoned streets of Nagasaki. Within a decade, he 
was facing radiation in the Nevada desert. He died of lymphatic 
cancer in 1977. Though she has since received partial compensation, 
Broudy has been confronting the federal government for more. She has 
now lost three separate lawsuits.

"This closes the door," Cynamon said of the latest appellate court 
ruling, which was issued Wednesday. "It will make it very difficult, 
if not impossible, for individuals who are victimized by government 

All told, an estimated 220,000 U.S. soldiers were allegedly exposed 
to radiation in the 1940s and 1950s. Some, such as William Yurdyga of 
Sacramento claimed in an earlier lawsuit that they were exposed 
following the Hiroshima or Nagasaki atomic blast. Others claimed 
exposure during Cold War testing.

The three-member appellate panel wasn't ruling on whether the atomic 
veterans deserve compensation. A 1988 law provides that. To succeed, 
though, veterans must prove they were present at a radioactive site 
and that they contracted a radiation-related illness or were exposed 
to a cancer-causing radiation level.

One-two Particle Punch Poses Greater Risk For Astronauts
Medical News Today Aug 28 - It doesn't just matter how much radiation 
an astronaut is exposed to, time and the order in which charged 
particles strike human cells are important factors as well. That's 
the main finding of a study simulating radiation exposure conducted 
at the U.S. Department of Energy's Brookhaven National Laboratory and 
published in the September 2006 edition of Radiation Research. In the 
study, human cells were three times more likely to develop properties 
similar to those in the initial stages of cancer when they were 
exposed to two types of high-energy particles in a short period of 

The radiation field in space contains high levels of high-energy 
protons and much lower levels of high atomic number, high-energy 
(HZE) particles such as iron and titanium. 

"Most people studying the effects of space radiation have looked at 
the effects of just one type of particle, either the protons or the 
HZE particles," said Brookhaven biologist Betsy Sutherland, the 
paper's lead author. "This is one of the first studies to try to 
imitate real space radiation conditions closely, where, on average, a 
cell will be hit by a proton first and then by an HZE particle. We 
decided to examine what this does to human cells." 

To test the effect of dual-particle irradiation, Sutherland's team at 
the NASA Space Radiation Laboratory, a facility built at Brookhaven 
Lab specifically for space radiation studies, first exposed normal 
human cells to a beam of protons. Then, anywhere from 2.5 minutes to 
48 hours later, they exposed the cells to iron or titanium particles. 

allowing the cells to grow, the researchers counted the number of 
cells that survived to form colonies and those that acquired the 
ability to grow without being affixed to a solid surface. This 
characteristic, known as anchorage-independent growth, is an early 
indicator that these cells might be on the pathway to cancer. 

"There are a lot of animal-based systems for measuring the induction 
of cancer, but you can't just take human cells and treat them with 
radiation or chemicals and immediately get cancer cells," Sutherland 
said. "You have to do several treatments in order to get a real 
cancer cell. Some people study the end stages of this process, but we 
look at the very first step." 

The research team found that the probability that cells undergo this 
initial transformation depends on the time interval between the 
cell's exposure to protons and HZE particles. When the cells received 
both irradiations within 2.5 minutes to one hour, they produced about 
three times more anchorage-independent colonies per survivor than 
expected from the sum of the effects of the two radiation exposures. 

"If you hit cells in less than an hour with a little tickle of 
protons and, on average, one iron ion per cell, that's when you get 
the big increase in transformation," Sutherland said. "If this were 
to happen in space, a certain fraction of the astronaut's cells would 
have a higher risk of going along this initial path to cancer 

The good news, Sutherland said, is that in real space, most of the 
charged particle hits do not occur that close together in time. 
Therefore, only a small part of the astronaut's cells would have an 
increased risk of becoming cancerous. 

The reason for the observed increase in anchorage independence in 
response to the one-two particle punch is not yet clear. The obvious 
effects - those related to survival or the cell cycle - tuned out not 
to be the cause of increased transformation, Sutherland said. The 
team observed a further complication when the order of particle 
exposure was reversed; there was no increase in anchorage 
independence when the cells were hit with either an iron or titanium 
particle first, followed by protons. 

"Now our challenge is to figure out exactly what is happening," 
Sutherland said, adding that the results of this study and projects 
like it help NASA assess the hazards of space travel. "If we're going 
to send people into space, it's our responsibility to tell them what 
their risks are and investigate ways to mitigate the danger." 

This research was funded by the NASA Biomedical Research & 
Countermeasures Program, the National Space Biomedical Research 
Institute, the National Institutes of Health, and by the Office of 
Biological and Environmental Research of the U.S. Department of 
Energy's Office of Science.

Piketon in running for nuclear recycling site

WASHINGTON (AP) Aug 25 - Community developers have proposed dusting 
off a former uranium enrichment facility in southern Ohio to build a 
nuclear waste recycling center. 

A private-public partnership has applied for one of at least four 
U.S. Energy Department grants to study if temporary storage and a 
demonstration project for recycling spent nuclear fuel rods can be 
built at the Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion Plant.

The Southern Ohio Diversification Initiative is vying for site study 
grants of up to $5 million. Similar proposals estimated they could 
create more than 5,000 new jobs, said Greg Simonton, head of the 
partnership applying for the grant.  

The federal government´s nuclear programs are nothing new in Pike 
County, but the top local development official said it´s too early to 
tell if the latest proposal is worth the risk.

``I know our community doesn´t want to become a highly radioactive 
waste storage facility,´´ said Jennifer Chandler, Pike County´s 
community and economic development director.

Chandler said the county has a double-digit unemployment rate, making 
the project intriguing, but only if more information can be gathered.

Simonton said he still needs to find out what technology would be 
used to stabilize the fuel rods and where the nuclear materials would 
come from. 

``Obviously, safety would be a very important concern,´´ he said. ``I 
don´t think we would embrace anything that wouldn´t have a certain 
degree of comfort and assurance.´´

But Simonton also said the Pike County site stands out because it 
already has two nuclear projects under way - the Energy Department is 
building a uranium recycling facility and USEC Inc. has a pilot 
uranium enrichment plant. USEC got the go-ahead Friday to start 
operating under the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

The Energy Department also is considering bringing nuclear waste from 
other countries to the site that´s finally chosen.

That worries Chandler, who said the Energy Department ignored 
community requests that no outside uranium be brought into the old 
facility, instead delivering two to three cylinders of the weakly 
radioactive element each day from Oakridge, Tenn.

``I just hope this time will be different,´´ she said.

The area´s Republican congresswoman, Jean Schmidt, is willing to back 
the project, including the handling of foreign nuclear waste, if the 
community is behind it. Her chief of staff, Barry Bennett, said 
Thursday the community is already comfortable with having nuclear 
material in its backyard.

The Energy Department said in a statement that it is looking for 
welcoming communities when deciding how to distribute its $20 million 
in site review grants.

Westinghouse Signs New Nuclear Plant Contracts in South Korea

PITTSBURGH, Aug. 28 /PRNewswire/ -- Westinghouse Electric Company has 
signed contracts valued in excess of $300 million to provide 
components, instrumentation and control equipment, Man-Machine 
Interface Systems, and technical and engineering support services for 
two new nuclear power plants to be built in the Republic of Korea.
The Westinghouse contracts are with DOOSAN Heavy Industries and 
Construction Company, Ltd., and the Korea Power Engineering Company, 
Inc. The two Advanced Pressurized Reactor 1400 (APR 1400) plants - 
Shin Kori 3 & 4 - will be owned and operated by the Korea Hydro & 
Nuclear Power Company (KHNP), a subsidiary of Korea Electric Power 
Corporation. The role of Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power Company on the 
new projects is overall project management of licensing, procurement 
and construction, as well as start-up and plant operations.

At the contract signing ceremony, Jim Fici, senior vice president, 
Westinghouse Customer Relations & Sales, said: "We are here today to 
begin the next era of the Korean Nuclear Industry. In beginning this 
APR 1400 design generation, Korea helps the world transition to 
Generation III designs and proves Korean design and construction 

Commenting on the contracts, Westinghouse President and CEO Steve 
Tritch commended the Republic of Korea's leadership in the worldwide 
commercial nuclear power industry.

"The Republic of Korea's nuclear energy program is one of the most 
forward-looking programs in the world and helps to ensure South 
Korea's energy independence," he said. "It also confirms that nuclear 
power is an economically competitive and safe energy source."

The contract also solidifies Westinghouse Electric Company's position 
as the leading supplier of new plant technology, said Dan Lipman, 
senior vice president of Westinghouse Nuclear Power Plants. "We have 
provided technology and equipment for 18 nuclear plants in South 
Korea in support of South Korea achieving technological self reliance 
and standardization in the design of nuclear power plants," he said. 
"This knowledge base and the investments we continue to make in new 
plant designs position us well for the re-emergence of new plant 
markets in the U.S. and elsewhere."

The scope of work to be performed by Westinghouse includes supplying 
reactor coolant pumps and motors, reactor vessel internals, and 
control element drive mechanisms; advanced instrumentation and 
control systems; Man- Machine Interfacing Systems; technical support 
services; and engineering support services. The contracts will 
provide work at a number of Westinghouse locations in the U.S., 

 - Windsor, Connecticut -- project management and engineering
 - Newington, New Hampshire -- component manufacturing
 - Monroeville, Pennsylvania -- engineering and equipment manufacture

The two plants will be located near Pusan Metropolitan City. Work 
will begin almost immediately and will run to 2014.

Westinghouse Electric Company is the world's pioneering nuclear power 
company and is a leading supplier of nuclear plant products and 
technologies to utilities throughout the world. Today, Westinghouse 
technology is the basis for approximately one-half of the world's 
operating nuclear plants.

Proton treatment could replace x-ray use in radiation therapy 

Aug 28 - Scientists at MIT, collaborating with an industrial team, 
are creating a proton-shooting system that could revolutionize 
radiation therapy for cancer. The goal is to get the system installed 
at major hospitals to supplement, or even replace, the conventional 
radiation therapy now based on x-rays. 

The fundamental idea is to harness the cell-killing power of protons -
- the naked nuclei of hydrogen atoms -- to knock off cancer cells 
before the cells kill the patient. Worldwide, the use of radiation 
treatment now depends mostly on beams of x-rays, which do kill cancer 
cells but can also harm many normal cells that are in the way. 

What the researchers envision -- and what they're now creating -- is 
a room-size atomic accelerator costing far less than the existing 
proton-beam accelerators that shoot subatomic particles into tumors, 
while minimizing damage to surrounding normal tissues. They expect to 
have their first hospital system up and running in late 2007. 

Physicist Timothy Antaya, a technical supervisor in MIT's Plasma 
Science and Fusion Center, was deeply involved in developing the new 
system and is now working to make it a reality. He argues it "could 
change the primary method of radiation treatment" as the new machines 
are put in place. 

The beauty of protons is that they are quite energetic, but their 
energy can be controlled so they do less collateral damage to normal 
tissues, compared to powerful x-ray beams. Protons enter the body 
through skin and tissue, hit the tumor and stop there, minimizing 
other damage. 

Protons are far more massive than the photons in x-rays, and the x-
rays tend to pass directly through tissues and can harm living cells 
along the entire path. The side effects often include skin burns and 
other forms of tissue damage. 

The new machines, in fact, should allow radiation specialists to 
deposit a far bigger dose of killing power inside the tumor, but 
spare more of the surrounding normal tissues. This is expected to 
increase tumor control rates while minimizing side effects. 

Because of their high energy and controllability, protons have been 
used as anti-cancer bullets in the past, with promising results. But 
medical centers can't easily come up with the $100 million or more 
needed to build a proton machine dedicated to this medical use. 
That's because protons are produced inside the huge, expensive atomic 
accelerators that are usually employed at major atomic research 
centers, including national laboratories. 

Now, Antaya and his colleagues at MIT and at Still River Systems Inc. 
think they can provide the new machine for far less money, have it 
occupy just one moderate-size hospital treatment room, and achieve 
better results than x-ray therapy. MIT is licensing the technology to 
Still River Systems. 

Industry is already showing acute interest in the new technology 
because more than half of all cancer patients are now treated with 
radiation, meaning there are two million radiation patients 
worldwide. That offers a huge market for an effective new radiation 
system, and the directors of major cancer research and treatment 
centers are already enthusiastic, Antaya said. 

Antaya recalled that the initial push to build a new proton-making 
system came from a radiation physicist, Kenneth Gall, at the 
University of Texas at Dallas Medical Center. "He had a good idea for 
a single-room proton treatment facility, but hadn't found anyone who 
thought it was possible to build," Antaya said. Gall is now at Still 
River Systems as a co-founder. 

In his own research experience, Antaya had worked with new types of 
cyclotrons -- they were called "atom smashers" years ago -- using new 
"superconducting" coils to generate the necessary magnetic fields. As 
a result, he could see a "nexus between all the required technologies 
and how we could pick a reasonable set of properties, with a good 
chance of being successful," he said. 

Building it is quite a challenge, however. "This is an accelerator 
that's going to be in the room with the patient, so it's quite a 
difficult design exercise" just in terms of safety issues, Antaya 
said. But he and his colleagues are betting it will work as expected.

The magnet work of the Technology and Engineering Division of the 
Plasma Science and Fusion Center, led by senior research engineer 
Joseph Minervini, is key to the new system. That work has been funded 
by the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Fusion Energy Science. 

Raytheon targets nuclear smuggling

ANDOVER Aug 28 -- Raytheon Co., whose military radars scan the skies 
to spot hostile aircraft and missiles, is readying a new system that 
will help US border authorities peer into trucks, rail cars, and 
shipping containers to thwart the smuggling of nuclear materials.

The nuclear detection system, called an advanced spectroscopic 
portal, or ASP, is part of a Raytheon push into the growing homeland 
security market. And its partnership with a Canadian company on the 
screening program is pioneering a new collaboration model, enabling 
the Waltham defense contractor to rapidly adopt emerging technologies 
to use in homeland security.

``There's a lot of ways we can use technology to make our country 
safer from terrorist attacks," said Michael A. Sharp , the ASP 
program director at Raytheon's Integrated Defense Systems unit here.

Raytheon began testing new software for the ASP system last week at 
the Chalk River, Ontario, site of its partner, Bubble Technology 
Industries. Under a $28 million contract Raytheon won in July from 
the Department of Homeland Security, the ASP partners are building 
six engineering development models for government testing and 26 
working portals for airports, seaports, and border crossings.

But the contract is seen as only the first step in what could become 
Raytheon's largest nondefense program by the end of the decade. 
Homeland security officials, who'd like to deploy the new portals at 
more than 600 ports of entry, have estimated the program could be 
worth more than $1 billion over the next five years.

The work would be divided among Raytheon, which has based its program 
in Andover, and two other contractors: Waltham's Thermo Electron 
Corp., which runs its portal program out of New Mexico, and the 
European-owned Canberra, which has its program in Connecticut. The 
technology also carries the potential for substantial foreign sales.

Adoption of the program could be slowed, however, by competing 
homeland security demands and bureaucracy within the homeland 
security department and the various port authorities and 
municipalities that control US ports, securities analysts warned.

``It's a huge market opportunity, but it's a matter of how quickly 
the Department of Homeland Security moves in funding the effort," 
said Peter J. Arment , vice president and analyst for JSA Research in 
Newport, R.I. ``And the ports all move at their own pace."

In the ASP program, and other programs such as Project Athena, a 
maritime defense system, and an airport perimeter detection system, 
Raytheon has been repurposing technologies, such as sensors and 
signal processing, that it first developed for Pentagon applications.

``This technology is not new to us," said Mary D. Petryszyn , vice 
president of joint battlespace integration at Raytheon's defense 
unit. ``Radiation detection is just a different kind of detection 

After the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks, many ports installed 
radiation monitoring systems based on older technology. While the 
systems can detect radioactive materials, they often generate false 
alarms from naturally occurring radiation in containers loaded with 
products like bananas, fertilizer, and cat litter. ``The current 
systems can detect the presence of radiation, but they can't 
discriminate between a threat source and an innocent source," said 
Lianne D. Ing , vice president of business development at Bubble 
Technology Industries.

Nuclear physicists from Bubble Technology, a 50-person commercial 
spinoff of Canada's nuclear research laboratory, developed a more 
sophisticated nuclear detection system, working initially with the 
Raytheon-backed Center for Subsurface Sensing and Imaging Systems at 
Northeastern University in Boston.

When the new systems measure energy, they convert it into electronic 
signals. Raytheon engineers, with their signal processing expertise, 
can examine the signals and differentiate between hazardous and 
benign radioactive signatures.

At its integrated defense systems complex here, Raytheon, prime 
contractor and systems integrator for the ASP team, has set up a new 
production line for the 7-ton portals, which look like giant stereo 
speakers. Raytheon will produce different versions of the portals to 
screen cargo and rail cars at border crossings, as well as mobile 
versions that could be trucked to sites where there are terror 

About 50 of Raytheon's employees are now working on the ASP program 
here, with another five posted at the Bubble site in Ontario, and the 
program is expected to grow in coming years, said Sharp, the program 
manager. ``I've told the customer on numerous occasions that I'll 
never say no to the number of systems they want to order," he said.

Sharp said the partnership with Bubble represented a new model -- 
forging alliances with smaller and more nimble technology companies --
 that could help Raytheon grow in the changing homeland security 

``We hope to use this model in the area of chem-bio protection," he 
said. ``There's a lot of little companies that come out of 
universities, and that's where the technology can well up."

Nuclear cleanup company criticized over safety issues at Paducah 

PADUCAH, Ky. - The U.S. Department of Energy has criticized the lead 
nuclear cleanup contractor for the Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant 
for a series of safety problems. 

An Aug. 16 letter from the department indicated Paducah Remediation 
Services may be penalized financially if it doesn't correct the 
problems immediately. 
"There have been a number of minor accidents, but the Department of 
Energy does see them as a potential trend, and we do as well," 
Paducah Remediation Services President Mike Spry said. "We're trying 
to nip it in the bud before we have major incidents." 

The company took over as the plant's cleanup contractor April 24 
under a $192 million contract. The company has since had "a 
significant number of industrial and radiological safety incidents," 
Loretta Parsons, contracting officer for the Energy Department's 
Lexington project office, wrote in the letter. 

"These safety incidents include multiple forklift accidents, near-
miss events, radiological control violations and first aids," the 
letter said. 

Paducah Remediation Services is evaluating its management team and 
conducting safety training, Spry said. 

He wouldn't say how much the company expects to earn in performance 
fees, except to say the amount was "a few million." 

"The best way for DOE to track our performance and get it where we 
want it to be is the fee mechanism," he said. "Obviously we're 
responding to that because we don't want to see our fees reduced." 

The safety problems have forced employees to stop work at least three 
times, Parsons wrote. The Energy Department also questioned how well 
workers respond to safety problems. 

Spry said there have been no serious injuries and only a few in which 
workers needed treatment. He said one violation of radiation-control 
requirements was fairly serious and remains under investigation.

Australia - Physicist joins nuclear taskforce

The Australian Aug 28 - A PHYSICIST from RMIT University has been 
appointed to the Federal Government's nuclear taskforce.

Prime Minister John Howard appointed the special task force in June 
to report back by the end of the year on whether Australia should 
develop a nuclear industry.

Today, Mr Howard said Professor Peter Johnston, the head of physics 
at RMIT University in Melbourne, would join the review.

He replaces Sylvia Kidziak who stepped down from the role for 
personal reasons, Mr Howard said.

Prof Johnston is a member of the National Executive of the Australian 
Institute of Physics and a councillor of the Australian Institute of 
Nuclear Science and Engineering.

The taskforce is headed by former Telstra boss and nuclear physicist 
Ziggy Switkowski.

Other members include George Dracoulis, Warwick McKibbin, Dr Arthur 
Johnston, and Martin Thomas. 

New devices to monitor radiation  

Bahrain Daily News Aug 28 - THE United Nations International Atomic 
Energy Agency has given Bahrain authorities complex equipment to 
measure radiation at workplaces.

The machinery was given to the Public Commission for the Protection 
of Marine Resources, Environment and Wildlife after lobbying by its 
director-general Dr Ismail Al Madani.

"This will be used to measure radiation levels in different 
workplaces, including hospitals, laboratories, factories and 
elsewhere. Too much radiation of any kind can be harmful," he said.

Dr Al Madani said a programme for using the equipment hadn't been 
prepared yet, but that it could be used to respond to potential 
leaks, or to complaints by the public.

"Our receiving this equipment comes after several meetings we have 
had with the agency," he said. "We convinced them of our need for the 
equipment to ensure that people are working within internationally 
accepted radiation levels." 
Sandy Perle
Senior Vice President, Technical Operations
Global Dosimetry Solutions, Inc.
2652 McGaw Avenue
Irvine, CA 92614 

Tel: (949) 296-2306 / (888) 437-1714  Extension 2306
Fax:(949) 296-1144

E-Mail: sperle at dosimetry.com
E-Mail: sandyfl at earthlink.net 

Global Dosimetry Website: http://www.dosimetry.com/ 
Personal Website: http://sandy-travels.com/ 

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