[ RadSafe ] 10 exposed to radiation in Japan

Sandy Perle sandyfl at earthlink.net
Fri Mar 17 16:14:12 CST 2006


10 exposed to radiation in Japan
Site in South Carolina for a potential new nuclear power plant 
New direction for cosmic radiation
Drug helps cognitive function in brain tumor patients after radiation
Brain balloon, liquid radiation stops tumor 

10 exposed to radiation in Japan

Tokyo - Ten people were exposed to a small amount of radiation at a 
nuclear power plant in central Japan, when test equipment using 
radioactive material malfunctioned during a pipe inspection, a plant 
operator said on Friday. 

The workers, from an equipment inspection company, were exposed to 
iridium used in the test on Thursday. 

They were inspecting a pipe connected to nuclear waste handling 
equipment near the number two reactor of the Hamaoka clear Power 
Plant in Shizuoka, west of Tokyo, said Chubu Electric Power Company 
spokesperson, Hideo Hoshiai. 

Hoshiai said the problem was unrelated to the reactor and the amount 
of radiation exposure was within the daily limit and posed no health 
threat. He said the radiation did not leak outside the facility. 

The accident occurred during a remote controlled inspection, when a 
part of the device containing iridium became stuck. 

Hoshiai said officials were investigating the cause of the problem, 
while trying to contain the radioactive capsule. 

He said there were no safety or environmental concerns because the 
radioactive part was wrapped in a protective shield and the room was 

Duke Power Co. and Southern Co. (SO) have selected a site in South 
Carolina for a potential new nuclear power plant 

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP)--Duke Power Co. and Southern Co. (SO) have 
selected a site in South Carolina for a potential new nuclear power 
plant in one of the first orders for a new nuclear plant in the U.S. 
in more than 30 years, the companies said Thursday.  

Duke Power, the electric utility subsidiary of Charlotte-based Duke 
Energy Corp. (DUK), will be the developer and licensed operator of a 
potential plant co-owned by Atlanta-based Southern Company, the 
companies said in statements.  

The companies said they expect to submit an application to the U.S. 
Nuclear Regulatory Commission in late 2007 or early 2008. The 
companies will decide later whether to proceed with plant 

"We identified multiple sites in our service territory as good 
locations for a possible new station," Duke Power Chief Nuclear 
Officer Brew Barron said. "After months of review, the Cherokee 
County site was selected."  

The site is in the Cherokee Falls community near Gaffney, S.C.  

Cherokee County last year approved an incentive package that offered 
a 50% break on property taxes if the nuclear plant were based there.  

In January, Progress Energy said it would consider building a nuclear 
reactor at the Shearon Harris plant about 25 miles southwest of 
Raleigh, N.C. Progress Energy operates four nuclear reactors in the 
Carolinas and Duke has three.  

New direction for cosmic radiation

Physics Web Mar 17 After months of painstaking analysis, the 
Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe (WMAP) team has released its 
latest view of the radiation left over from the Big Bang. The results 
provide the first ever map of the polarization of the cosmic 
microwave background, revealing the universe when it was just 10-35 
seconds old and putting the standard cosmological model through its 
toughest test to date.

The cosmic microwave background was born about 380,000 years after 
the Big Bang, when the universe cooled enough to allow the first 
atoms to form. Photons could suddenly travel unhindered through 
space, their wavelengths being stretched by the expansion of the 
universe to leave a haze of microwave radiation in every direction we 

The first year of WMAP data, released in February 2003, revealed the 
temperature of this background radiation in exquisite detail. 
Crucially, it enabled researchers to measure tiny temperature 
fluctuations thought to have been produced by the same irregularities 
in space that led to the formation of galaxies. 

Now, with three times more data, the WMAP team has measured the 
incredibly weak polarization signal of the photons, allowing 
cosmologists to infer how much the fluctuations are due to the 
distorting effects of matter and how much they are due to gravity 
waves in the infant universe. These measurements place strong 
constraints on models of inflation, a period that began 10-35 seconds 
after the Big Bang during which the universe is thought to have 
undergone an enormous expansion. Furthermore, since the polarization 
of the photons would have been affected by the presence of ionizing 
material, the latest data show that the first stars formed when the 
universe was 400 million years old -- and not 200 million years as 
was previously thought. 

The keenly awaited results, which were announced at a press 
conference at Princeton University yesterday, also confirm that we 
live in a flat universe comprising just 4% ordinary matter, 22% dark 
matter and 74% dark energy -- in agreement with the standard model of 

"This is brand new territory," says WMAP team member Lyman Page. "We 
are quantifying the cosmos in a different way to open up a new window 
for understanding the universe in its earliest times."

Drug helps cognitive function in brain tumor patients after radiation

WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. <Mar 17 – A drug that is marketed to treat 
Alzheimer's disease also improves cognitive function, mood and 
quality of life in brain tumor patients following radiation therapy, 
according to a research team at Wake Forest University Baptist 
Medical Center. 
After the patients were treated for six months with donepezil (trade 
name: Aricept), there was a significant improvement in their 
symptoms, the researchers reported in the March 17 issue of the 
Journal of Clinical Oncology. 

"Each year more than 15,000 Americans are diagnosed with a primary 
brain tumors, and as many as 200,000 with metastatic brain tumors, 
nearly all of whom receive radiation therapy," said Edward G. Shaw, 
M.D. "For survivors of brain tumor radiation, symptoms of short-term 
memory loss and mood changes similar to those seen in Alzheimer's 
disease, as well as fatigue, frequently occur, leading to a poor 
quality of life." 

Donepezil, part of a class of drugs called acetylcholinesterase 
(AChE) inhibitors, "has demonstrated efficacy in mild to severe 
Alzheimer's disease and vascular dementia," said Stephen R. Rapp, 
Ph.D., professor of psychiatry and behavioral medicine and senior 
author on the paper. It is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug 
Administration for that purpose. 

"The results of this initial study encourage continued investigation 
of donepezil and other AChE inhibitors," Rapp said. 

The research team is planning a clinical trial in which treatment of 
brain tumor patients with donepezil will be compared to an inert 
placebo, and neither the doctor nor the patient will know which pill 
they received until the study is completed. 

"To our knowledge, this is the first study of an AChE inhibitor or 
any other drug administered to long-term survivors of partial or 
whole brain radiation therapy in an attempt to reduce the symptoms 
associated with a brain tumor and its treatments," said Shaw, 
professor and chairman of the Department of Radiation Oncology and a 

"The pretreatment assessment of thinking, memory, mood and energy 
level revealed symptoms that clearly affected quality of life," Shaw 

The researchers decided to try donepezil after observing that 
radiation-induced brain injury resembles Alzheimer's disease and 
other forms of dementia not only in the clinical symptoms but also in 
what is seen with brain imaging, particularly with magnetic resonance 
imaging (MRI) and positron emission tomography (PET). 

The team hypothesized that radiation therapy for brain tumors 
resulted in injury to neurons that in turn caused a deficiency of a 
brain chemical called acetylcholine. They thought use of an AChE 
inhibitor – such as donepezil – might increase the acetylcholine 
level in the brain, decrease cognitive symptoms and improve mood and 
quality of life. Their study indicated it did. 

"Additional research is needed to further evaluate donepezil and 
other AChE inhibitors in this population." Rapp said. 

The other members of the team were Robin Rosdhal, R.N., O.C.N., and 
Mike E. Robbins, Ph.D., both from radiation oncology, and Ralph B. 
D'Agostino Jr., Ph.D., James Lovato, M.S. and Michelle J. Naughton, 
Ph.D., all from public health sciences.

Brain balloon, liquid radiation stops tumor 

Hearld Today Mar 17 Up until six years ago, there was nothing 
extraordinary about Jason Wilson's life.

He worked his job in the air-conditioning business by day and spent 
time with his family by night.

Then, in February 2000, he was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor 
- a tumor that's kept recurring, changing Wilson's life.
His doctors thought he'd die six or seven months after he was 
diagnosed with the first one, but he's still alive and kicking. Those 
doctors have no explanation for the tumor's recurrence.
Wilson's mother, Cathy McClendon, calls him a "walking medical 
phenomenon." More than a few times when he was in the hospital, 
doctors told his family that there was a possibility he'd become a 

The longtime Bradenton resident proved them wrong, and now, at 35, he 
has a new lease on life thanks to an internal radiation system 
approved by the Food and Drug Administration in 2001. Wilson received 
the GliaSite Radiation Therapy System in September, when a balloon 
catheter was implanted in his head at the site of his removed tumor. 
It was his third brain surgery.

The GliaSite system looks like a glassblower or a balloon on a thin 
pipe. The balloon, which has the feel of sterile gloves, is flat when 
implanted, then blown up and filled with saline and a bit of dye to 
make it visible on X-rays and CAT scans, says neurosurgeon Dr. Philip 
Tally of Neuro/Spinal Associates in Bradenton. Also with that office 
is Dr. Michael King, Wilson's primary neurosurgeon, who told him 
about the liquid radiation treatment.

Tally says the end of the catheter attached to the balloon extends to 
the top of the patient's head. When the time comes to administer the 
Iotrex liquid radiation, a doctor inserts a needle through the skin 
and into the catheter. Saline is sucked out of the balloon, and the 
liquid radiation is delivered. It stays in the balloon for a few 
days, until it's done all it can do, he says.

Wilson was in the hospital for four days with the liquid radiation in 
his head. He was radioactive, his family says, so he couldn't have 
visitors in his room or leave the hospital. Afterward, he received 
follow-up external radiation and chemotherapy.

The use of liquid radiation is a way to deliver radiation internally, 
and most patients receive external radiation in addition to the 
internal treatment, Tally says. "That's the appeal: the proximity of 
radiation to the actual tumor."

Tally has treated less than a handful of patients with the GliaSite 
system, those who have malignant brain tumors.
"Numbers thus far have been too small for scientific basis, but given 
the fact that these types of tumors are so malicious, anything we can 
do can be of benefit," he says.

Wilson says he didn't experience any side effects from the liquid 
radiation, but he had seizures - five of them - as recently as Feb. 
It all started with seizures.

He was found at home, unconscious, after having several seizures in 
February 2000. He was hospitalized at Manatee Memorial Hospital for a 
week, four days of which he spent in an induced coma. It was the 
first of 20 or 30 hospitalizations for Wilson.

Two months after the first incident, he was hospitalized at Sarasota 
Memorial Hospital after having seizures at church. He was diagnosed 
with a brain tumor at that time.

Wilson was in and out of emergency rooms regularly until January 
2002, when he underwent his first brain surgery at the H. Lee Moffitt 
Cancer Center in Tampa. In March 2005, he endured a second brain 
surgery to relieve swelling from the recurring tumor.

On Feb. 17 of this year, his doctors changed his medication from 
Depakote, which he'd been taking for almost six years, to Keppra, a 
new medication on the market. He hasn't had a seizure since.
He's willing to try any new medication or treatment that might help 
him. "It's a catch-22," says his grandmother, Shirley Johnson, of 
trying new medications. "But you have to have hope."

Johnson says that through everything, her grandson has learned 
patience and to take each day as it comes.

Wilson says he feels fine since his latest surgery to remove the 
balloon catheter in November. He has slight headaches sometimes, but 
they're small when looked at in the grand scheme of things.
His long-term memory is intact - he remembers how to put together an 
air conditioner - and he's good with numbers, but not so much with 

Still, McClendon says of her son, "I've never seen anyone bounce back 
from brain surgery like him."

Wilson says he stays positive for his kids: Austin, 9, and Savannah, 
4. He looks forward to watching them grow up and expects to do just 
that. As he puts it, "I don't let anything get me down."
Not even the big C.

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

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

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