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Radiation Protection and Release Prevention

Radiation Protection & Release Prevention Program
Monthly Highlights
January 2009

If you would like a hard copy of the full monthly report, including appendices, please E-mail Betty Sigafoos.

1. Bureau of X-Ray Compliance (Bureau) Embargos Physician's X-Ray Equipment
2. Exelon Submits Summary of Three Dimensional Drywell Analysis for Oyster Creek
3. Interagency Cooperation


1. Bureau of X-Ray Compliance (Bureau) Embargos Physician's X-Ray Equipment

On January 27, 2009 the Bureau conducted an on-site enforcement follow up inspection to determine if a podiatric office had re-instituted its quality assurance program. The Bureau had cited the facility several times over the past two years for gross violations of radiation protection regulations. Each enforcement action required the facility to respond in writing describing the corrective actions it had taken. The facility has repeatedly failed to respond to the Administrative Orders issued. During the most recent inspection, inspectors found no evidence that the previously discovered violations had been corrected. As a result, the Bureau embargoed the x-ray unit, prohibiting the facility from using the x-ray equipment until all infractions are corrected. The Bureau left a notice of embargo with facility personnel, which requires the facility to rectify all deficiencies by February 27, 2009 or the x-ray unit will be seized by the Department.

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2. Exelon Submits Summary of Three Dimensional Drywell Analysis for Oyster Creek

On January 22, 2009 Exelon issued a press release announcing that the three dimensional model of the Oyster Creek drywell had been completed and that a 400-page summary was being provided to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) and being made publicly available. Exelon reported that the results of the analysis were favorable in that it showed that increased margin was available in actual thickness of the drywell compared to the minimum required.

The Department of Environmental Protection, by letter dated January 30, 2009 requested the NRC or Sandia Labs to perform an in-depth review of the analysis prior to any decision by the Commission on renewing the Operating License for Oyster Creek.

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3. Interagency Cooperation

On January 13, 2009 Chief Paul Orlando and Al Orlandi, Bureau of X-Ray Compliance, attended a meeting with representatives of the Department of Health (DHSS) Interagency Council on Osteoporosis (ICO) and the New Jersey State Board of Medical Examiners' (BME) Executive Director to discuss the ICO's concerns regarding the lack of regulations governing licensed physicians who interpret x-ray bone densitometry procedures. The ICO presented examples of inadequate interpreted procedures. During the meeting, the Bureau was asked by the ICO to explain how the Department's technologist licensing and x-ray equipment standards have improved the quality of bone densitometry procedures in New Jersey. Also discussed was the potential impact of Senate Bill 2201 on the Radiologic Technologist Act and its provisions that would allow for the creation of additional licensure categories through regulation. The ICO asked the BME to promulgate qualifications for physicians who interpret bone densitometry procedures and standards for consistency in interpretation reports. The Executive Director will forward the ICO's concerns to the BME's Executive Committee for consideration.

Bone densitometry is considered to be the best diagnostic procedure to evaluate bone density and osteoporosis. One million New Jersey residents have osteoporosis or low bone mass. The DHSS estimates that annually 8,000 residents over 65 years of age will have a hip fracture because of low bone mass. The DHSS believes that through early diagnosis and treatment, the number of fractures can be decreased by 50% and save New Jersey over $300 million a year in Medicare related health care costs. Thirty-seven states have standards for physicians who interpret bone densitometry procedures.

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