S.Y. Chen, director of the Master of Health Physics program, spoke on a panel at the 2014 Gilbert W. Beebe Symposium, “The Science and Response to a Nuclear Accident,” on May 13 in Washington, D.C. The symposium is an annual scientific conference, sponsored by the National Institute of Health and the United States Environmental Protection Agency and hosted by the National Academy of Sciences and the National Cancer Institute, to promote discussions among scientists, federal and state staff, and other interested parties who are concerned with current scientific knowledge and response plans for a nuclear reactor site.
Chen’s panel discussion, titled “Post Emergency Transition to Recovery,” consisted of himself and other national experts on preparedness and recovery from major nuclear accidents. Chen focused specifically on long-term recovery for affected communities, an area in which guidance is lacking. He introduced a study that his committee on the National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurements (NCRP) conducted which develops a framework for, and an approach to, optimizing decision making in late-phase recovery in the wake of major nuclear or radiological incidents. The study is to be published soon as NCRP Report 175, Decision Making for Long-Term Recovery from Nuclear and Radiological Incidents.