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THE BOMB IN THE OR: Implications of Using Highly Enriched Uranium in Nuclear Medicine

Description: Technological breakthroughs in the area of imaging and nuclear medicine have revolutionized the way we are able to diagnose and treat patients. However, most physicians and healthcare professionals remain oblivious that more than 95% of the world’s radiopharmaceuticals used in Nuclear Medicine are derived from bomb grade Highly Enriched Uranium (HEU) – the same material used to build and deploy military nuclear weapons. As healthcare professionals, it is our responsibility first to “do no harm.” As such, we may need to look to other sources of radioisotopes to remove potential terrorist exploitation of HEU in radiopharmaceuticals.

Goal: Participants will be equipped with the knowledge to educate their colleagues and administrators in their healthcare system to reduce the demand for HEU isotopes. Attendees will also learn about current US legislative initiatives for phasing out the HEU supply, and what action to take to transform these initiatives into law.

Panelists:


Mark T. Madsen, PhD, FAAPM, FACR


Dr. Mark T Madsen is medical physicist specializing in Nuclear Medicine imaging.  He received his PhD from the University of Wisconsin and was initially employed at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia.  In 1988 he came to the University of Iowa where he is now a Professor of Radiology.  In addition to his clinical, teaching and research activities, he chairs the University of Iowa Medical Radiation Protection Committee, the Hospital Radiation Safety Review Group and the Radiation Drug Research Committee.  Dr. Madsen has more than 65 scientific publications and he has been twice named as one of the ten best scientists in Nuclear Medicine by the Medical Imaging magazine.  He is active in the American Association of Physicists in Medicine (AAPM), the Society of Nuclear Medicine (SNM) and the American College of Radiology (ACR) and he is a fellow of both the ACR and the AAPM.   Dr Madsen is also active in the Iowa Chapter of the Physicians for Social Responsibility. 

Robert Gould, MD 

PSR Affiliation: President, San Francisco-Bay Area PSR; member, National Board; Past President of PSR

Areas of Expertise:

  • U.S. chemical policy and health effects of environmental toxins
  • Biological Weapons and public health
  • Air pollution and air quality regulations
  • Nuclear nonproliferation and disarmament
  • Nuclear war, terrorism and preparedness
  • Global warming, fossil fuel energy and public health
  • Nuclear power and related waste and proliferation issues 

Publications:

  • Co-author (with Nancy Connell) of chapter "Public Health Effects of Biological Weapons" in War and Public Health, published by Oxford University Press in cooperation with APHA in 1996.
  • Co-author (with Patrice Sutton) of chapter “Nuclear Weapons” in new edition of War and Public Health published by Oxford University Press in 2008.
  • Co-author (with Patrice Sutton) of chapter "Prevention of Nuclear Terrorism," in Terrorism and Public Health, published by Oxford University Press in 2002.

 

Dr. Parrish Staples


With a PhD in Nuclear Physics from the University of Massachusetts-Lowell, Dr. Parrish Staples has worked in the field of nuclear nonproliferation for many years.  He has 10 years experience at Los Alamos National Laboratory where he worked on both basic and applied neutron research, with much of that effort to design instruments to assist the IAEA with nuclear material declarations in the FSU.   Dr. Staples then began working at the Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) in 2002, where he is currently the director of the Office of European and African Threat Reduction within the NNSA’s Global Threat Reduction Initiative. This office is the primary office responsible for implementing the U.S.  civilian HEU minimization policy , and Dr. Staples is involved in the management of projects on reactor conversions, medical radioisotope production, and radiological and nuclear physical protection programs.