Executive Summary

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Mission: The Council on Ionizing Radiation Measurements and Standards (CIRMS) is an independent, non-profit organization that draws together stakeholders from government, industry and academia to discuss, review and assess national needs in the field of ionizing radiation to enhance societal benefits.

Vision: CIRMS seeks to inform the national debate on issues involving ionizing radiation by preparing this document, a Needs Report to be presented to the US Congress, to make policy recommendations based on the interplay among fundamental scientific advancement, practical implementation of ionizing radiation technologies and governmental rules and regulations to ensure public safety. To achieve these ends, CIRMS seeks to organize expert opinion in focus areas: 1) medical applications, 2) personnel and environmental radiation protection, 3) homeland security technologies, and 4) industrial applications and materials effects. (see more)

Dynamic Needs Report: Through this online forum, CIRMS seeks to engage the community with the thoughtful insights and the results of vigorous discussions at our annual meetings and throughout the year. The goals of the Dynamic Needs Report is to track and keep up-to-date needs in the community that represent 1.) areas in which federal regulations are insufficient to deal with rapidly evolving technologies, 2.) areas which member companies have identified as fertile areas for academia research which could lead to compelling graduate theses 3.) areas in which national, state or local funding priorities seems to be misprioritized to address the mission of CIRMS and 4.) areas in logistics and critical infrastructure which limit CIRMS and its affiliate labs, companies and academics from having access to traceable measurement standards in fields related to ionizing radiation.

2016 Policy Recommendations: CIRMS highlights current deficiencies and suggests informed dialog to address these 2016 Needs in Ionizing Radiation Measurements and Standards:

1. Secure the nation's electronic infrastructure: There exists a critical need for a traceable measurement standard for low alpha particle emissions to improve reliability of semiconductors and computer systems to support defense, aerospace, global banking, advanced manufacturing and the Internet of Things.

2. Ensure the safety of patients, food and manufactured products: Now that Co-60 source suppliers no longer provide reloading of Gamma Cell irradiators to support traceability to the US national standard for for industrial and manufacturing applications, and medical device sterilization, there exists a critical need to assure the availability of national measurement standards for high dose rate gamma irradiation.

3. Maintain US leadership in our future technological workforce: There exists a need for targeted funding for students to engage with scientific leaders in academia, federal labs, agencies and leading industry to sustain global leadership through an educated workforce which ensures stability of expertise in ionizing radiation measurements and standards.

2011 Policy Recommendations: CIRMS highlights current deficiencies and suggests informed dialog to address these 2011 Needs in Ionizing Radiation Measurements and Standards:

1. US Congress must find ways to better inform the public perception of radiation or risk reducing scientific advantage, economic advantage and domestic job creation.

2. The Federal Government and associated Regulatory Agencies should immediately prioritize developing 21st century rules and regulations, informed by the scientific community, to enable progress toward elimination of food-borne pathogens/pests, increase shelf life and inhibit sprouting and maturation, while increasing food safety.

3. A virtual national laboratory consortium is needed that can support regulatory, research and development uses and measurement of ionizing radiation to leverage national brick and mortar assets at universities, DoE laboratories, and government laboratories.

4. An independent review panel should be established to evaluate all requests for isotopes that are not now currently available from commercial sources, based on recommendations from CIRMS, the National Academies Nuclear and Radiation Studies Board (NAS NRSB) and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC).

5. National dialog among NIH, NIST, university, and DoE laboratories is needed to better control the supply of the molybdenum-99 isotope.

6. A coherent long-term funding mechanism must be found to support maintenance of the mathematical modeling codes implementing the effects of ionizing radiation on materials.


Metrology Needs: Each year, each of the subcommittees of the CIRMS Science and Technology Committee prepares a series of Measurement Program Descriptions (MPDs). These emerge through data sharing and focused discussion at CIRMS meetings and workshops. The MPDs offer guidelines for scientific funding agencies, corporations or academic investigators with ties to ionizing radiation about issues which the community feels are relevant today. These represent potential target areas for funding research, where federal regulation may soon change, and where new ideas and rules may propel emerging technologies into new markets. These needs are grouped into the 2011 CIRMS focus areas: 1) medical applications, 2) personnel and environmental radiation protection, 3) homeland security technologies, and 4) industrial applications and materials effects.