President’s Message / Message du président
Greetings, fellow radiation protection professionals!
As is usual in Canada, summer entered with a roar as temperatures soared. While we bake in the heat, we should be reminded that our climate is changing at an uncomfortable pace. This is not good. However, we absolutely have a global solution to greenhouse gas emissions: nuclear power!
The rare event of the great Japanese earthquake and tsunami of 2011, which caused the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear accident, led many countries to overreact and slow down or eliminate their nuclear power programs. Globally, this is a huge mistake for the environment.
So, what does this have to do with CRPA? A resurgence of nuclear power is inevitable. Whether that means the construction of new large-capacity nuclear power plants or distributed nuclear energy systems, such as small modular reactors, we need this energy to fulfill the requirements of industry and the public. The need for nuclear power goes hand in hand with the need for radiation protection professionals to ensure the safety and security of workers and the public, who might be exposed to radiation from these activities.
We will need radiation safety professionals not only for new builds (including all aspects of the nuclear fuel cycle, such as mining, milling, and fuel fabrication), but also for refurbishment of current stations and decommissioning of older stations.
Of course, many other areas also require radiation protection professionals. Medical uses of radiation account for hundreds of thousands of lives saved globally per year and the improvement of human and non-human health and well-being. Industrial uses of radiation, from devices as simple as smoke detectors, to the use of radiation for non-destructive testing of mission-critical components, account for only a fraction of the beneficial societal uses of radiation. Let’s not forget that radiation protection professionals also deal with non-ionizing radiation protection, such as microwave and laser energy.
On top of all of the industrial and medical needs for radiation protection professionals, there is a continuous need for us in research, academia, and government. There is no foreseeable end to the need for radiation protection professionals, both in Canada and on the international stage!
In other good news, CRPA’s membership is very engaged in all things radiation protection! We had a fantastic conference in Ottawa with a good blend of technical exchange and fun times! Also, our professional development offerings at the conference were very well attended—I highly encourage all members to participate in at least one professional development activity per year.
Our members have been active in and provided input into a variety of consultancies (for example, dose to the lens of the eye and transportation of dangerous goods) and have been engaged with collaborating organizations, such as the International Radiation Protection Association (IRPA) and the International Commission on Radiological Protection (ICRP), along with ongoing mutually beneficial dialogues with both the Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission (CNSC) and Health Canada.
The turnout of student and young professional members to the annual conference was extremely encouraging. This category of our membership is going up, and we must continue to foster this upward trend.
In addition, we continue to respond to and answer questions from the public regarding radiation exposure. Establishing prompt and accurate public and media communication is something we all must continuously strive toward.
In addition, the number of CRPA members interested in certification continues to increase. We will continue to educate members about the benefits of the CRPA(R) certification.
CRPA’s strength comes from our members and our combined technical knowledge, skills, and abilities in the areas of radiation protection and health physics. Our membership has a diverse skill set and comes from all professional and academic areas where ionizing and non-ionizing radiation protection is needed.
From this position, I present a challenge to each and every member—seek out others in your organizations, including management, who are not members, and educate them on the benefits of being a CRPA member (individual or corporate).
Individual membership benefits include (but are not limited to):
- The CRPA Bulletin (which provides up-to-date current events in radiation protection in Canada and abroad)
- International connections (CRPA is an affiliate of IRPA, so if you are a CRPA member you are also an IRPA member!)
- Access to the Annals of the ICRP
- Networking with other like-minded individuals (do not underestimate the power of networking!)
- Mentorship opportunities (either as a mentor or as someone seeking a mentor)
- Access to professional development opportunities relevant to radiation protection in Canada
- A very productive and fun annual meeting and conference
- The possibility of becoming a Registered Radiation Safety Professional (as an individual member)
- Resumé posting and job opportunities to help you further your career in radiation protection and health physics
Don’t forget to mention the advantages of CRPA corporate membership to your management! There are various levels of corporate membership that give an institution a variety of benefits. One of the prime benefits is exposure to a robust cadre of radiation protection professionals in Canada!
So, there is my presidential challenge to members. Get involved, stay involved, and try to encourage at least one individual or institution to become a member of CRPA.
Together, we can only get stronger!