4 new health physicists trained at Danish Decommissioning

Sidse Lærke Lolk, Marie Lund Traulsen, Frederik Storm Mahler and Claus Højgård Nielsen, are the names of the 4 new health physicists who are now taking up work as graduate health physicists at Danish Decommissioning

Protectingpeople from radiation in their work environment is a central part of a health physicist's job, but so is advising, communicating and teaching. In Danish Decommissioning , health physicists are an indispensable part of the workforce, as work with radioactive waste requires expertise in this field.

We are therefore pleased and proud to have trained 4 new health physicists, all of whom will have important roles in Danish Decommissioning, in radiation protection and work in this field.

Working as a health physicist
In general, the function of a health physicist is defined by contributing to the radiation protection of humans and the environment. This means that the tasks of a health physicist are all related to this radiation protection.

In Danish Decommissioning , health physicists are therefore central to the assessment and advice of decommissioning projects, and the work on them.

In addition, the health physicists are engaged in making release measurements of relevant material from the decommissioning of Risø, which can be released for general waste treatment, provided that radioactivity above the set limits cannot be measured in the material.

At the same time, the health physicists are responsible for internal training in radiation protection and work with radioactive materials at Danish Decommissioning, as well as for external training and advice.

A final important task for the newly qualified health physicists is that they are now part of the Danish Decommissioning Service's on-call scheme, where they take turns being on call in the event of unforeseen incidents.

It is worth mentioning here that a health assistant is present at Danish Decommissioning at all hours of the day, every day of the year, to deal with the vast majority of unforeseen incidents, in addition to the normal work tasks.

Why health physicist
Sidse Lærke Lolk is one of the Danish Decommissioning's new health physicists, and for her there wasn't much doubt when she saw the job ad after graduating in physics.

"Radiation is cool. I think it's really exciting to work on making this relatively abstract thing, which radiation is for many people, into something concrete. Linking my knowledge of radiation and radioactivity to concrete decommissioning and work tasks, and how to protect against radiation, is one of the things that interests me."

Another new health physicist at Danish Decommissioning is Marie Lund Traulsen, a chemical engineer with a background in research. For her, it was the desire to try her hand at a new, exciting field that drove her towards the health physicist training.

"I find it exciting to 'geek out' on theory and use it to find solutions to real problems. At the same time, I'm very motivated to learn new things and become more skilled, and here I saw an exciting subject area that I really want to become more skilled in."

Frederik Storm Mahler, the third of four new health physicists, like his fellow students and now colleagues in the radiation protection unit, is also attracted to what he calls "applied interdisciplinarity".

"Health physicist combines my interests in physics and health, and for me it was the interest in the two fields that made me apply for the position and go through the training. I find it particularly exciting that at DD, we will be working across disciplines, combining our knowledge as health physicists with the projects and decommissioning of the historic buildings".

Claus Højgård Nielsen also talks about how the health physics profession spoke to his interests, and in particular his long-standing interest in radioactivity.

"I think it's an exciting field, and ever since primary school I've had a great interest in radioactivity. I remember the sources we were allowed to look at in school, and even then I thought it was an exciting area. As an adult, the health physics work combines my interests in physics, chemistry and engineering, and it is one of the few fields where all these 3 things come together and are used simultaneously."

Already well under way
The 4 health physicists are all well into their new lives at Danish Decommissioning as full members of the Radiation Protection Unit, contributing every day to the work of storing and managing all of Denmark's radioactive waste.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]