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In the event that nuclear fuel from light water reactors (LWR) is reprocessed to reclaim the uranium or plutonium, several analytical techniques will be used for product accountability. Generally, the isotopic content of both the plutonium and uranium in the reprocessed product will have to be accurately determined. One plan for the reprocessing of LWR spent fuel incorporates the following scheme. After separation from both the fission products and transplutonium actinides (including neptunium and americium), part of the uranium and all of the plutonium in a nitrate solution will merge together to form a coprocessed stream. This solution will be concentrated by evaporation and sent to a hold tank for accountability. Input concentrations into the hold tank could be up to 350 g U/ℓ and nearly 50 g Pu/ℓ. The variation to be expected in these concentrations is not known. The remaining uranium fraction will be further purified and sent to a separate storage tank. Its expected stream concentration will be about 60 g U/ℓ. These two relatively high actinide stream concentrations can be monitored rapidly, quantitatively, and nondestructively using the technique of energy-dispersive x-ray fluorescence analysis(XRFA).
Introduction: There is increasing evidence that emergency room physicians or primary care physicians can definitively manage many uncomplicated paediatric fractures without orthopaedic follow-up. This strategy leads to a reduction in radiation exposure and decreased costs to patient families and the healthcare system without impacting patient outcomes. The aim of this study was to determine whether patients who sustained an isolated 5th metatarsal fractures require orthopaedic surgeon follow-up. Methods: A retrospective analysis including patients who presented to the Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) for management of metatarsal fractures from 2009-2014 was performed. Results: 124 patients (66 males, 58 females) with mean age of 11.3 (SD=2.9) years old were included in the study. Complications were minimal with no patients requiring operative management. There were zero non-unions and 3 delayed unions. Despite zero instances of surgical correction and a low complication rate, fracture clinic resource utilization was substantial. Fractures were managed with a mean number of 3.1 (SD=0.98) clinic visits, including initial evaluation in the emergency department. A mean number of 2.8 (SD=1.1) radiology department visits were conducted, with a mean of 8.1 (SD=3.8) x-rays total per patient. Conclusion: Our series supports reduced clinical follow-up of patients with isolated 5th metatarsal fractures. If the diagnosis can be made on the initial radiographs, ER physicians or primary care providers can definitively manage these patients with appropriate immobilization. A fracture clinic follow-up is only necessary if the diagnosis cannot be made on the initial radiographs. Our clinical care pathway will reduce radiation exposure and reduce costs incurred by the healthcare system and patients’ families without jeopardizing patient outcomes.
In 2003/2004 a field trial was conducted in Northern Ireland to assess the diagnostic accuracy of six serological tests for bovine brucellosis caused by Brucella abortus. Whereas between-test comparisons have been used to calculate test performances so far, the present study used a latent class approach to estimate diagnostic test accuracy parameters in the absence of a gold standard for these six tests simultaneously and to estimate the true prevalence, while accounting for clustering in the study population and risk factors for true prevalence. Results obtained in this study with regard to prevalence, sensitivity and specificity were largely in accordance with previous findings. Screening tests (SAT and EDTA) appeared to be the most sensitive; however, at low prevalences the EDTA and CFT showed the highest positive predictive values of all investigated tests. The specificities and negative predictive values of all diagnostic tests were found to be very high. Differences of prevalence between three groups of the study population with different risk of exposure could be attributed to the mode of sampling indicating that a more risk-based sampling will result in a higher prevalence than a cross-sectional sampling mode. Age, dairy status and history of abortion were shown to influence the prediction of the latent true infection status.
To investigate risk factors for sporadic salmonellosis, for each notified case four randomly selected population controls matched for age, sex and geographical region were interviewed via self-administered questionnaire. Conditional logistic regression analysis of 285 matched pairs revealed significant associations for raw ground pork consumption [odds ratio (OR) 6·0, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1·8–20·1], taking antacids (OR 5·8, 95% CI 1·4–24·5), eating meat outside the home (OR 5·7, 95% CI 2·2–14·6) and daily changing or cleaning of dishcloth (OR 2·1, 95% CI 1·2–3·9). Animal contact and ice cream consumption were negatively associated with salmonellosis (OR 0·5, 95% CI 0·2–1 and OR 0·3, 95% CI 0·1–0·6, respectively). S. Typhimurium infections were significantly associated with raw ground pork consumption (OR 16·7, 95% CI 1·4–194·4) and S. Enteritidis infections with having travelled abroad (OR 9·7, 95% CI 2·0–47·3). Raw egg consumption was not a risk factor, substantiating the success of recently implemented national control programmes in the poultry industry. Unexpectedly, hygienic behaviour was more frequently reported by cases, probably because they overestimated their hygiene precautions retrospectively. Although animal contact might enhance human immunocompetence, underreporting of salmonellosis by pet owners could have occurred. Eating raw pork products is the major risk factor for sporadic human S. Typhimurium infections in Lower Saxony.
Communication between emergency department (ED) staff and parents of children with asthma may play a role in asthma exacerbation management. We investigated the extent to which parents of children with asthma implement recommendations provided by the ED staff. Method: We asked questions on asthma triggers, ED care (including education and discharge recommendations), and asthma management strategies used at home shortly after the ED visit and again at 6 months.
A total of 148 children with asthma were recruited. Thirty-two percent of children were not on inhaled corticosteroids prior to their ED visit. Eighty percent of parents identified upper respiratory tract infections (URTIs) as the primary trigger for their child’s asthma. No parent received or implemented any specific asthma strategies to reduce the impact of URTIs; 82% of parents did not receive any printed asthma education materials. Most (66%) parents received verbal instructions on how to manage their child’s future asthma exacerbations. Of those, one-third of families were told to return to the ED. Parents were rarely advised to bring their child to their family doctor in the event of a future exacerbation. At 6 months, parents continued to use the ED services for asthma exacerbations in their children, despite reporting feeling confident in managing their child’s asthma.
Improvements are urgently needed in developing strategies to manage pediatric asthma exacerbations related to URTIs, communication with parents at discharge in acute care, and using alternate acute care services for parents who continue to rely on EDs for the initial care of mild asthma exacerbations.
We conducted a case-control study based on 884 laboratory-confirmed sporadic Salmonella cases reported to the German infectious disease notification system. For controls, we recruited 510 rotavirus cases via the same system. Univariable and multivariable logistic regression analyses were performed separately for children aged 0–3 years and 4–14 years. In both age groups, the highest odds ratios (OR) were found for raw ground pork consumption [0–3 years: OR 8·6, 95% confidence interval (CI) 2·4–30·8; 4–14 years: OR 4·5, 95% CI 1·1–19]. Further risk factors were exposure to animals (OR 1·6, 95% CI 1·1–2·1), consumption of poultry (OR 1·5, 95% CI 1·1–2·1), food items containing eggs (OR 1·5, 95% CI 1·1–2) and black pepper (OR 1·7, 95% CI 1·1–3·5) in children aged 0–3 years, and consumption of uncooked pork sausage (OR 3·6, 95% CI 1·4–9·3) in children aged 4–14 years. This study highlights the significance of raw pork products (‘Mett’ in German) as risk factors for sporadic salmonellosis in children in Germany.
In the context of assessing the impact of management and environmental factors on animal health, behaviour or performance it has become increasingly important to conduct (epidemiological) studies in the field. Hence, the number of investigated farms per study is considerably high so that numerous observers are needed for investigation. In order to maintain the quality and validity of study results calibration meetings where observers are trained and the current level of agreement is assessed have to be conducted to minimise the observer effect. When study animals were rated independently by the same observers by a categorical variable the exclusion test can be performed to identify disagreeing observers. This statistical test compares for each variable and each observer the observer-specific agreement with the overall agreement among all observers based on kappa coefficients. It accounts for two major challenges, namely the absence of a gold-standard observer and different data type comprising ordinal, nominal and binary data. The presented methods are applied on a reliability study to assess the agreement among eight observers rating welfare parameters of laying hens. The degree to which the observers agreed depended on the investigated item (global weighted kappa coefficients: 0.37 to 0.94). The proposed method and graphical description served to assess the direction and degree to which an observer deviates from the others. It is suggested to further improve studies with numerous observers by conducting calibration meetings and accounting for observer bias.
This study contributes to an emic understanding of how different types of social obligations may help or hinder the formation of initial organizational trust within collectivist cultures. We extend prior social categorization insights by challenging the expectation that in-group favouritism automatically facilitates higher levels of initial trust among collectivists. We theorize and test the asymmetric effects of two different types of social obligations toward members of distinct social categories (kinship and friendship in-groups) on the formation of initial organizational trust. Using a quasi-experimental research design in a collectivist culture (Japan), we hypothesize and show that in ambivalent situations, voluntary social obligations toward members of friendship in-groups encourage early trust in trustees' organizations; however, involuntary social obligations toward members of kinship in-groups discourage early trust development toward the organization these trustees represent. The effects of (in)voluntary social obligations on initial organizational trust are contingent on how collectivists perceive each encounter: voluntary social obligations are more conducive to trust-building at lower levels of perceived opportunity; involuntary social obligations have stronger effects on initial organizational trust at higher levels of perceived risk.
The improved use of collective dose following the 2007 ICRP recommendations is studied
for nuclear and radiological emergency situations. To study the accumulation of low
individual doses to the collective dose the collective dose is calculated as a function of
the minimum individual dose for three cases including nuclear as well as radiological
accidents. It is found that the use of collective dose in this way can have an added value
in nuclear emergency preparedness and response in particular related to decisions on
overall protective actions following an accident.
The new recommendations on emergency exposure situations of the International Commission
on Radiological Protection (ICRP) advise a reference level for the residual dose in a
range of between 20 and 100 mSv effective dose (acute or per year). At the same time, the
protection strategy should account for the simultaneous consideration of all the exposure
pathways, as well as all of the protective actions. Similarly to other countries, the
actual Belgian nuclear emergency plan is based on individual projected doses (thyroid
committed dose and total effective doses) and independent protective actions that mainly
focus on the early phase of an emergency situation. The two approaches are compared in
this study on the basis of the projected and residual dose calculations obtained using
JRODOS and the Belgian Noodplan models for different radiological or nuclear accidental
scenarios. The comparison has been made by considering separately the early and the late
phase contributions. The ingestion dose has been investigated from the predicted
deposition values and compared to the single level of the ICRP 109 recommendations.
Bismuth iron oxide BFO films were produced by the pulsed laser deposition technique. These films are a mixture of BiFeO3 ferroelectrical and Bi25FeO40 piezoelectrical phases. The ferroelectrical domain structure of these films was studied via contact resonance piezoresponse force microscopy (CR-PFM) and resonance tracking PFM (RT-PFM). The proportions of area of these BFO phases were derived from the PFM images. The ferroelectrical domain size corresponds to the size of the BiFeO3 crystals. The CR-PFM and RT-PFM techniques allowed us to be able to distinguish between the ferroelectric domains and the piezoelectric regions existing in the polycrystalline films.
In order to identify and assess recent risk factors for sporadic human infections with Salmonella enterica, we conducted a case-control study in Lower Saxony, Germany. The data collection was based on standardized telephone interviews with 1017 cases and 346 controls aged >14 years. Odds ratios were calculated in single-factor and multi-factor analyses for Salmonella cases and two different control groups, i.e. population controls and controls with rotavirus infection. Multi-factor analysis revealed associations between sporadic Salmonella infections for two exposures by both sets of controls: consumption of raw ground pork [adjusted odds ratio (aOR) 2·38, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1·27–4·44] and foreign travel (aOR 2·12, 95% CI 1·00–4·52). Other exposures included consumption of food items containing eggs (aOR 1·43, 95% CI 0·80–2·54), consumption of chicken meat (aOR 1·77, 95% CI 1·26–2·50), outdoor meals/barbecues (aOR 3·96, 95% CI 1·41–11·12) and taking gastric acidity inhibitors (aOR 2·42, 95% CI 1·19–4·92), all were significantly associated with respect to one of the two control groups. The impact of consuming food items containing eggs or chicken meat was lower than expected from the literature. This might be a consequence of Salmonella control programmes as well as increased public awareness of eggs and chicken products being a risk factor for salmonellosis. Efforts to reduce Salmonella infections due to raw pork products should be intensified.
We explore the potential for payments for ecosystem services (PES) to reconcile conservation and development goals, using a case study of an experimental PES intervention around the Nyungwe National Park in Rwanda. The scheme involves the purchase of biodiversity conservation services from local communities in four selected locations. Although a portion of the payment is awarded at the household level, it is the collective action of the community that determines the level of the payment. Contracts are negotiated annually and include performance indicators within each participating community. We examine the ability of PES to achieve conservation and development objectives, through three sub-questions: Is the PES scheme effective? Is it legitimate and fair? Is it equitable? Our findings indicate that the relationship between these evaluation criteria is complex, with both trade-offs and synergies. In this case study the effectiveness of PES is dependent on the equitable distribution of the payment, participants’ belief and acceptance of the service being paid for, institutional histories that aid in the establishment of legitimacy and fairness, and the complementary nature of PES to more conventional enforcement methods.
Three handbooks have been developed, in conjunction with a wide range of stakeholders to
assist in the management of contaminated food production systems, inhabited areas and
drinking water following a radiological incident. The handbooks are aimed at national and
local authorities, central government departments and agencies, emergency services,
radiation protection experts, the agriculture and food production sectors, industry and
others who may be affected. The handbooks include management options for application in
the different phases of an incident. Sources of contamination considered in the handbooks
include nuclear accidents and radiological dispersion devices; the most relevant
radionuclides are included. The handbooks are divided into several sections which provide
supporting scientific and technical information; an analysis of the factors influencing
recovery; compendia of comprehensive, state-of-the-art datasheets for around 100
management options and guidance on planning in advance. A decision-aiding framework
comprising colour coded selection tables, look-up tables and decision trees and several
worked examples are also included. The handbooks can be used as a preparatory tool, under
non-crisis conditions, to engage stakeholders and to develop local and regional plans. The
handbooks can also be applied as part of the decision-aiding process to develop a recovery
strategy following an incident. In addition, the handbooks are useful for training
purposes and during emergency exercises. To realise their full potential, the handbooks
should be customised at national, regional and local levels.
To validate food photographs for food portion size estimation of frequently consumed dishes, to be used in a 24-hour recall food consumption study of pregnant women in a rural environment in Burkina Faso. This food intake study is part of an intervention evaluating the efficacy of prenatal micronutrient supplementation on birth outcomes.
Women of childbearing age (15–45 years).
A food photograph album containing four photographs of food portions per food item was compiled for eight selected food items. Subjects were presented two food items each in the morning and two in the afternoon. These foods were weighed to the exact weight of a food depicted in one of the photographs and were in the same receptacles. The next day another fieldworker presented the food photographs to the subjects to test their ability to choose the correct photograph.
The correct photograph out of the four proposed was chosen in 55% of 1028 estimations. For each food, proportions of underestimating and overestimating participants were balanced, except for rice and couscous. On a group level, mean differences between served and estimated portion sizes were between −8.4% and 6.3%. Subjects who attended school were almost twice as likely to choose the correct photograph. The portion size served (small vs. largest sizes) had a significant influence on the portion estimation ability.
The results from this study indicate that in a West African rural setting, food photographs can be a valuable tool for the quantification of food portion size on group level.
We evaluated the abundance and distribution of low-elevation forest birds on windward Hawai'i Island during August 1993-February 1994, and present evidence of changes in the species composition of the forest bird community since 1979. Endemic Hawaiian birds occurred in native-dominated forests as low as 120 m elevation. Non-native species were detected at all survey locations. We observed non-native Saffron Finch Sicalis flaveola, previously unrecorded in Puna. Variable circular plot surveys of Kahauale'a Natural Area Reserve indicated the disappearance of two native species ('I'iwi Vestiaria coccinea and 'O'u Psittitostra psittacea), and two non-native additions (Red-billed Leiothrix Leiothrix lutea and Kalij Pheasant Lophura leucomelana) to the study area since the Hawai'i Forest Bird Survey conducted in 1979. We present evidence that native 'Elepaio Chasiempsis sandwichensis has experienced a decrease in population density and an elevational range contraction since 1979. Surveys indicate Puna's forest bird community has had increasing aliens and declining native species since 1979. The persistence of some native bird species within the range of avian disease vectors such as Culex quinquefasciatus in forests below 1,000 m elevation presents an important enigma that requires additional study.