created independently by different federal funding agencies each with a slightly different emphasis on outcome. Thus, there exists a great potential for gaps in funding between the various parts of the academic pipeline, and there is no comprehensive plan to address academic pipeline issues. Furthermore, as with most science funding, it is not clear that currently favorable federal funding levels will continue, despite the critical role of nuclear and radiochemistry in national security and environmental protection. Faculty positions are supported by universities if there is sustained research funding to build and maintain robust programs. Sustained support by one or more of the agencies with basic research and development programs is essential to maintain interest, explore the wealth of exciting and relevant research problems, and provide the major equipment and facilities.
Based on its findings, the committee presents the following recommendations for action that both the public and private sectors can take to ensure an adequate supply of nuclear and radiochemistry expertise in the future.
The committee’s recommendations call for action in three main areas of need:
• Institutional: structural support and collaboration
• Educational: on-the-job training and knowledge transfer and retention
• Workforce Data: data collection and tracking of workforce
1. Formalized collaborative partnerships for research and education in nuclear and radiochemistry should be established between universities, national laboratories, and relevant industrial sectors. Given the relatively small population of nuclear and radiochemists in the United States, it is essential to strengthen the connections between current experts and those who will supply and will need expertise in the future. The committee recommends that the federal agencies that depend on nuclear and radiochemistry expertise—including but not limited to those that funded this study (DHS, DOE, and NSF)—provide the necessary stewardship to ensure its sustainability. Specifically, beyond the individual programs discussed in Chapter 9, the committee recommends the establishment of multiple partnerships1 between the larger nuclear
1The committee suggests four to six partnerships, roughly based on the specialty (focal) areas in nuclear and radiochemistry (medicine, energy and power, security, environmental