6

Challenges and Opportunities

The major challenges facing NCNR are associated with constraints based on shrinking budgets, a growing user base, growing competition, and factors relating to maintaining a dynamic workforce. At the same time, there exist opportunities to increase the size and disciplinary diversity of the user base, particularly by increasing the number of industry users, and thereby have a notable impact on industry and manufacturing.

An additional challenge is associated with the projected long-term shortage of 4He. Addressing this challenge needs to be accomplished through understanding how to effectively exploit the strengths of the new organizational structure. Concern was also expressed regarding the eventual change from the high-enriched uranium (HEU) reactor fuel to LEU with potential negative impact on costs, fuel availability, and reactor performance. The NCNR is rightly tracking developments closely and developing appropriate contingency scenarios.

The budget constraints also require addressing the increases in the reactor fuel costs, as well as funding the effective maintenance of the facility to ensure that it operates at the highest levels of efficiency. Additionally, the budget shortfall in the resources for the collaboration with NSF and CHRNS could be problematic. The opportunities lie in increasing the scientific and industrial user base and in developing a broader strategic plan with NIST management that addresses long-term hiring plans, the current challenge of an aging workforce, and limited-term hires. Other opportunities would arise from enhancing collaborations with internal NIST users, as mentioned above.



The National Academies | 500 Fifth St. N.W. | Washington, D.C. 20001
Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved.
Terms of Use and Privacy Statement



Below are the first 10 and last 10 pages of uncorrected machine-read text (when available) of this chapter, followed by the top 30 algorithmically extracted key phrases from the chapter as a whole.
Intended to provide our own search engines and external engines with highly rich, chapter-representative searchable text on the opening pages of each chapter. Because it is UNCORRECTED material, please consider the following text as a useful but insufficient proxy for the authoritative book pages.

Do not use for reproduction, copying, pasting, or reading; exclusively for search engines.

OCR for page 18
6 Challenges and Opportunities The major challenges facing NCNR are associated with constraints based on shrinking budgets, a growing user base, growing competition, and factors relating to maintaining a dynamic workforce. At the same time, there exist opportunities to increase the size and disciplinary diversity of the user base, particularly by increasing the number of industry users, and thereby have a notable impact on industry and manufacturing. An additional challenge is associated with the projected long-term shortage of 4He. Addressing this challenge needs to be accomplished through understanding how to effectively exploit the strengths of the new organizational structure. Concern was also expressed regarding the eventual change from the high-enriched uranium (HEU) reactor fuel to LEU with potential negative impact on costs, fuel availability, and reactor performance. The NCNR is rightly tracking developments closely and developing appropriate contingency scenarios. The budget constraints also require addressing the increases in the reactor fuel costs, as well as funding the effective maintenance of the facility to ensure that it operates at the highest levels of efficiency. Additionally, the budget shortfall in the resources for the collaboration with NSF and CHRNS could be problematic. The opportunities lie in increasing the scientific and industrial user base and in developing a broader strategic plan with NIST management that addresses long-term hiring plans, the current challenge of an aging workforce, and limited-term hires. Other opportunities would arise from enhancing collaborations with internal NIST users, as mentioned above. 18