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Assuring a Future U.S.-Based Nuclear and Radiochemistry Expertise (2012)

Chapter: Appendix A: Study Statement of Task

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Suggested Citation:"Appendix A: Study Statement of Task." National Research Council. 2012. Assuring a Future U.S.-Based Nuclear and Radiochemistry Expertise. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13308.
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A

Study Statement of Task

 

An ad hoc committee will examine supply and demand for nuclear chemistry expertise in the United States compared with the production of experts with these skills, and discuss possible approaches for ensuring adequate availability of these skills, including necessary science and technology training platforms. It will:

•  Estimate the availability and need for experts with nuclear chemistry skills. Include:

image  The current and anticipated availability in 20 years of U.S. experts (both type and number) with nuclear, radio-, and radiation chemistry skills based on current education and training capabilities.

image  The type and number of experts needed in the next 20 years. Include skills necessary to support areas including education, basic science, weapons, non-proliferation, nuclear forensic, medical, and energy sector needs. Estimate the number of these experts who must be U.S. citizens.

•  Estimate the gap between availability and need, and discuss the impact of this gap on the relevant sectors.

•  Suggest approaches that could be implemented to assure the U.S. supply of experts is adequate for the next 20 years. In particular, discuss models for science and technology training that could provide the necessary cadre of researchers with the appropriate skill set. In doing so the study will:

image  Describe the current availability of U.S. training programs, and assess the capabilities of these programs.

image  Compare current U.S. programs with science and technology training programs in other countries.

Suggested Citation:"Appendix A: Study Statement of Task." National Research Council. 2012. Assuring a Future U.S.-Based Nuclear and Radiochemistry Expertise. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13308.
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image  Provide practical input to current programs and suggest new programs if necessary to meet the anticipated need. In particular, suggest models beyond the traditional apprenticeship model between university professor and graduate student

•  Provide others suggestions as applicable for addressing causes of the decline in capability and re-establishing the health and vitality of nuclear, radio-, and radiation chemistry within the United States.

Suggested Citation:"Appendix A: Study Statement of Task." National Research Council. 2012. Assuring a Future U.S.-Based Nuclear and Radiochemistry Expertise. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13308.
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Page 163
Suggested Citation:"Appendix A: Study Statement of Task." National Research Council. 2012. Assuring a Future U.S.-Based Nuclear and Radiochemistry Expertise. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/13308.
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Page 164
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The growing use of nuclear medicine, the potential expansion of nuclear power generation, and the urgent needs to protect the nation against external nuclear threats, to maintain our nuclear weapons stockpile, and to manage the nuclear wastes generated in past decades, require a substantial, highly trained, and exceptionally talented workforce. Assuring a Future U.S.-Based Nuclear and Radiochemistry Expertise examines supply and demand for expertise in nuclear chemistry nuclear science, and radiochemistry in the United States and presents possible approaches for ensuring adequate availability of these skills, including necessary science and technology training platforms.

Considering a range of reasonable scenarios looking to the future, none of these areas are likely to experience a decrease in demand for expertise. However, many in the current workforce are approaching retirement age and the number of students opting for careers in nuclear and radiochemistry has decreased dramatically over the past few decades. In order to avoid a gap in these critical areas, increases in student interest in these careers, in the research and educational capacity of universities and colleges, and sector specific on-the-job training will be needed. Concise recommendations are given for actions to avoid a shortage of nuclear chemistry, nuclear scientists, and radiochemists in the future.

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