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Project Title:

Assuring a Future US-based Nuclear Chemistry Expertise
PIN: DELS-BCST-09-06        

Major Unit:

Division on Earth and Life Studies
Policy and Global Affairs

Sub Unit: Nuclear and Radiation Studies Board
Board on Higher Education & Workforce
Board on Chemical Sciences and Technology

RSO: Masciangioli, Tina

Subject/Focus Area: Energy and Energy Conservation; Health and Medicine; Math, Chemistry and Physics; National Security and Defense

Project Scope
Assuring a Future US-based Nuclear Chemistry Expertise

Statement of Task

An ad hoc committee will examine supply and demand for nuclear chemistry expertise in the US 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:
o The current and anticipated availability in 20 years of US experts (both type and number) with nuclear, radio, and radiation chemistry skills based on current education and training capabilities
o 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 US citizens.
• Estimate the gap between estimated availability and need, and discuss the impact of this gap on the relevant sectors.
• Suggest approaches that could be implemented to assure the US 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:
o Describe the current availability of US training programs, and assess the capabilities of these programs.
o Compare current US programs with science and technology training programs in other countries
o 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 US.

Project Funded by: Department of Energy, Office of Science (Basic Energy Sciences and Nuclear Physics), Office of Nuclear Energy, and National Nuclear Security Administration; Department of Homeland Security; and the National Science Foundation.

The approximate start date for the project is September 16, 2010.

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Project Duration: 18 months    

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Committee Membership
Committee Membership

 Meeting 1 - 02/14/2011
 Meeting 2 - 03/16/2011
 Meeting 3 - 05/09/2011
 Meeting 4 - 07/27/2011
 Meeting 5 - 11/01/2011


Reports having no URL can be seen
at the Public Access Records Office
Assuring a Future US-based Nuclear and Radio Chemistry Expertise