Despite the growing use of nuclear medicine, the potential expansion of nuclear power generation, and the urgent need to protect the nation against nuclear threats and manage nuclear wastes generated in past decades, the number of students opting to specialize in nuclear and radiochemistry has decreased dramatically over the past few decades.
Assuring a Future U.S. Based Nuclear and Radiochemistry Expertise, a new report from the National Research Council, concludes that now, with many experts in nuclear and radiochemistry approaching retirement age, action is needed to avoid a workforce gap in these critical areas. The report assesses current training programs in nuclear and radiochemistry , outlines research opportunities, and discusses additional efforts needed for assuring nuclear chemistry expertise in nuclear chemistry research, education, and industrial applications—for example by building student interest in these careers, expanding the educational capacity of universities and colleges, and providing more sector specific on-the-job training. Read or download the report from the National Academies Press. A 4-page summary of the report is available here.