Developing A Radiation Protection Hub

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Abstract

The Where are the Radiation Professionals (WARP)? statement issued by the National Council on Radiation Protection and Measurements estimates that in 10 y, there will be a human capital crisis across the radiation safety community. The ability to respond to this shortage will be amplified by the fact that many radiation protection (health physics) academic programs will find it difficult to justify their continued existence since they are low-volume programs, both in terms of enrollment and research funding, compared to the research funding return and visibility of more highly subscribed and highly funded academic disciplines. In addition, across the national laboratory complex, radiation protection research groups have been disbanded or dramatically reduced in size. The loss of both of these national resources is being accelerated by low and uncertain government funding priorities. The most effective solution to this problem would be to form a consortium that would bring together the radiation protection research, academic, and training communities. The goal of such a consortium would be to engage in research, education, and training of the next generation of radiation protection professionals. Furthermore, the consortium could bring together the strengths of different universities, national laboratory programs, and other entities in a strategic manner to accomplish a multifaceted research, educational, and training agenda. This vision would forge a working and funded relationship between major research universities, national laboratories, 4-y degree institutions, technical colleges, and other partners.

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