Consolidation of Health Physics Computer Codes: Sustainable Gains in Efficiency, Innovation, and Collaboration

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Abstract

A decade ago, the nuclear power industry in the United States was on the verge of a nuclear renaissance with the potential to create jobs, funding streams, and great demand for radiation protection personnel. However, based on the high capital investment cost of building and licensing nuclear reactors and declining fossil fuel prices, the renaissance did not reach its full potential. Radiation protection initiatives were developed to bring attention to the profession in order to increase funding for the health physics community during these times of declining resources. It is now essential that the community be innovative in how it uses existing funds and acquires resources. This paper describes a radiation protection computer code program that uses existing resources and international funding to sustain computer codes and tools used in the health physics profession. The program is called the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s Radiation Protection Computer Code Analysis and Maintenance Program or RAMP. This collaborative, innovative, and transformative model can be followed by others seeking to alleviate the resource issues that exist within the health physics field.

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