Collaborative Interactions between National Laboratories and Academia: Is this an Essential Educational Component for Success in Meeting the Future Needs of the Nuclear Industry and DOE Nuclear Research?

Donald T. Reed

Los Alamos National Laboratory, Carlsbad Environmental and Monitoring Research Center, Carlsbad, NM 88220

Much attention has been given in recent years that center on the justified concern that we are fast running out of time to develop the needed expertise and work force to support the many anticipated research and development needs in the nuclear field. The relative roles of the national laboratories and academia continue to be the subject of much debate. We have seen the creation of the Nuclear Energy Research Initiative, the specific funding of universities to develop actinide/nuclear research programs and emergence of institutes at national laboratories that focus on the development of younger scientists in this field. All of these have made positive and significant impacts that move us closer towards realizing the overall educational goals.

With these successes, however, it is the view of the author that true collaborations and collaborative efforts between universities and national labs provide the greatest potential contribution towards realizing the educational goals in the nuclear field. This combines the extensive resources and expertise found in the national lab system with the many strengths inherent in true academic research/process. There are many of examples of successes in this area. The continuation of these successful arrangements and the active development of more joint efforts are needed to provide the best environment to achieve the educational goals of the nuclear community.