The U.S. faces a growing demand for scientists trained and educated in radiochemistry, the chemical study of radioactive elements. With that in mind, the Energy Department's offices of Nuclear Energy (NE) and Environmental Management (EM) are co-funding a new traineeship program in radiochemistry at Washington State University (WSU) in Pullman. The five-year cooperative agreement will train graduate students in disciplines aligned with the Department's science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) workforce needs in radiochemistry.
Much of radiochemistry deals with the use of radioactivity to study ordinary chemical reactions. The Department has mission-critical workforce needs in the area of radiochemistry in NE and EM, and will need radiochemistry expertise for decades to come to support the nation’s energy and security interests. Traineeship programs like this also will help the U.S. maintain global leadership in the next generation of safe nuclear energy.
WSU was chosen following a rigorous, competitive process. This award, valued at up to $3 million, will support training for the next generation of STEM professionals who will accomplish complex scientific and technical work at the lead university, collaborating national laboratories and other universities.
Once established, the WSU Radiochemistry Traineeship will significantly advance the Department's program objectives by employing its well-established Radiochemistry Institute for graduate students as well as an established radiochemistry program. In addition to its own personnel, WSU is partnering with the Colorado School of Mines and three national laboratories — the Idaho, Pacific Northwest, and Lawrence Livermore national laboratories.