** Double whammy blow to US nuclear science **
RSC Chemistry World - 08 March 2012
Nuclear science in the US has been dealt a double blow with the announcement of huge budget cuts at the Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) coming hard on the heels of the mothballing of a multi-billion dollar research facility at the lab. Actinide scientists in the US and abroad are dismayed by the news and warn that nuclear safety and technological advances could be compromised in the long run....
...Actinide scientists elsewhere are unhappy with the developments. 'Development of a highly trained workforce in actinide chemistry is expensive and time-consuming. Yet, such people are extremely important in a wide range of issues important to humanity, including development of an advanced nuclear energy system, proper handling and disposal of high level nuclear waste, remediating environments contaminated by actinides, nuclear forensics for attribution purposes and maintenance of the nation's nuclear stockpile,' says Peter Burns of Notre Dame University in Illinois, US. 'This postponement will reduce the capacity to train a workforce, and will reduce the employment opportunities for such a workforce. Once a workforce of this sort has been diminished, it will be hard to rebuild.'
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