Keywords: nuclear energy, manpower, nuclear knowledge preservation, nuclear engineering, health physics, university nuclear programmes, university enrolment, nuclear education
Feeding the nuclear pipeline: enabling a global nuclear future
Nuclear energy, which exhibits a unique combination of environmental and sustainable attributes, appears strongly positioned to play a much larger and more pivotal role in the mix of future global energy supplies than it has played in the past. Unfortunately, enrolment patterns in nuclear engineering programmes have seriously eroded over the past decade – causing alarmingly low enrolment levels in many countries by the turn of the century and a sobering concern that the nuclear manpower pipeline cannot keep up with the emerging needs of the nuclear industry. On the positive side, enrolment patterns within the United States are now generally on the rise, at least at the undergraduate level. A few of the particularly successful efforts initiated by various sectors of the U.S. nuclear infrastructure to stimulate this rebound are shared in this paper with the hope that some of them might be beneficially employed in other global settings.