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Development Of A Doctoral Radiochemistry Program At The University Of Texas At Austin

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2003 Annual Conference


Nashville, Tennessee

Publication Date

June 22, 2003

Start Date

June 22, 2003

End Date

June 25, 2003



Conference Session

Nuclear Waste and the Environment

Page Count


Page Numbers

8.412.1 - 8.412.7



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Paper Authors

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Lynn Katz

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Donna O'Kelly

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Sheldon Landsberger

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 2377

Development of a PhD Radiochemistry Program at the University of Texas at Austin

S. Landsberger, D. J. O’Kelly

Nuclear Engineering Teaching Lab Department of Mechanical Engineering University of Texas at Austin


L. Katz

Environmental Engineering Program Department of Civil Engineering College of Engineering University of Texas at Austin


The latter half of the 20th century witnessed an unprecedented amount of research and development in the use of radiochemistry in the United States spearheaded by cold war defense needs, the emergence of the new areas of nuclear medicine and its requirements for novel radioactive isotopes, and the 1954 Atoms for Peace initiated by former President Dwight Eisenhower. Equally important was the establishment of the International Atomic Energy Agency in 1956, which promoted worldwide usage of nuclear applications including various aspects of radiochemistry. In the US, radiochemistry programs traditionally resided in chemistry departments, although many geochemists judiciously employed these techniques in their research areas. In the 1960’s and 70’s, the Department of Energy actively supported many university programs involving radiochemistry research and the Atomic Energy Commission gave out many fellowships in the nuclear chemistry. Training of radiochemists at the graduate level was easily achievable through the existence of funded research programs at various US universities. However, by the mid 1970’s with fewer opportunities for funded research and the appearance non-destructive techniques that did not require sophisticated radiochemistry techniques, many chemistry departments began to down-size or eliminate graduate research in radiochemistry. At first, the reduction in trained radiochemists to meet DOE and general nuclear medicine needs did not appear alarming. By the early 1990’s with the retirement of many traditional radiochemists at the national laboratories and universities, the national critical needs in a variety of radiochemistry areas were not, and still are not effectively being met. This effect was compounded by fewer opportunities from the National Science Foundation except in a very few “Proceedings of the 2003 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2003, American Society for Engineering Education”

Katz, L., & O'Kelly, D., & Landsberger, S. (2003, June), Development Of A Doctoral Radiochemistry Program At The University Of Texas At Austin Paper presented at 2003 Annual Conference, Nashville, Tennessee. 10.18260/1-2--11579

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