A new education program for the Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) Technician/Technologist workforce has been launched this year that will provide essential science, operations, and business education on all aspects of working in a nuclear facility. The Nuclear Enterprise Science & Technology (NEST) certificate program, completed in a minimum of one year (two semesters), is now offered through the University of New Mexico-Los Alamos (UNM-LA) in conjunction with LANL. This is a result of a successful collaboration between Operational Readiness Implementation (ORI-1), the Glenn T. Seaborg Institute, and the National Security Education Center (NSEC).
Built upon the foundation of New Employee Training (NET) Academy, the NEST Certificate is designed to provide students with additional education and experience for work in nuclear material handling facilities. NEST will address all aspects of working with plutonium (and other related special nuclear materials) for the next generation of technicians, operators, scientists and engineers to establish an effective and safe operating culture. The content will address specialized operational and technological aspects relevant to the actinide science mission that includes:
- Physical design and operating requirements for working with special nuclear materials (SNM) in nuclear facilities.
- Specialized process equipment and unit operations used to produce plutonium-based products.
- Fundamentals of plutonium science, technology, and engineering that support national defense, energy and global security missions.
- Science underpinning and technical basis for safe handling, packaging, storage, material measurement, control and accountability, and disposal of radioactive materials.
- Biological effects from exposure to nuclear materials, and monitoring programs for plutonium handlers.
- Legal and administrative requirements that are captured in the Safety Basis for the facilities and process unit operations.
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