The Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Domestic Nuclear Detection Office (DNDO) just completed a successful second year of its Nuclear Forensics Undergraduate Scholarship Program (NFUSP) — a program designed to attract top undergraduate students in physics, chemistry, and nuclear engineering and introduce them to nuclear forensics related research at national laboratories.
Sponsored through DNDO’s National Technical Nuclear Forensics Center, the NFUSP awarded scholarships to five students in 2012 from the University of Missouri, Columbia; Pennsylvania State University; Oregon State University; the University of Florida; and the University of South Carolina, Aiken. As part of the scholarship program, the students gained hands-on technical experience conducting research under the mentorship of senior scientists at five national laboratories – Los Alamos, Lawrence Livermore, Pacific Northwest, Savannah River, and Argonne.
In December 2012, the scholarship recipients presented the final results of their research efforts completed under the scholarship program to faculty advisors, laboratory mentors, and representatives from DNDO at the NFUSP Research Culmination Meeting at Los Alamos National Laboratory. Several of the laboratories are planning publication of the research performed by their respective scholars.
The NFUSP is part of the National Nuclear Forensics Expertise Development Program (NNFEDP), launched by DHS in 2008 and codified by the 2010 Nuclear Forensics and Attribution Act (Public Law 111-140).The NNFEDP is devoted to developing and maintaining a vibrant and enduring academic pathway from undergraduate to post-doctorate study in nuclear, geochemical, and science specialties directly related to nuclear forensics.