Nuclear and Radiation Studies: Expert Reports

The division produces 60-70 reports per year. These reports are unique, authoritative expert evaluations. Each report is produced by a committee of experts selected by the Academy to address a particular statement of task and is subject to a rigorous, independent peer review. The experts who volunteer their time participating on study committees are vetted to make sure that the committee has the range of expertise needed to address the task, that they have a balance of perspectives, and to identify and eliminate members with conflicts of interest. All reports undergo a rigorous, independent peer review to assure that the statement of task has been addressed, that conclusions are adequately supported, and that all important issues raised by the reviewers are addressed. Thus, while the reports represent views of the committee, they also are endorsed by the Academy.

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Analysis of Cancer Risks in Populations Near Nuclear Facilities: Phase 2 Pilot Planning (2015)

This brief report provides an expert committee's advice to the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) about general methodological considerations for carrying out a pilot study of cancer risks near seven nuclear facilities in the United States. The pilot study, which was a recommendation of a previous NAS report, aims to evaluate the technical feasibility of implementing two study designs described in that same report for carrying out a nationwid... More >>

Best Practices for Risk-Informed Decision Making Regarding Contaminated Sites: Summary of a Workshop Series (2014)

During the Second World War and the ensuing Cold War, the United States created a massive industrial complex to produce nuclear materials and weapons for national defense. The activities also produced large quantities of radioactive and hazardous wastes that resulted in widespread groundwater and soil contamination. In 1989, the Office of Environmental Management (EM) was created within the Department of Energy, with the mission of the saf... More >>

Performance Metrics for the Global Nuclear Detection Architecture (2013)

This report provides advice on how to better evaluate the performance and effectiveness of the Global Nuclear Detection Architecture, a worldwide network of sensors, telecommunications and personnel that serves to deter and detect attempts to unlawfully transport radiological or nuclear material. The Domestic Nuclear Detection Office within the Department of Homeland Security, together with several federal partners, is responsible for reportin... More >>

Improving the Assessment of the Proliferation Risk of Nuclear Fuel Cycles (2013)

The material that sustains the nuclear reactions that produce energy can also be used to make nuclear weapons—and therefore, the development of nuclear energy is one of multiple pathways to proliferation for a non-nuclear weapon state. There is a tension between the development of future nuclear fuel cycles and managing the risk of proliferation as the number of existing and future nuclear energy systems expands throughout the world. As th... More >>

Assuring a Future U.S.-Based Nuclear and Radiochemistry Expertise (2012)

Q&A with the Committee Chair >> Despite the growing use of nuclear medicine, the potential expansion of nuclear power generation, and the urgent need to protect the nation against nuclear threats and manage nuclear wastes generated in past decades, the number of students opting to specialize in nuclear and radiochemistry has decreased significantly over the past few decades. Now, with many experts in these topics approaching retirement age... More >>

Report in Brief