The U.S. Department of Labor awarded a $2.3 million grant to the University of Missouri-Columbia (MU) in 2006 in response to the need for well-trained Radiation Protection Technicians (RPTs). The RPT curriculum initiative resulted from significant collaborations facilitated by MU with community colleges, nuclear power plants, professional organizations, and other nuclear industry stakeholders. The objective of the DOL project is to help increase the pool of well-qualified RPTs to enter the nuclear workforce. Our work is designed to address the nuclear industry’s well-documented, increasingly significant need for RPTs. In response to this need, MU and AmerenUE’s Callaway Nuclear Power Plant first partnered with Linn State Technical College’s Advanced Technology Center (LSTC/ATC) to initiate a two-year RPT degree program. The success of this program (enrollments have been increasing over the past four years to a Fall 2007 enrollment of 23) enabled the successful proposal to the DOL to expand this program nationwide. DOL participants include the following partners: Linn State Technical College with AmerenUE – Callaway; Central Virginia Community College with AREVA; Estrella Mountain Community College with Arizona Public Service – Palo Verde; MiraCosta Community College with Southern California Edison – San Onofre; and Hill College with Texas Utilities – Comanche Peak. The new DOL grant has allowed redevelopment of the LSTC/ATC curriculum using a web-based, scenario driven format, benchmarked against industry training standards. This curriculum will be disseminated to all partners. Integral in this curriculum is a paid, three to four month internship at a nuclear facility. Two of the six new RPT courses have been developed as of the end of 2007. Four of five partner schools are accepting students into this new program starting in the winter 2008 term. We expect that these institutions will graduate 100 new RPTs per year to help alleviate the personnel shortage in this critical area of need.

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