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The scientific worker beginning the application of isotopes in his laboratory is, of course, concerned with the problems of obtaining isotopes and setting up facilities acceptable for the isotope project. There is in addition the basic problem of becoming acquainted with the general techniques which may be used in this field. The experience necessary in this regard will, of necessity, include some education in nuclear physics, nuclear chemistry, health physics, and laboratory management. A large number of isotope users have acquired this training over a considerable period of time through on-the-job experiences. This method is often not available, and the psychological restraint of a new and mysterious field leads to at least occasional inefficiency. In recognition of the need for some formal program of training in the use of radioisotopes, the Institute of Nuclear Studies in Oak Ridge, under a contract from the Atomic Energy Commission, has established a “Radioisotope School.” The Special Training Division of the Institute began a series of “Basic Radioisotope Techniques” courses in the summer of 1948, and under its chairman, Ralph T. Overman, has offered 33 such courses since that time. There are other training programs in the country, both at various universities and colleges and at special training centers. The course offered by the Institute of Nuclear Studies is, however, to the best of the author's knowledge, unique in the field. This paper is confined to the Institute's course, primarily because the author's knowledge of other programs is limited.
Smith, Donald R.
Senior Scientist, Oak Ridge Institute of Nuclear Studies, Oak Ridge, Tenn.