High quality nuclear data provides tremendous benefit to society by improving national security, helping in the design of advanced, safe nuclear power and through the production of radionuclides for the treatment and diagnosis of illness. However, the role of nuclear data in these pursuits is often “hidden” inside of topic-specific modeling. As a US Nuclear Data Program center located at a world-class University and nuclear engineering department, the lab that gave birth to the nuclear age and next to a premier national security lab (LLNL) the BAND Group is well-poised to bring together the users and providers of nuclear data to develop a national plan to address cross-cutting nuclear data needs.
The principal tool that BAND has used to do this is a series of national workshops that started with the Nuclear Data Needs and Capabilities for Applications (NDNCA) workshop in 2015 and continuing with the Nuclear Data Roadmap Enhancement Workshop in 2018 and the 2019 and 2020 Workshops for Applied Nuclear Data. These workshops have brought together hundreds of national laboratory scientists, academics and industrial partners and produced “whitepapers” that document nuclear data needs.
Unfortunately, the field of nuclear data is filled with a dizzying array of databases and terms that make it opaque to the outside world. In 2019 the BAND group produced an article for the Annual Review of Nuclear and Particle Physics titled “Our Future Nuclear Data Needs” that serves as an introduction to the world of nuclear data and describes some of the most important applications of nuclear data.