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Hot-cell Process Engineer

Date: Mar 21, 2023

Location: Oak Ridge, TN, US, 37830

Company: Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Requisition Id 10172 


Oak Ridge National Laboratory is the largest US Department of Energy science and energy laboratory, conducting basic and applied research to deliver transformative solutions to compelling problems in energy and security.


The ORNL Nuclear Fuel Element Performance Group is looking for a highly-motivated individual to join their research team working on development and qualification of nuclear fuels. This position will maintain and develop equipment for performing examinations on irradiated nuclear fuel and materials. The position uniquely combines mechanical and electrical design skills to ensure equipment installations with remote handling efficiency, radiation shielding of internal components and quality assurance in materials testing through system controls, calibration, and documentation in a challenging remote environment of nuclear hot-cells. The successful candidate will perform in-cell testing of nuclear fuels and materials and prepare test samples for further characterization. 


Major Duties/Responsibilities: 

  • Perform experimental work in hot-cells and radiological materials laboratories centered on fuel performance characterization of fresh and irradiated nuclear fuel.
  • Apply a depth and breadth of technical knowledge and experience to design, build and test new capabilities in a radiological hot-cell environment
  • Interface with various disciplines to design, fabricate and test new characterization equipment including performing final assembly and writing test documentation
  • Develop detailed plans and schedules to maintain existing testing equipment in the hot cell
  • Independently perform or supervise with technicians numerous tests such as: sectioning of nuclear fuel, re-fabrication of fuel, metrology, create custom tools for novel exams, metallography, collection of fission gas release data, gamma analysis, optical microscopy, furnace testing, acid dissolution/leaching, and in-cell welding,
  • Acquire and process complex data
  • Contribute to publications and conference presentations in the field of nuclear fuel materials
  • Perform work according to specific rules and requirements for quality assurance, nuclear material control, radiological work, and general laboratory safety


Basic Qualifications:

  • A BS in Mechanical Engineering, Nuclear Engineering, Materials Science, or a related field.
  • 2 years of experience required
  • This position requires access to technology that is subject to export control requirements. Successful candidates must be qualified for such access without an export control license.


Preferred Qualifications:

  • Experience performing research at a United States Department of Energy national laboratory nuclear or radiological facility.
  • Experience working with radiological materials.
  • Demonstrated ability and aptitude for careful and meticulous manual work requiring above average dexterity, experience with working with radiological equipment or in a radiological facility,
  • Experience with R&D capability development, mechanical design, fabrication, and solution implementation
  • Must have excellent English language oral and written communication skills to support regular interactions with fellow technical and research staff and help prepare internal reports and external publications.
  • Strong background in nuclear materials science with a focus on nuclear fuel materials and performance as evidenced by prior work and publications


Special Requirements:

Q or L clearance: This position requires the ability to obtain and maintain a clearance from the Department of Energy. As such, this position is a Workplace Substance Abuse (WSAP) testing designated position. WSAP positions require passing a pre-placement drug test and participation in an ongoing random drug testing program.


This position will remain open for a minimum of 5 days after which it will close when a qualified candidate is identified and/or hired.

We accept Word (.doc, .docx), Adobe (unsecured .pdf), Rich Text Format (.rtf), and HTML (.htm, .html) up to 5MB in size. Resumes from third party vendors will not be accepted; these resumes will be deleted and the candidates submitted will not be considered for employment.

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ORNL is an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants, including individuals with disabilities and protected veterans, are encouraged to apply.  UT-Battelle is an E-Verify employer.

Nearest Major Market: Knoxville