NERC - Radiochemist

Date: Sep 14, 2023

Location: Oak Ridge, TN, US, 37830

Company: Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Requisition Id 11627 



We are seeking an experienced radiochemist to develop and analyze radiological constituents for bulk, nuclear, environmental matrices, safeguards, nonproliferation, and other process applications.  This position will support a variety of ORNL projects and programs including its environmental stewardship programs, research for the nuclear fuel cycles, and chemical operations associated with the production and purification of radioisotopes.  In addition, a candidate will lead projects to develop instrument and measurement methodologies to address risks and deficiencies. This position resides in the Chemical and Isotopics Mass Spectrometry (CIMS) Group in the Nuclear Analytical Chemistry (NAC) Section, Chemicals Sciences Division (CSD), Physical Sciences Directorate (PSD) at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL).  


As part of our research team, you will be responsible for the elevation and strengthening of the radiological programs and capabilities on the actinide’s series of elements. In this role you will work closely with the Group Leader to identify project needs and to seek out new opportunities, lead the writing of documents, and the development of radiochemistry protocols leading to the enhancement and growth of the group’s capabilities. Your work will contribute to advanced nuclear material characterizations used for critical evaluations of nuclear material protection and mitigation of proliferation risks.


The (CIMS) group has extensive history in the analysis of actinide materials dating back to the early 1960s. The team is located in the Ultra Trace Forensic Science Center which houses a suite of modern laboratories and advance instrumentation. The facility contains over 10000 square feet of cleanroom space for clean separations and sample preparation. In addition, there are higher level laboratories and glove boxes across campus for various applications. The separation laboratories feature unique automated separation systems, and sample handling infrastructure.


Major Duties/Responsibilities: 

  • Lead new projects and services to improve complex, diverse, and impactful applications.
  • Lead the development to advance CIMS radioanalytical capabilities.
  • Lead CIMS radioanalytical projects.
  • Collaborate with other staff to address novel and complex technical issue. 
  • Perform and guide preparations radiochemical determinations of materials.
  • Independently operate radioanalytical suite of instruments.
  • Independently perform laboratory tests as needed to assist in developing, modifying, and refining operational and/or experimental procedures.
  • Independently perform detailed analytical operations with radiological C-zoned laboratories, hoods and gloveboxes.
  • Obtain and maintain all ORNL training requirements for a radiation worker performing analytical work in radiological facilities to include being qualified as a respirator wearer.
  • Lead and participate in planning workflow for the laboratory, including establishing priorities within and between projects, and determining the best direction of the laboratory efforts for various experiments, tests, and analysis.
  • Utilize Windows based personal computers, instrumentation operation, data reporting, analytical calculations, and sample management.
  • Ensure compliance with environment, safety, health, quality program.


Basic Qualifications:

  • B.S. degree in Chemistry, Biology, Physics or related discipline and 8 years of radioanalytical experience; a M.S. degree and 7 years; or a Ph.D. and 4 years


Preferred Qualifications:

  • Expertise in knowledge, use, and troubleshooting of high-purity germanium gamma detectors and associated software. Knowledge of Canberra’s Apex Gamma and Genie 2000 software is preferred.
  • Expertise in knowledge, use, and troubleshooting of low background proportional counters (both gas-flow and solid-state) and associated software. Knowledge of Canberra’s Apex Alpha/Beta software is preferred.
  • Expertise in knowledge, use, and troubleshooting of liquid scintillation detectors and associated software. Knowledge of Perkin Elmer’s Quantasmart software is preferred.
  • Expertise in knowledge, use, and troubleshooting of alpha spectrometry detectors and associated software. Knowledge of ORTECS’s AlphaVision software is preferred.
  • Proficiency in elemental ICPMS quadrupole maintenance, setup, and operations. Knowledgeable in fully-quantitative, semi-quantitative, and high precision isotope ratio measurements for quantification of radiological isotopes in highly radioactive sample streams.
  • Demonstrated knowledge and experience with modern sample preparation methods used in isotopic and elemental characterizations with emphases on nuclear materials and experience in the chemistry and separations of lanthanide and actinides.
  • Demonstrated knowledge and experience working in C-zone laboratories and use of glove boxes and radiochemical hood enclosures as well as experience in the safety practices associated with handling radioactive materials.
  • Strong interpersonal skills and working effectively as a team member.
  • Ability to respond quickly to diverse and shifting demands with sudden deadlines on tight schedules.
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills and the ability to communicate in English.
  • Motivated and safety conscious.


Special Requirements:

  • Work involves various physical requirements and working conditions. As such, a pre-hire physical will be required after offer.
  • This position requires the ability to obtain and maintain an HSPD-12 PIV badge. 


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