Nuclear Analytical Chemist - Technical Associate

Date: Sep 14, 2023

Location: Oak Ridge, TN, US, 37830

Company: Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Requisition Id 11414 



Oak Ridge National Laboratory's Chemical and Isotopics Mass Spectrometry (CIMS) Group seeks a nuclear analytical chemist/radiochemist to focus on the development of ultra-trace clean chemistry protocols for the characterization of nuclear signatures and attributes in nuclear and environmental matrices. This work will contribute toward research developing prototypes, innovative devices, and analytical methodologies to advance nuclear material safeguard protocols and nonproliferation deficiencies. The position resides in the Nuclear Analytical Chemistry (NAC) Section, Chemicals Sciences Division (CSD), Physical Sciences Directorate (PSD) at ORNL.


As part of our research team, you will perform detailed sample preparations involving digestions using hot plates/microwaves, radiochemical separations and measurement protocols, and chemical conversion of materials. Additionally, you'll support the development of novel separation and measurement protocols for complex nuclear matrices. Your work will support advanced material characterizations performed mainly using high precision elemental measurement methodologies.


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


Major Duties/Responsibilities:

  • Work independently in performing established laboratory procedures for sample dissolutions, dilutions, and separations

  • Perform laboratory tests as needed to assist in developing, modifying, and refining operational and/or experimental procedures

  • Collaborate on the development of new analytical methodologies

  • Participate in planning workflow for the laboratory, including prioritizing within and between projects, and determining the best direction of the laboratory efforts for various experiments, tests, and analysis

  • Document laboratory activities in appropriate notebooks, Windows- based electronic spreadsheets, and/or word processing files. Maintain QA/QC control charts; prepare standards to assess QC performance

  • Help develop and present laboratory results for program reviews

  • Obtain and maintain all ORNL training requirements for a radiation worker performing analytical work in designated radiological facilities

  • Perform all duties while adhering to applicable radiological guidelines and procedures for conducting work within smear clean and C-zone laboratories.

  • Ensure compliance with environment, safety, health and quality program requirements.

  • Deliver ORNL’s mission by aligning behaviors, priorities, and interactions with our core values of Impact, Integrity, Teamwork, Safety, and Service. Promote diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility by encouraging a respectful workplace – in how we treat one another, work together, and measure success


Basic Qualifications:

  • A B.S. degree in Chemistry, Geochemistry, Radiochemistry, Cosmochemistry, Oceanography, Biochemistry, Volcanology or a related field (basic or applied sciences) with 5 years of analytical laboratory experience; a M.S. degree in the same areas with 4 years of experience; or a Ph.D. in the same areas with less experience


Preferred Qualifications:

  • Proven knowledge and experience in chemical separations of trace level lanthanides and actinides using ion exchange and solid phase extraction chemistries

  • Experience with modern sample preparation methods used in isotopic and elemental characterizations with emphases on nuclear materials

  • Knowledgeable of the common analytical instrumentation used to analyze samples, including elemental mass spectrometry, and alpha and gamma spectrometry radioanalytical techniques

  • Demonstrated knowledge and experience in safety practices associated with handling radioactive materials

  • Excellent interpersonal, oral, and written communication skills

  • Ability to respond quickly to diverse and shifting demands with sudden deadlines on tight schedules.

  • Motivated self-starter with the ability to work independently and to participate creatively in collaborative teams across the laboratory


Special Requirements:

  • Two letters of reference are required and can be uploaded to your profile or emailed directly to Please include the title of the position in the subject line.

  • Visa sponsorship is not available for this position.

  • This position requires the ability to obtain and maintain an HSPD-12 PIV badge.

  • 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.


Benefits at ORNL:

ORNL offers competitive pay and benefits programs to attract and retain hard-working people. The laboratory offers many employee benefits, including medical and retirement plans and flexible work hours, to help you and your family live happy and healthy. Employee amenities such as on-site fitness, banking, and cafeteria facilities are also provided for convenience.


Other benefits include: Prescription Drug Plan, Dental Plan, Vision Plan, 401(k) Retirement Plan, Contributory Pension Plan, Life Insurance, Pet Insurance, Disability Benefits, Generous Vacation and Holidays, Parental Leave, Legal Insurance with Identity Theft Protection, Employee Assistance Plan, Flexible Spending Accounts, Health Savings Accounts, Wellness Programs, Educational Assistance, Relocation Assistance, and Employee Discounts.




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.

If you have trouble applying for a position, please email

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