Nuclear Engineer, Irradiated Fuel Testing

Date: Sep 9, 2023

Location: Oak Ridge, TN, US, 37830

Company: Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Requisition Id 11136 


The Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) Particle Fuel Forms (PFF) Group in the Nuclear Fuel Development (NFD) Section within the Nuclear Energy and Fuel Cycle Division is looking for a technical professional to support post-irradiation examination (PIE) activities focused on furnace testing of irradiated fuels. The PFF group is a leader in tristructural-isotropic (TRISO) coated particle fuel research and development, as well as other related coated particle designs. Coated particle fuel technology is being developed in support of emerging technologies, such as high-temperature gas-cooled reactors, microreactors, and space nuclear applications. The position is a unique role where the selected staff would interface directly with hot cell operations in the ORNL Irradiated Fuels Examination Laboratory and be responsible for work performed in the Core Conduction Cooldown Test Facility (CCCTF), Furnace for Irradiated TRISO Testing (FITT)and analysis of the samples associated. The CCCTF system is a high temperature furnace  focused on analysis of fission product transport in irradiated TRISO-fueled compacts under transient conditions at high temperature. The system involves the operation of a furnace, gas handing, and gamma spectroscopy of samples produced. The role is diverse and expected to support sample preparation, data collection, data analysis, communication of scientific results, and general R&D system development and troubleshooting.


This position would directly support the Department of Energy Office of Nuclear Energy’s Advanced Gas Reactor Fuel Development and Qualification (AGR) Program’s PIE activities at ORNL, which include analysis of radionuclide retention after irradiation and high-temperature testing, inspection of irradiated particle microstructure, and evaluation of overall TRISO particle fuel performance. The selected individual will be encouraged to engage with research staff within the PFF group, NFD section, and supporting ORNL organizations to foster a vibrant research atmosphere focused on successful mission execution and continued growth of capabilities and expertise for leading-edge nuclear fuels research.


Major Duties/Responsibilities: 

  • Responsible for operation and activities in the Core Conduction Cooldown Test Facility (CCCTF) cell and the Furnace for Irradiated TRISO Testing (FITT).
  • Support general post-irradiation examination and gamma spectroscopy of irradiated fuel.
  • Support reporting requirements to communicate research outcomes.


Basic Qualifications:

  • A B.S. or M.S. in one of the Physical Sciences, Nuclear Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, or a related discipline
  • A minimum of 3 years of hands-on experience in a laboratory environment


Preferred Qualifications:

  • Experience with nuclear materials and hot cell operations
  • Experience working with radioactive materials
  • Experience with high temperature systems
  • Experience with gamma detectors and data analysis
  • Experience with materialographic sample preparation and optical microscopy
  • Experience with CAD design
  • Demonstrated excellence in written and oral communications
  • Evidence of success in independently driven outcomes and through contributions to collaborative teams
  • Demonstrated ability to function well in a fast-paced research environment, set priorities to accomplish multiple tasks within deadlines, and adapt to ever changing needs


Special Requirements:

Ability to obtain and hold a Q clearance




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.

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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