Nuclear Material Characterization Analyst

Date: Jul 10, 2024

Location: Oak Ridge, TN, US, 37830

Company: Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Requisition Id 13169 


We are seeking a Nuclear Material Characterization Analyst for our world class radioisotope program who will focus on characterizing and managing nuclear material and detection systems. This position resides in the Project Integration and Material Accountability (PIMA) Group in the Radioisotope Science and Technology Division (RSTD), Isotope Science and Engineering Directorate (ISED), at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL).  


As part of our team, you will supporting the largest radioisotope production and research portfolio within the Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science for Isotope R&D and Production, as well as extensive isotope production programs for the DOE Office of Nuclear Energy and National Nuclear Safety Administration, this position will grant you the opportunity to work with rare nuclear materials and ensure the safe and effective execution of nuclear materials processing. The highly accomplished staff within the RSTD use the unique facilities at ORNL, including the High Flux Isotope

Reactor (HFIR) and the Radiochemical Engineering Development Center (REDC), to produce a variety of important medical, scientific, and industrial radioisotopes. These include several alpha emitting radioisotopes either deployed or under clinical trial for treatment of cancer (e.g., Ac-225, Ac-227); heavy actinides Bk-249, Es-254, and Fm-257 for fundamental chemistry research and new element discovery; Cf-252 for neutron emitting applications; and Pu-238 for space exploration. The bulk of the work carried out by the PIMA resides in the REDC, a category two nuclear facility with glovebox labs and heavily shielded processing hot cells.


As a U.S. DOE Office of Science national laboratory, ORNL has an extraordinary 80-year history of solving the nation’s biggest problems. With a dedicated and creative staff of over 6,200 people, ORNL’s decadal vision for diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility (DEIA) is to cultivate an environment and practices that foster diversity in ideas and in the people across the organization, as well as to ensure ORNL is recognized as a workplace of choice. These elements are critical for enabling the execution of ORNL’s broader mission to accelerate scientific discoveries and their translation into energy, environment, and security solutions for the nation.


Major Duties/Responsibilities: 

  • Participate in material characterization processes to ensure proper analysis and management.
  • Perform non-destructive analysis (NDA) of nuclear materials and interpret moderate to complex analytical or radioanalytical data to determine radioisotope types and activities in containers.
  • Prepare technical basis documents describing characterization methodologies and their use.
  • Lead and perform calculations, prepare specifications, perform analyses and testing of equipment, perform readiness assessments, issue reports, and maintain related data.
  • Provide imaginative solutions to a wide range of complex, ambiguous, and/or difficult problems related to characterization of waste materials.
  • Complete Current Good Manufacture Practice training
  • Serve as a Subject Matter Expert for the High Purity Germanium detectors throughout ISED.
  • Serve as an alternate material balance area representative to:
    • Ensure completeness of material characterization and quantification.
    • Plan and oversee material transfers and inventory changes.
    • Address atypical circumstances or materials.
    • Ensure compliance with physical security and material protection practices.
    • Maintain calibration of relevant equipment.
    • Perform NMC&A surveillances, assessments, and audits.
  • 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 fostering a respectful workplace – in how we treat one another, work together, and measure success.


Basic Qualifications:

  • A BS degree in chemistry, nuclear engineering, health physics or related scientific field.
  • A minimum of 2 years of relevant experience.
  • Experience in maintaining high levels of process documentation for safety, security, and/or quality.
  • Experience working with or around nuclear materials.
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills.


Preferred Qualifications:

  • High skill level in MDA and Genie software.
  • Experiences with ISOCS, HPGe and other gamma detector software.
  • Motivated self-starter with the ability to work independently and to participate creatively in collaborative teams across the laboratory.
  • Ability to function well in a fast-paced research environment, set priorities to accomplish multiple tasks within deadlines, and adapt to ever changing needs.


About the Isotope Science and Engineering Directorate (ISED): Established in 2020, the Isotope Science and Engineering Directorate is strengthening Oak Ridge National Laboratory's leadership in isotope production and enrichment technology innovation. ISED is guiding the Lab's pursuit of the fundamental science and technology that broadens the application of isotopes for energy, environmental, medical, and national security purposes. These efforts are made possible through the High Flux Isotope Reactor, the Radiochemical Engineering Development Center, ORNL's other nuclear facilities, and an assemblage of world-leading scientists and engineers. Please visit for more information about ISED.


Special Requirements:

Export control, clearance: Successful candidates must be eligible for a Q security clearance.


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.


Benefits at ORNL:  

ORNL offers competitive pay and benefits programs to attract and retain talented 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.



Moving can be overwhelming and expensive. UT-Battelle offers a generous relocation package to ease the transition process. Domestic and international relocation assistance is available for certain positions. If invited to interview, be sure to ask your Recruiter (Talent Acquisition Partner) for details. For more information about our benefits, working here, and living here, visit the “About” tab at




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.

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