Nuclear Materials Characterization Analyst

Date: May 8, 2023

Location: Oak Ridge, TN, US, 37830

Company: Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Requisition Id 9841 


Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) is a seeking nuclear material characterization analyst for our world class radioisotope production program. 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.


This position resides in the Process Coordination Group (PCG) within the Radioisotope Science and Technology Division (RSTD) of the Isotope Science and Engineering Directorate (ISED) at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL). 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 PCG resides in the REDC, a category two nuclear facility, and is performed within heavily shielded processing hot cells..


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.
  • 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 surveilances, assessments, and audits
  • As a member of the ORNL scientific community, you will be expected to commit to ORNL's Research Code of Conduct. Our full code of conduct, and a statement by the Lab Director's office can be found here:


Basic Qualifications:

  • A Bachelor’s degree in chemistry, nuclear engineering, health physics or related scientific field.
  • A minimum of 4 years of related experience
  • Work towards a relevant advanced degree may be applied towards up to 2 year of experience.
  • Proven communication skills, including technical writing
  • Experience in maintaining high levels of process documentation for safety, security, and/or quality 


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. 


Preferred Qualifications:

  • Knowledge of applying NDA techniques to waste containers
  • Experience interpreting radiation signatures for materials characterization
  • Experience working with or around nuclear materials
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills
  • 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

Special Requirements:

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


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.

Benefits at ORNL:
UT-Battelle offers a quality benefits package, including a matching 401(k), contributory pension plan, paid vacation, and medical/dental plan options.  Onsite amenities include a credit union, medical clinic, cafeteria, and fitness facilities.

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.

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.

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