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Postdoctoral Research Associate- Nonproliferation Nuclear Engineer

Date: Jan 17, 2023

Location: Oak Ridge, TN, US, 37830

Company: Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Requisition Id 9724 


The Nuclear Nonproliferation Division (NND) is a division operating within the National Security Sciences Directorate NSSD) at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL). The NND performs research and development to detect, characterize, and monitor nuclear fuel cycle activities and nuclear explosions; develops concepts, approaches, and technologies to strengthen global security for nuclear and radiological material; and engages with federal agencies to enhance international nonproliferation regimes.


The Material Security and Counterproliferation (MSC) group within the NND at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) seeks applications for a Postdoc Nuclear Engineer. MSC group conducts R&D in nuclear nonproliferation and performs analysis and methods development in areas such as reactor core physics, nuclear fuel cycle assessments, radionuclide inventories, and source terms. The MSC group also collaborates closely with other NND groups in areas such as safeguards, criticality safety, material and fuel irradiation, and the use of SCALE and other code systems. The major customers of the work performed in this group are the National Nuclear Security Administration, the Department of Energy, the Department of Defense, and other government agencies. The function of this position is to perform nuclear reactor analysis for nonproliferation missions, reactor core depletion analysis, characterization of reactor inventories, and participation in the development of nuclear analysis methods.


ORNL is one of the pre-eminent multidisciplinary research facilities in the Nation, located about 40 miles northwest of Knoxville, TN. ORNL is a U.S. DOE laboratory and is managed by UT-Battelle, LLC. ORNL is an equal opportunity employer, and we value diversity in our workforce.


Job Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Performs research and development in the areas of nuclear reactor analysis, including some or all of the following: cross section preparation, steady-state core analysis, reactor kinetics, fuel cycle analysis and evaluations, research reactor design and analysis, characterization of isotopic content of nuclear materials, and radiation sources in reactors systems and spent fuel.
  • Modeling conceptual advanced reactors and their subsystems.
  • Address applications in nuclear forensics utilizing mathematical inverse problem formulations.
  • Maintain and develop the codes used for this evaluation and test performance on different operating systems.
  • Perform the validation analyses using numerically generated data and actual measurements of spent nuclear fuel composition.
  • Collaborate across divisions and directorates with researchers and engineers to execute excising NNSA programs.
  • Occasional travel to support domestic and international engagements related to work scope.
  • Ensure compliance with environment, safety, health, and quality program requirements.
  • Maintain strong commitment to the implementation and perpetuation of values and ethics.


 Qualifications Required: 

  • Candidates for this position must have a Ph.D. in nuclear engineering completed within the last 5 years, and a minimum of two years of recent experience in nuclear reactor analysis and/or reactor analysis methods development
  • Understanding of the physics of nuclear reactors backed by demonstrated recent and relevant research and development in the field is a fundamental requirement of this position.
  • It is highly desirable for the candidate to have experience with the SCALE code system, lattice physics code systems, reactor core physics analysis codes, radiation transport codes, and computer code development.
  • Excellent verbal, presentation, and writing skills are required to enable effective interaction and communication with technical peers, program managers, and sponsors.
  • This position requires the ability to obtain and maintain a DOE Q security clearance.


Applicants cannot have received their Ph.D. more than five years prior to the date of application and must complete all degree requirements before starting their appointment. The appointment length will be for up to 24 months with the potential for extension. Initial appointments and extensions are subject to performance and the availability of funding.


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


Special Requirements:

Q clearance: This position requires the ability to obtain and maintain a Q 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.


Applicant must be a US citizen. Visa Sponsorship is not available for this position.



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