Postdoctoral Research Associate Nuclear Fuel Microscopy

Date: Jun 1, 2024

Location: Oak Ridge, TN, US, 37830

Company: Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Requisition Id 12456 



Oak Ridge National Laboratory is the largest US Department of Energy science and energy laboratory, conducting basic and applied research to deliver transformative solutions to compelling problems in energy and security.


We are seeking a Postdoctoral Research Associate who will support the Nuclear Fuel Element Performance Group in the Nuclear Energy Fuel Cycle Division, Fusiona and Fission Energy Science Directorate at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL).   The ORNL Nuclear Fuel Element Performance Group is seeking a highly-motivated individual to join their research team to support advanced characterization of irradiated nuclear fuel materials. This position is specifically focused on microscopy of nuclear fuel and extened application of transmission electron microscopy to characterize nuclear fuel.  A major focus of this position will be development of new approaches to postirradiation examination to facilitate isolation and study of specific mechanisms relevant to fuel performance. Fuel forms of interest include light water reactor uranium dioxide as well as coated particle fuel variants for a range of applications. Scientific output will be a primary emphasis throughout these activities. The selected individual will function as a component in a much larger team comprised of staff from numerous organizations to design, field, and analyze previously irradiated nuclear fuel and irradiation experiments from research reactors; strong communication and interpersonal skills will be essential.


Major Duties/Responsibilities: 

  • Perform experimental work in hot-cells and radiological materials laboratories centered on fuel performance characterization of fresh and irradiated nuclear fuel
  • Perform transmission electron microscopy evaluations of irradiated nuclear fuel.
  • Develop novel methods to evaluate transmission electron microscopy data and propose novel methods of evaluation and data analysis.
  • Work with a diverse team of experts in modeling, property measurement, irradiation design, post irradiation examination, and other relevant areas to advance science-based understanding of nuclear fuels and actinide materials
  • Produce high impact publications and conference presentations in the field of nuclear fuel materials
  • Ensure compliance with environment, safety, health and quality program requirements
  • Perform work according to specific rules and requirements for quality assurance, nuclear material control, radiological work, and general laboratory safety
  • 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 PhD in Nuclear Engineering, Materials Science or a related field completed within the last 5 years
  • Strong background in nuclear materials science with a focus on transmission electron microscopy of nuclear fuel materials as evidenced by prior work and publications


Preferred Qualifications:

  • Experience performing research at a United States Department of Energy national laboratory or international equivalent nuclear or radiological facility.
  • Experience working with radiological materials.
  • This position requires access to technology that is subject to export control requirements. Successful candidates must be qualified for such access without an export control license.


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