R&D Associate Staff Member, Irradiated Nuclear Fuel Characterization

Date: Feb 20, 2024

Location: Oak Ridge, TN, US, 37830

Company: Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Requisition Id 12381 


The Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) Nuclear Fuel Element Performance (NFEP) Group in the Nuclear Fuel Development (NFD) Section within the Nuclear Energy and Fuel Cycle Division is looking for a researcher to support design and execution of methods for advanced characterization of irradiated nuclear fuel materials. A successful candidate will leverage their existing expertise in behavior of nuclear fuels to develop novel concepts for irradiation testing and post irradiation examination. Relevant areas of expertise may include lower length scale microscopy, mechanical or thermophysical property measurement, fuel performance modeling, or other applicable areas. 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 conventional ceramic (e.g., UO2- zircaloy), coated particle (e.g., TRISO architecture) and other novel fuel types for a range of applications. Scientific output will be a primary emphasis throughout these activities. The selected individual will function as a colleague in a much larger team comprised of staff from numerous organizations to design, field, and analyze irradiation experiments; strong communication and interpersonal skills will be essential.


This position will support several programs including the Department of Energy Office of Nuclear Energy Advanced Fuels Campaign and Nuclear Science User Facility Program on irradiation and post irradiation activities at ORNL.  The selected individual will be encouraged to engage with research staff within the NFEP 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:

  • Perform experimental work in hot-cells and radiological materials laboratories centered on fuel performance characterization of fresh and irradiated nuclear fuel which may include the fabrication of various nuclear fuel compositions including metals, ceramics, and composites

  • Utilize expertise in nuclear fuel performance to design, execute, and analyze new approaches to irradiation and post irradiation examination

  • 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:

  • PhD in nuclear engineering, materials science, or a related field

  • Strong background in nuclear materials science with a focus on nuclear fuel materials and performance as evidenced by prior work and publications

  • 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.


Preferred Qualifications:

  • Demonstrated track record of effective written and oral communicationis

  • Experience with nuclear materials and hot cell operations

  • 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

  • Ability to obtain and maintain a DOE security 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.

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 ORNLRecruiting@ornl.gov.

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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