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Reactor Fuel & Core Components Nuclear Fabrication Engineer

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Date: Nov 17, 2020

Location: Oak Ridge, TN, US, 37831

Company: Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Requisition Id 3995 

The Systems, Fabrication, & Experiments Engineering Group within the Research Reactors Division (RRD) is looking for a highly motivated Nuclear Fabrication Engineer.  The primary responsibility of the Fuel & Component Fabrication Engineering Team is to provide engineering support and oversight for reactor Fuel fabrication. This position will be responsible for the Nuclear Fabrication Engineering role which supports manufacturing of reactor fuel elements, U3O8 powder, core components, control rods and plates, etc. This position may also be asked to provide engineering and project management assistance for fabrication of items outside the Fuel / Core Components area needed for a long shutdown in 2024.

This position reports to the Fuel & Component Fabrication Engineering Team Lead. Interacts with personnel at all levels within HFIR.

Major Duties and Responsibilities:


  • Works with a team of engineers to manage Fuel Supplier’s fabrication of 7 high quality element assemblies per year.
  • Provides technical support and engineering oversight for a variety of processes including compacting, various NDE processes such as Radiographic Testing and Homogeneity evaluation.
  • Evaluates existing processes for potential improvements to quality and productivity, and for impacts resulting from proposed changes.
  • Reviews Operating Procedures for accuracy and opportunities for improvement.
  • Visits Fuel Fabricator on site once per two months to support fabrication challenges and verify proper processing methods.
  • Supports activities to improve supplier quality through implementation of a Corrective Action Plan.
  • Provides engineering support to evaluate and disposition non-conformities produced by the supplier.
  • Provides technical support and engineering oversight at the Fuel Fabrication sub-supplier’s factory producing U3O8 powder.
  • Certifies U3O8 powder to material specification
  • Reviews supplier progress and cost reports for evaluation against contract requirements


  • Identifies core component inventory deficiencies and vulnerabilities to maintaining continuous reactor operation.
  • Supports development of reactor core components replacement plan.
  • Supports HFIR 3-Year Planning Activities.
  • Prepares design specifications to define and determine acceptance criteria for component upgrades.
  • Prepares material specifications and provides technical support in procurement of materials.
  • Implements modifications in accordance with RRD configuration control processes.
  • Applies relevant codes and standards, such as ASTM, ASME, AWS, GD&T, QS9000, ISO14001, etc.
  • Fulfills role of project manager working with companies fabricating required core components.
  • Provides on-site technical support and project direction for fabricators of core components.
  • Works with Metrology Groups on site &/or at fabricator site to ensure fabricated components are inspected accurately to required specifications.
  • Prepares and maintains as-built documentation for assigned HFIR SSCs, including engineering drawings, specifications, system descriptions, relevant databases and labeling.
  • May support preparation of work packages providing instruction for installation of modified core components.
  • May provide field technical support to maintenance engineers and craft personnel during core components installation.  


Physical requirements for this job may include frequent walking and walking for long distances.  Other work environment requirements may include climbing of stairs, ducking, kneeling or crawling around equipment and facilities.  Exposure to ionization radiation normally associated with operation of neutron scattering instruments for scientific research is also possible. The potential exists to work with vendors fabricating reactor components comprised of beryllium materials.

Basic Qualifications:

  • Bachelor's degree in nuclear, metallurgical, or mechanical engineering
  • 5 or more years of experience in the nuclear fuel fabrication field
  • Excellent understanding of powder metallurgy, compacting, heat treating processes, and rolling mills with a sound understanding of process control and machine design
  • A strong understanding of reading and interpreting mechanical design drawings
  • Experience in project management, process development, process troubleshooting, materials/parts procurement, and procedure development
  • Ability to diagnose mechanical equipment problems and develop formal work package instructions for performance and documentation of repairs
  • Strong verbal and written communication skills, good interpersonal skills, and work well as a team member

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Master’s degree in nuclear, metallurgical, or mechanical engineering
  • 10 or more years of experience in the nuclear fuel fabrication field
  • Experience working with QC Inspection Labs and a fundamental understanding of basic measurement techniques
  • Familiarity with mechanical design and maintenance activities in a nuclear reactor operating environment
  • Familiarity with the regulatory programs which define the HFIR work environment, including DOE Orders pertaining to conduct of operation and maintenance, and understanding of OSHA requirements is a plus

Additional Job Requirements:

  • DOE Security Clearance:  This position requires the candidate to have or be able to obtain a "Q" clearance.
  • This position is a Workplace Substance Abuse Program (WSAP) testing designated position which requires passing a pre-placement drug test and participation in an ongoing random drug testing program in which employees are subject to being randomly selected for testing and undergoing testing without advance notification. The occupant of this position will also be subject to an ongoing requirement to report any drug related arrest or conviction or receipt of a positive drug test result to the Company.

About Neutron Sciences:
The Neutron Sciences Directorate (NScD) at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) operates the High Flux Isotope Reactor (HFIR), the United States' highest flux reactor-based neutron source, and the Spallation Neutron Source (SNS), the world's most intense pulsed accelerator-based neutron source. Together, these facilities operate 30 instruments for neutron scattering research. Each year, these facilities carry out more than 1,000 experiments in the physical, chemical, materials, biological and medical sciences for more than 3,000 visiting scientists. HFIR also provides unique facilities for isotope production and neutron irradiation. To learn more about Neutron Sciences at ORNL go to:

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, coffee stands, and fitness facilities.

Relocation: 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.

Nearest Major Market: Knoxville