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Technical Professional: Nuclear Fuel Development and Characterization

Date: Sep 8, 2022

Location: Oak Ridge, TN, US, 37830

Company: Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Requisition Id 8795 


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.


The ORNL Advance Fuel Fabrication and Instrumentation Group is looking for a highly motivated individual to join their research team working on the development and qualification of nuclear fuels. We are seeking applicants with experience in the fields of nuclear chemistry, analytical chemistry, and nuclear materials handling to support experimental nuclear fuel-related activities. The successful candidate will develop/setup lab spaces and equipment, perform separation chemistry and characterization of nuclear fuels and materials, and prepare samples for further advanced characterization.


Major Duties/Responsibilities: 

  • Perform experimental work in materials laboratories centered on nuclear fuel characterization.
  • Apply a depth and breadth of technical knowledge and experience to characterizing nuclear fuel samples using different analytical instruments including inductively coupled plasma mass spectroscopy (ICP-MS) and optical emission spectroscopy (ICP-OES), scanning electron microscopy, simultaneous thermal analysis, and X-ray diffraction.
  • Interface with various disciplines to setup and troubleshoot instruments including training personnel and writing standard operational procedures.
  • Write research safety summaries and radiological work permits for various labs and instruments.
  • Setup and maintain inert gloveboxes.
  • Design and setup radiological lab spaces for the preparation and analysis of samples using ICP-MS/OES.
  • Independently perform or supervise data collection on various instruments.
  • Acquire and process complex data.
  • Contribute to publications and conference presentations in the field of nuclear fuel materials.
  • Perform work according to specific rules and requirements for quality assurance, nuclear material control, radiological work, and general laboratory safety.


Basic Qualifications:

  • A MS in Chemistry, Nuclear Engineering, Materials Science, or a related field + 4 years of experience, or a BS in Chemistry, Nuclear Engineering, Materials Science, or a related field + 6 years of experience.
  • Experiencing preparing samples and performing analysis using ICP-MS and OES
  • 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:

  • Experience performing research at a United States Department of Energy national laboratory or other nuclear or radiological facility.
  • Experience working with radiological materials.
  • Strong background in nuclear materials science with a focus on nuclear fuel materials and performance as evidenced by prior work and publications.
  • Knowledge of material control and accountability policies and procedures for nuclear material.
  • Knowledge and experience with nuclear quality assurance (NQA-1) programs.
  • Experience with maintaining and organizing laboratory space.
  • Must have excellent English language oral and written communication skills to support regular interactions with fellow technical and research staff and help prepare internal reports and external publications.


Special Requirements:

  • HSPD-12 PIV badge: This position requires the ability to obtain and maintain an HSPD-12 PIV badge.  
  • Q clearance: 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.


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