Pacific Northwest National Laboratory Jobs

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Job Information

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory Senior Nuclear Engineer in RICHLAND, Washington

Organization and Job ID

Job ID: 311898

Directorate: Energy and Environment

Division: Nuclear Sciences

Group:Nuclear Chemistry and Engineering

Job Description

At PNNL, we use our decades of expertise to facilitate the design of advanced reactors, extend the lives of the existing fleet, and develop processes for recycling, safe storage, transportation, and disposal of used nuclear fuel. We have a long heritage of supporting our nation’s nuclear energy programs. A combination of science and technology expertise, a unique Hanford history, and highly equipped modern facilities allow us to bring substantial resources to helping solve the nation's nuclear energy challenges. This position will support post-irradiation examination and analysis of spent fuel and irradiated advanced test fuels to provide a basis for reactor life extension, advanced reactor development, and fuel disposition. Protecting U.S. residents and visitors is among our nation’s highest priorities. PNNL develops science-based solutions that keep America safe. We lead the charge to secure our nation’s critical infrastructure, combat global terrorism, and detect concealed threats and explosives. This position will also involve support for these missions, especially in the areas of non-proliferation and recognition of weapons of mass effect characteristics.

  • Professional with local reputation for specialization in at least one S&E domain; makes key contributions in setting technical direction. Higher level candidates will be recognized experts in at least one S&E domain, with the ability to connect multiple domains.

  • Builds teams to develop and optimize capabilities, and takes on operational assignments. Higher level candidates build cross-organizational teams to develop new capabilities, and mentor staff across organizations.

  • Select and develop technical approaches on assignments with occasional oversight; are principal investigator or co-PI on projects or tasks; support scoping, scheduling, and budgeting at the project level; generate new ideas for proposals and business development opportunities while leading development of technical section of small to medium proposals; demonstrates ability to acquire funding for self with programmatic impact at the sector and division level; serves as a role model for quality, safety, and security. Higher level candidates: select and develop approaches to complex challenges; are PI or co-PI on multiple or complex and/or high risk projects or tasks; develop and win significant new project opportunities, lead technical sections of large proposals; manage projects or large tasks; acquire funding for self and project team members; are a role model for quality, safety and security; contribute to lab-level operational improvements.

  • Establishing a leadership role in the professional community including professional societies, other laboratories, academia, and industry, and leads technical products; higher level candidates hold leadership role in the professional community, organizing and chairing sessions at national professional society meetings; lead author or developer on a significant number of technical products; recognized by sponsors and collaborators for delivery on important programmatic elements.

  • The successful candidate will play a critical role in radiation spectroscopy operations in PNNL’s Radiochemical Processing Laboratory (RPL), including alpha spectroscopy, beta counting, liquid scintillation analysis, gamma spectroscopy, and low energy photon spectroscopy. This includes: setup, operation and maintenance of the counting systems and associated networks, including in an underground lab; instrument procurement and installation; daily count room operations; spectroscopy data analysis and reporting; support of the International Monitoring System USL16 radionuclide laboratory; assisting and leading setup of unique systems for, e.g., spatially resolved gamma scanning of items such as ion exchange columns and spent fuel rods, multi-detector systems, and low background systems (cosmic veto and Compton suppression). They will also support reactor dosimetry measurements such as those regularly conducted for research reactor experiments (e.g., HFIR and ATR), and fission yield measurements.

  • The successful candidate will provide capability operational support as a cognizant space manager of one or more of the count rooms and associated labs, and assist with material balance area responsibilities.

  • Programmatic needs require off-shift work periodically.

Minimum Qualifications

Engineer II

  • BS/BA with 5 years experience, MS/MA with 3 years experience, or PhD with 1 year experience

Engineer III

  • BS/BA with 7 years experience, MS/MA with 5 years experience, or PhD with 3 years experience

  • Minimum five years experience in the operation and maintenance of radiation spectroscopy systems and count room operations.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Ten or more years experience in the operation and maintenance of gamma spectroscopy systems, and analysis of gamma spectroscopy data.

  • Ten or more years experience in the operation and maintenance of alpha spectroscopy and/or beta count and/or liquid scintillation and/or LEPS, and analysis and reporting of the associated data.

  • Ten or more years experience using software such as Genie2000, APEX Gamma, APEX Alpha, APEX Alpha/Beta, C/C++, MS-SQL, PowerShell, and/or MS-DOS.

  • Ten or more years experience in count room operations.

  • Degree in Nuclear Engineering, Nuclear Science, Physics, Radiation Health Physics, Environmental Science/Engineering or closely related.

  • Strong written and oral communication skills.

Equal Employment Opportunity

Battelle Memorial Institute (BMI) at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer and supports diversity in the workplace. All employment decisions are made without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, veteran status, marital or family status, sexual orientation, gender identity, or genetic information. All BMI staff must be able to demonstrate the legal right to work in the United States. BMI is an E-Verify employer. Learn more at

If you need assistance and/or a reasonable accommodation due to a disability during the application or the recruiting process, please send a request via

Please be aware that the Department of Energy (DOE) prohibits DOE employees and contractors from having any affiliation with the foreign government of a country DOE has identified as a “country of risk” without explicit approval by DOE and Battelle. If you are offered a position at PNNL and currently have any affiliation with the government of one of these countries you will be required to disclose this information and recuse yourself of that affiliation or receive approval from DOE and Battelle prior to your first day of employment.

Other Information

This position requires the ability to obtain and maintain a federal security clearance.


  • U.S. Citizenship

  • Background Investigation: Applicants selected will be subject to a Federal background investigation and must meet eligibility requirements for access to classified matter in accordance 10 CFR 710, Appendix B.

  • Drug Testing: All Security Clearance (L or Q) positions will be considered by the Department of Energy to be Testing Designated Positions which means that they are subject to applicant, random, and for cause drug testing. In addition, applicants must be able to demonstrate non-use of illegal drugs, including marijuana, for the 12 consecutive months preceding completion of the requisite Questionnaire for National Security Positions (QNSP).

Note: Applicants will be considered ineligible for security clearance processing by the U.S. Department of Energy until non-use of illegal drugs, including marijuana, for 12 consecutive months can be demonstrated.

Closing Statement

Special/Hazardous Working Conditions or Environment:

  • The group and team reside in the Radiochemical Processing Laboratory (RPL). The RPL is a Hazard Category II Nuclear Facility with capability for performing work on high-level radioactive and hazardous materials.

  • Candidates must be able to achieve Radiological Worker II qualification.

  • The incumbent must be able to access the Personnel Contamination Monitors (PCMs) when exiting Radiological Buffer Areas.

Directorate: Energy & Environment

Job Category: Engineering/Engineering Techs

Group: Nuclear Chem & Engineering

Opening Date: 2021-03-31

Closing Date: 2021-04-14