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Pacific Northwest National Laboratory Nuclear Engineer 4 – Isotopes Program in Richland, Washington


At a time when complex environmental problems are emerging on every front, the Nuclear Sciences Division's staff, capabilities, and facilities are delivering science and technology innovations for the environment, as well as for energy and national security needs. Our diverse work addresses a wide range of national and international challenges, from providing solutions that protect the health of people who must work in hazardous environments, to developing durable new materials, streamlining industrial processes for improved productivity and effectiveness, and delivering new approaches for environmental cleanup. Nuclear Sciences Division capabilities and efforts are focused in three key areas including Environmental Health and Remediation, Nuclear Regulatory, and Nuclear Energy.


  • Designs, develops, and analyzes components utilized in nuclear applications and nuclear non-proliferation such as reactor fuel, reactor cores, radiation shielding, and instrumentation.

  • Researches and develops analytical methods and technologies supporting all aspects of the nuclear fuel cycle including R&D activities related to storage, transportation, and disposal of used nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive waste and long-term performance of waste forms.

  • Supports nuclear regulatory work, risk-informed nuclear regulatory analysis, and probabilistic risk analysis.

  • Addresses facility and process safety needs, principally in the area of nuclear-related construction, operation, and decommissioning.

  • Development and application of radioactive materials, radioactive isotopes, and radiation generating devices. Studies the effects of interactions of radiation with materials including biological effects.

  • Researches, evaluates, and controls health hazards to permit the safe use of ionizing radiation.

  • Investigates principles by which radiation interacts with matter and living systems.

  • Studies environmental levels of radioactivity and the effects of radiation on biological systems on earth and in space.

  • Applies knowledge of radiation physics, health physics, biology, instrumentation, and computational modeling in laboratory and field settings to ensure that radiation exposure to researchers, students, industrial workers, patients, and the public is minimized and in compliance with regulations.


Minimum Qualifications:

  • BS/BA and 7+ years of relevant experience -OR-

  • MS/MA and 5+ years of relevant experience -OR-

  • PhD with 3+ year of relevant experience

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Ph.D. in nuclear or chemical engineering with several years of experience in radiological or nuclear research facilities

  • Excellent oral and written communication skills, a demonstrated ability to contribute to and lead a multi-disciplinary team

  • Hands-on laboratory experience with radiological materials in fumehood, glovebox, and/or hotcells

  • Experience leading and performing research on chemical process separations for nuclear application

  • Experience handling radioactive materials and specifically have experience performing radiochemical separations

  • Leading and performing research on chemical process separations for nuclear process operations such as filtration, ion exchange, and solvent extraction. This may include gas-phase separations

  • Experience with utilizing Microsoft Office, including Excel software for data analysis and interpretation.

  • Experience with other data handling and modeling software such as MATLAB, Mathematica, SigmaPlot is a plus

  • Experience with data acquisition and process control using National Instruments LabVIEW software

  • Experience with alpha and gamma spectroscopy, liquid scintillation analysis, Raman, and UV-vis-NIR

  • The preferred candidate will have knowledge of the solution chemistry and separations strategies of an array of radioisotopes from elements such as Sr, Y, Zr, Pb, Bi, At, Rn, Ra, Th, Am, Np, U, and Pu

  • A candidate with direct experience handling heavy noble gases such as Kr, Xe, and Rn will be preferred

  • Experience investigating process chemistry as it relates to Hanford tank waste cleanup, isotope production process, and nuclear fuel cycle

  • Experience designing and configuring laboratory hardware and experimental apparatuses, including setting up process control

  • Experience designing, planning and performing experiments with radioactive and non-radioactive materials and the subsequent interpretation and reporting of the data from these experiments

  • Experience developing separation flowsheets for evaluation and testing

  • A demonstrated record of preparing high-quality scientific articles, technical reports and presentations that communicate the objective, experimental process, results, and conclusions

  • A demonstrated record of writing of winning research proposals and other business development activities

  • A demonstrated record of conducting work in a safe and secure manner

Hazardous Working Conditions/Environment

  • Work will be in the Radiochemical Processing Laboratory (RPL), a Hazard Category II Non-Reactor nuclear facility.

  • Candidate will be trained and must perform to Radiation Worker standards (Radiological Worker II), as well as building and project procedures for managing radioactive and hazardous materials.

  • The candidate will be working with radioactive materials and chemicals in laboratories that are in radiological controlled areas, including radiation areas, radioactive material areas, and contamination areas.

  • There will be occasional off-shift work evenings, nights, and weekends.

Additional Information

Due to business needs and client space, US Citizenship is required.

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory is subject to the Department of Energy Unclassified Foreign Visits & Assignments Program site, information, technologies, and equipment access requirements.

“Referral Eligible”

Testing Designated Position

This position is a Testing Designated Position (TDP). The candidate selected for this position will be subject to pre-employment and random drug testing for illegal drugs, including marijuana, consistent with the Controlled Substances Act and the PNNL Workplace Substance Abuse Program.

About PNNL

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) is a world-class research institution powered by a highly educated, diverse workforce committed to the values of Integrity, Creativity, Collaboration, Impact, and Courage. Every year, scores of dynamic, driven people come to PNNL to work with renowned researchers on meaningful science, innovations and outcomes for the U.S. Department of Energy and other sponsors; here is your chance to be one of them!

At PNNL, you will find an exciting research environment and excellent benefits including health insurance, flexible work schedules and telework options. PNNL is located in eastern Washington State—the dry side of Washington known for its stellar outdoor recreation and affordable cost of living. The Lab’s campus is only a 45-minute flight (or 3-hour drive) from Seattle or Portland, and is serviced by the convenient PSC airport, connected to 8 major hubs.

Commitment to Excellence, Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Equal Employment Opportunity

Our laboratory is committed to a diverse and inclusive work environment dedicated to solving critical challenges in fundamental sciences, national security, and energy resiliency. We are proud to be an Equal Employment Opportunity and Affirmative Action employer. In support of this commitment, we encourage people of all racial/ethnic identities, women, veterans, and individuals with disabilities to apply for employment.

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory considers all applicants for employment without regard to race, religion, color, sex (including pregnancy, sexual orientation, and gender identity), national origin, age, disability, genetic information (including family medical history), protected veteran status, and any other status or characteristic protected by federal, state, and/or local laws.

We are committed to providing reasonable accommodations for individuals with disabilities and disabled veterans in our job application procedures and in employment. If you need assistance or an accommodation due to a disability, contact us at .

Drug Free Workplace

PNNL is committed to a drug-free workplace supported by Workplace Substance Abuse Program (WSAP) and complies with federal laws prohibiting the possession and use of illegal drugs.

If you are offered employment at PNNL, you must pass a drug test prior to commencing employment. PNNL complies with federal law regarding illegal drug use. Under federal law, marijuana remains an illegal drug. If you test positive for any illegal controlled substance, including marijuana, your offer of employment will be withdrawn.

HSPD-12 PIV Credential Requirement

In accordance with Homeland Security Presidential Directive 12 (HSPD-12) and Department of Energy (DOE) Order 473.1A, new employees are required to obtain and maintain a HSPD-12 Personal Identity Verification (PIV) Credential. To obtain this credential, new employees must successfully complete and pass a Federal Tier 1 background check investigation. This investigation includes a declaration of illegal drug activities, including use, supply, possession, or manufacture within the last year. This includes marijuana and cannabis derivatives, which are still considered illegal under federal law, regardless of state laws.

Mandatory Requirements

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.

Rockstar Rewards

Employees and their families are offered medical insurance, dental insurance, vision insurance, health savings account, flexible spending accounts, basic life insurance, disability insurance, employee assistance program, business travel insurance, tuition assistance, supplemental parental bonding leave, surrogacy and adoption assistance, and fertility support. Employees are automatically enrolled in our company funded pension plan and may enroll in our 401k savings plan. Employees may accrue up to 120 vacation hours per year and may receive ten paid holidays per year.

  • Research Associates excluded.

**Once eligibility requirements are met.

Click Here For Rockstar Rewards (

Notice to Applicants

PNNL lists the full pay range for the position in the job posting. Starting pay is calculated from the minimum of the pay range and actual placement in the range is determined based on an individual’s relevant job-related skills, qualifications, and experience. This approach is applicable to all positions, with the exception of positions governed by collective bargaining agreements and certain limited-term positions which have specific pay rules.

As part of our commitment to fair compensation practices, we do not ask for or consider current or past salaries in making compensation offers at hire. Instead, our compensation offers are determined by the specific requirements of the position, prevailing market trends, applicable collective bargaining agreements, pay equity for the position type, and individual qualifications and skills relevant to the performance of the position.

Minimum Salary

USD $141,300.00/Yr.

Maximum Salary

USD $223,300.00/Yr.