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Deslonde de Boisblanc Distinguished Postdoctoral Research Associate

Company: Battelle Energy Alliance
Location: Idaho Falls
Posted on: May 16, 2019

Job Description:


Job Title: Deslonde de Boisblanc Distinguished Postdoctoral Research Associate
Org: Distinguished Postdoctoral Assignees
Work Location: Idaho Falls, ID



Empowering the Nation's Energy Future

MISSION: Discover, demonstrate and secure innovative nuclear energy solutions, other clean energy options and critical infrastructure.

VISION: INL will change the world's energy future and secure our critical infrastructure.


The Idaho National Laboratory (INL) is seeking candidates for the Deslonde deBoisblanc Distinguished Postdoctoral Research Associate Appointment. This appointment is awarded to early career nuclear scientists and engineers to perform leading-edge research and development for Advanced Power Reactor Design and Development as well as to
support Operations, Safety, Fuel Management, Experiment Management and other pertinent activities associated with INL research reactor facilities used to support Advanced Reactor Development. The position requires in-depth knowledge of computational and experimental reactor physics, core design optimization, nuclear instrumentation and thermal-fluids science, as well as experience with established and well-validated reactor analysis tools such as, but not limited to, RELAP, MCNP5, HELIOS, SCALE, and Serpent.

Examples of specific research and development areas of interest for this position currently include:
1. Design and development of next-generation reactors for electric power production as well as design of new research and test reactors for testing of components and fuel forms intended for use in advanced power reactors. Current areas of special interest include but are not limited to, 1) design of a multi-purpose tunable-spectrum (fast and thermal neutron spectra) test reactor as a long-term multi-purpose replacement for the Advanced Test Reactor (ATR) and its companion zero-power critical facility (ATRC), both of which are currently operating at the INL, 2) support for design and component testing associated with advanced power reactors based on high-exposure metallic fuels and, 3) support for the design of an advanced pulsed reactor for various types of transient nuclear testing applications.

2. Development of new and/or improved testing capabilities for the ATR and the ATRC. Activities in this area may include, 1) Scientific and engineering support for the use of the ATR as a full-power testing facility for nuclear qualification of High-Temperature Gas Reactor (HTGR) TRISO particle based fuel spheres intended for use in Pebble Bed Reactors, 2) Design and demonstration of new methods and instrumentation for improved monitoring of nuclear and thermal parameters in the ATR flux traps in connection with various programs focused on performance testing of fuel elements for advanced power reactors, 3) Improved monitoring of fission power distributions within the ATR core to provide element- and possibly sub element-level spatial resolution, 4) Development and application of state-of-the-art methods for ATR core fuel cycle optimization that will allow the facility to meet all customer experiment requirements while consuming the least possible amount of fuel, 4) Development of new, practical, non-invasive methods for measurement of spatially-resolved fuel burnup in irradiated ATR fuel elements and, 5) ATR fuel component testing activities related to the potential conversion of the fuel of the ATR from highly enriched uranium to low enriched uranium.

3. ATR is involved in a number of initiatives to provide researchers opportunities for fuel and material irradiations to further nuclear science around the globe as well as isotope production. ATR has been directed to prepare a Business Case comparing the costs and benefits of ATR operation beyond the year 2040 and consider the potential replacement of the thermal test capabilities (a new reactor concept) and is updating existing studies and exploring new options for a thermal neutron reactor. As the primary thermal test reactor for Naval Nuclear Propulsion program work related to irradiated materials and fuels development. ATR is also one of two Department of Energy thermal test reactors operating over 85 MW and is involved in isotope production (i.e. Pu238 for deep space radioisotope thermoelectric generators), materials irradiations, and other research programs that have ongoing and future needs.

Capabilities at ATR are defined based on the last 51 years of operations and changes made to the original reactor design formulated in the late 1950s and early 1960s. Modern technologies and code modeling techniques are of interest as it relates to meeting programmatic and functional requirements that have not fundamentally changed as described in the related literature. Opportunities exist to, 1) review prior work (related literature) and updating relative areas of reactor physics, flow modeling (primary and secondary systems), instruments and controls, and experiment support systems and interfaces 2) Design studies for a Multiple Application Thermal Reactor for Irradiation Experiments (MATRIX), 3)Develop a business case and recommendation package is a deliverable in September of 2022. Reactor design concept input related to this deliverable would initially need to be completed by July 1, 2022 to be fully incorporated into the September report.

The selected candidate will publish work in various internal and customer-required reports and in the refereed literature. The selected candidate will also .be involved in the preparation, peer review, and delivery of proposals, program plans, oral presentations and other activities related to development of new INL programs and projects in areas of expertise. The candidate must be able to work in a team environment but must also be able to work independently and show initiative. Ideal candidates will have exceptional talent, records of early scientific accomplishment, and potential for significant new


- PhD in nuclear or mechanical engineering, physics, or comparable discipline.
- PhD requirements must have been completed by commencement of appointment and within the previous three years
- Demonstrated oral and written scientific communication skills in English
- Demonstrated leadership and independence potential

Preference will be given to candidates who:
- Possess a PhD degree from a prestigious university
- Are from a prestigious graduate program in their field of research, and/or
- Have completed a research experience or Postdoc appointment at a premier institution

Ability to secure a US DOE L-clearance may be needed depending on the specific work scope match to the selected candidates interests and skills.

Professional Engineering Registration at least at the EIT level is desirable.

Current INL postdocs or individuals who have previously completed an INL postdoc position are ineligible to apply.


To be eligible for employment at INL males born after December 31, 1959 must have registered with the Selective Service System (SSS). This includes U.S.

Idaho National Laboratory (INL) is an Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) employer. It is the policy of INL to provide equal employment opportunities to all qualified applicants without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, age, protected veteran or disabled status, or genetic information.

Keywords: Battelle Energy Alliance, Idaho Falls , Deslonde de Boisblanc Distinguished Postdoctoral Research Associate, Other , Idaho Falls, Idaho

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