John D Partridge

John D Partridge

Research Support Analytical Chemist

John D. Partridge received his bachelor’s degree in chemistry in 2007, and master’s degree in chemistry in 2010 from Tennessee Tech University.  He joined ORNL in April of 2010 as a Research Support Analytical Chemist in the Chemical Sciences Division.  He has served on the staff of the Radioactive Materials Analysis Laboratory (RMAL), and the TAL during this time.  John has steadily increased his roles and responsibilities supporting the TAL portfolio of analytical projects including the nuclear isotope production at the Radiochemical Engineering Development Center (REDC).  For the past three years, John has served as the Technical Lead for the Radiochemistry Sector of the TAL.  John’s performance directly impacts REDC’s R&D and production projects including Pu-238 Production Project (and Np-237 Reprocessing), Cf-252/Bk-249 Campaigns (and Cm-244 reprocessing), Pm-147 purification, Ni-63 purification, U-233 Rescue Program, and many smaller isotope purification runs. 

John is an extremely valuable to the Transuranium Analytical Laboratory (TAL) with thirteen years of experience in high level nuclear operations, and 4 years’ experience serving as the TAL’s Lead Radiochemist and SME for all instruments in our radiochemistry instrumentation suite.  John’s highly specialized in-depth knowledge of the complex nuclear systems and protocols utilized in a Category 2 Nuclear Facility as well as his extensive knowledge of the separation and determination of exotic radioactive isotopes in complex matrixes enables him to serve in numerous leadership roles within the TAL, NAC, and ORNL

John is an active member of the American Nuclear Society, in 2018 and 2023 he was an ORNL Awards Night Winner for Technical Support for Research Team.  He was recently awarded the Department of Energy Secretary’s Honor Award for service and contribution to the Mars 2020 Perseverance Rover Radioisotope Power Systems Team.

TAL Lead Radiochemist

  • Provides technical guidance and management of TAL’s radiochemistry instrumentation suite including alpha spectrometry, HPGe detectors for gamma-ray spectrometry, gas-flow proportional alpha/beta counters, in-house neutron counter, liquid scintillation detector.
  • Responsible for the installation of new equipment, setup, initial calibration, reverification, maintenance, troubleshooting, and daily use of all instrumentation in TAL counting room.
  • Serves as the Subject Matter Expert (SME) for the interpretation of data and nuclide identification by utilizing radiochemical instrumentation.

Hot Cell Equipment – Technical Lead

  • Hot Cell Titrator Lead: Integral to the design and fabrication of the new titrator. Met with contracted design engineers over the course of two years on initial design and current modification schedule to complete the project and installation.  Software updates are completed, hardware functioning as designed, awaiting new cabling.
  • Instrumental to completion of the last remaining high precision dissolutions of “Sister Rod” spent nuclear fuel segments for NRC/DOE. Made modifications to equipment to harden design for harsh hot cell environment.  



NAC IAEA Program - Technical Lead

  • Managed the setup, calibration, library, and interpretation of high impact IAEA project samples for many years.  Currently assisting in the setup/establishment of low background gamma detectors at 1005, and training staff on low level activity measurements.


ORNL U-233 Recovery - Project Lead

  • Managed the recovery of high purity sources of U-233 including the milking of Th-229, and then converting to oxide for customers or long-term storage.  Currently packaged a batch for shipment, awaiting transport, and then prepared glovebox chain to begin a new batch of material.