Jordan Couch received his bachelor’s degree in Interdisciplinary Studies-Environmental Health Concentration in 2015. He joined ORNL in February 2015 as an ORAU Laboratory Tech Intern, and then transitioned in June 2016 as an Associate Technician in Nuclear Operations at the TAL of the Chemical Sciences Division. Over the past 7 years, he has steadily increased roles and responsibilities within the TAL while supporting nuclear isotope production at the Radiochemical Engineering Development Center (REDC). Jordan’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 purifications runs.
Jordan is one of our most experienced technicians with 7 years’ experience in high level nuclear operations, and 2 years’ experience serving as the Transuranium Analytical Laboratory’s (TAL) Subject Matter Expert (SME) on high precision dissolutions of extremely high dose irradiated materials, fuels, and product oxides in hot cells and gloveboxes. Jordan has gained highly specialized in-depth knowledge of the complex nuclear systems and protocols utilized in a Category 2 Nuclear Facility, and this in-depth experience enables him to serve in this leadership capacity.
Jordan is an active member of the American Glovebox Society, and 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.
- Assumed the TAL Lead for operations of highly complex, high precision hot cell dissolutions on irradiated materials and nuclear fuels. Completed the last remaining high precision dissolutions of “Sister Rod” spent nuclear fuel segments for ORNL’s PIE plan for NRC/DOE. TAL effort started in 2019.
- Leads operations of oxide dissolutions in LECO box. These oxides need extremely precise characterization and a quick turnaround. (PUP, CMP)
- Serves as TAL’s SME on high precision dissolutions of extremely high dose irradiated materials, fuels, and product oxides.
- Key Product Analysis: Process Accountability Samples, and Product solutions and oxides.
- Pu-238 Oxides, Np-237 Feed Stock, Cf-252 Product, Cm-244 Feed Stack, Bk-249 product solutions, and R&D project solutions, Es-253 product, and Pm-147 product.
- Extensive knowledge and experience completing hot cell dissolutions of Irradiated Material Projects: Np-237/Pu-238 pellets, Cm-244 pellets, Spent Nuclear Fuels – Sister Rods, MOX, TMI, Dresden Fuels
- Responsible for specialized “one-off” dissolutions of rare actinide oxides from research staff.
- TAL Leader in production, speed, efficiency, accuracy in complex, high precision characterization of nuclear fuel projects and daily isotope purification and production samples.
- Extensive expertise in high level nuclear operations, containment systems, and radiochemistry protocols while adhering strictly to ALARA principles.
- Functions as a production leader, troubleshooting problems as they arise, and competently completing analyses on high level radioactive materials in challenging matrixes.