Radioisotope Laboratory Technician Nathan Sims joined ORNL in 2013, after having subcontracted in the radiobioassay lab with internal dosimetry since 2009. His current job duties include dispensing of nuclear materials; separation and purification of radionuclides through ion exchange columns; electrodepositions; preparation of shipping documentation in compliance with Department of Transportation regulations; purchasing supplies; inventory management; and review and revision of Radioisotope Engineering and Development Center procedures. He is a Lab Space Manager-Alternate.
Sims was involved in the production of six double-segment Cf-251 Accelerator Targets for Super Heavy Element synthesis at the Flerov Laboratory of Nuclear Reactions in Dubna, Russia.
After working on the development of a new separation and purification technique for 249Bk, he used the Dual Column Method for the first time on campaign scale (252Cf Production Campaign 79), resulting in purified product material recovered at a rate of 99.4% from the original BERKEX feed, and in a much shorter time frame than the previous technique.
He was also involved with the development of a new electrodeposition unit and method for attaching titanium thin foil to a target frame for use in the production of new califorium-251 Accelerator Targets for Superheavy Element synthesis at the Flerov Laboratory of Nuclear Reactions in Dubna, Russia.
Sims participated in achievement of Notable Lab Outcome through current Good Manufacturing Practices (cGMP)/Drug Master File implementation for actinium-225 derived from thorium-229 decay. He also contributed to the production of a CARIBU source with the highest amount of Cf-252 ever electrodeposited to a single target up to that time, containing 3.3 mg (1.7 Curies).
He holds a bachelor's degree in anthropology from the University of Tennessee.
Sims was part of Team UT-Battelle and competed in such races as Dream Connection and Ragnar Relay.