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Doug D Canaan

Master Technician

As the Master Technician for TAL, Doug Canaan serves as the operational manager for all the work performed in the hot cell, glovebox laboratories, and radiochemistry instrumentation suite.  He provides guidance to staff during all R&D mixer settler runs to assure quick turn analysis coupled with high precision.  He oversees the calibration and testing of all radiochemistry instrumentation.  Doug serves as the resident expert on all radiochemical analysis performed within the laboratory and provides his knowledge to both fellow technicians and customers on the best existing methods available.  Further, Doug participates in steering committee discussions, and advised program managers on analytical protocols.  Doug plays a central role in the improving existing methods or developing new methodologies for complex analyses.  Over the past decade, Doug has served as an authoritative voice for our analytical capabilities for the Pu-238 Program and the Isotope Production Program’s Cf Campaign.  I can’t overstate Doug’s importance and performance at assuring that our lab meets all its mission and programmatic goals.  Doug’s analytical radiochemistry knowledge is needed and well respected by all Radiochemical Engineering Development Center (REDC) division managers and program leads.  His contributions in weekly meetings have helped R&D program leads make significant changes in their processing strategies and schedules.   Doug is also responsible for the Nuclear Materials Control and Accountability (NMC&A) issues associated with the movement of high activity samples between laboratories.  As our group’s Materials Balance Area representative (MBAR), Doug is vigilant in assuring proper controls and documentation is maintained on all our radioactive material and its travels throughout multiple laboratories. 

Doug has made important scientific impacts to high level radiochemistry protocols through his contributions to publications and presentations.  He has been listed as author or co-author on 40 publications, and his data has been acknowledge as making a significant contribution to hundreds of publications and presentations in his career.  Further, throughout his career, Doug has written many of the founding standard operating procedures, analytical methods, and work aids for our group. 

Doug is an active member of the American Glovebox Society.  He is a Subject Matter Expert (SME) on high radioactivity glovebox operations and serves as the On-the-Job Training officer to all REDC staff members on glovebox operations.  In his career, Doug has received 9 Performance Awards, 5 ORNL Awards Night Nominations, and named a member of ORNL’s Ts-117 Discovery Team – Technical Support.  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.

Doug serves as the TAL Operations Supervisor and Subject Matter Expert (SME) for:

  • High level nuclear operations, containment systems, and radiochemistry protocols while adhering strictly to ALARA principles. Plans/supervises all radiological activities conducted at the TAL including hood, glovebox, hot cell processing.  Oversees all high-risk bagging operations.
  • Radiochemistry – Develops TAL’s analysis plans to provide quick, reliable, accurate radiochemical analysis of key product analysis of highly-specialized research projects.
  • Expert knowledge of radiochemistry protocols, instrumentation, and sample preparation techniques including dissolutions and chemical separations of nuclear materials.
  • Written many of the founding methods and protocols in place at the TAL.
  • Makes daily decisions on analysis plan of sample batches from numerous research and production programs depending on activity levels, isotopes present, primary isotopes of interest, and time requirements.
  • Primary contact for researchers, production engineers, and operations staff for ongoing analysis, new isotope projects, and new measurements.
  • Advises and provides technical guidance to the 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.
  • Oversees the installation of new equipment setup, initial calibration, maintenance, troubleshooting, and daily use of TAL counting room instrumentation.
  • Provides expert knowledge on the interpretation of data and nuclide identification by utilizing radiochemical instrumentation.