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Karen Wright

Instrument Scientist

Research Areas:
Advanced Characterization; Nuclear Fuels


Karen Wright is the Instrument Scientist for the EPMA at the Materials and Fuels Complex at Idaho National Laboratory, which she joined in 2000. She set up and operated a JEOL 8900 electron probe microanalyzer for use in studying environmental samples such as radiologically contaminated sediments and asbestiform minerals. More recently, she set up and operated a Cameca SX100R shielded electron probe microanalyzer for the purpose of analyzing irradiated nuclear fuels. In addition to analysis, she has been involved in the construction of transuranic standards and the design of remotely-handled standards and other equipment.
Karen holds a master’s degree in geological science. Karen initiated a session for the analysis of irradiated materials at the Microscopy and Microanalysis annual conference and has chaired it. She also served as membership chair for the Microanalysis Society for three years. She recently worked as a visiting scientist at the Institute for Transuranium Elements in Karlsruhe, Germany. In addition to work with microanalysis, Karen has developed radiological decontamination methods, for which she holds two patents and won an R&D100 award.


Master of Science in Geological Science, Idaho State University, 1998


Member of the Microanalysis Society

Member of the European Microanalysis Society


Wright, K.E., Popa, K., Poeml, P., 2017, Synthesis and characterization of PuPO4--a potential analytical standard for EPMA actinide quantification, accepted for publication in the journal, "IOP Conference Series: Materials Science and Engineering" (in press)

Wright, K.E., Van Rooyen I.J., 2016, Electron Probe Microanalysis of Irradiated and 1600oC Safety-Tested AGR-1 TRISO Fuel Particles with Low and High Retained 110mAg, 2016 ANS Winter Meeting and Nuclear Technology Expo, Las Vegas, Nevada

Wright, K.E., Van Rooyen, I. J., 2016, Fission Product Distribution in Irradiated TRISO Fuel, Microscopy and Microanalysis, 22 (S3), 1490-1491


Patent: "Long-Lasting Decontamination Foam"

Patent: "Surface Decontamination Compositions and Methods"


​R&D100 award (2011):  "Rad-Release Decontamination Technology"

Research Interests:
  • ​Electron probe microanalysis of irradiated nuclear fuels to include metal, oxide, and TRISO type fuels

  • Development of primary and secondary check standards to increase the accuracy of EPMA analysis of irradiated fuels

  • Developing and testing radiological decontamination methods

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Created at 2/24/2017 1:07 PM by
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