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Khris Olsen

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
PO Box 999
Richland, WA 99352


Mr. Olsen has been employed with Battelle Northwest Laboratories since 1977. His major areas of excellences are in environmental and analytical chemistry with special emphasis on determination and characterization of ultatrace levels of radionuclide in the environment near nuclear facilities. Past and currently work includes: support research in the area of Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty verification by explore the fundamentals that determine the detection capability of radioxenon and 37Ar radioisotopes produced in underground nuclear tests, studying the fate and transport of UF6-UO2F2 in the environment, age-dating of UF6 in storage cylinder, analyzing environmental samples collected by the IAEA’s Safeguard program through their Network of Analytical Laboratories (NWAL) program, using helium-3/helium-4 ratios in soil gas to determine the source and direction of tritium groundwater plume movement on the Hanford Site, and estimating the amount of residual plutonium within nuclear facilities using radioxenon concentrations in facility air.

Research Interests

  • Development of in situ sensors for measurement of ppb levels of cadmium, lead, and copper in groundwater and sea water
  • Characterization of trace inorganic, organic, and radionuclide contaminants in the subsurface environment
  • Environmental Chemistry and Geochemistry

Education and Credentials

  • M.S., Chemistry, University of Wyoming, 1976
  • B.S., Chemistry, Northland College, 1974

Affiliations and Professional Service

  • Institute of Nuclear Material Management
  • American Assocication of Advancement of Science

Awards and Recognitions

  • PNNL Award for Outstanding Performance in 2007, 2010, and 2012
  • U.S Patent 5,085,499; Fiber Optic Spectrochemical Emission Sensors, Issued February 4, 1992.
  • U. S Patent 5,676,820; Remote Electrochemical Sensor, Issued October 14, 1997.
  • U.S. Patent 5,942,103; Renewable Reagent Electrochemical Sensor, Issued August 24, 1999.

PNNL Publications


  • Barrett CA, W Chouyyok, RJ Speakman, KB Olsen, and RS Addleman. 2017. "Rapid Extraction and Assay of Uranium from Environmental Surface Samples." Talanta 173:69-78.  doi:10.1016/j.talanta.2017.05.052
  • McDonald BS, MA Zalavadia, BW Miller, M Bliss, KB Olsen, DM Kasparek, and AM Clarke. 2017. "Quantitative Digital Autoradiography for Environmental Swipe Sample Prioritization: System design, Characterization, and Initial Measurements." In Institute of Nuclear Materials Management 58th Annual Meeting, July 16-20, 2017, Indian Wells, California.  Institiute of Nuclear Materials Management, DEERFIELD, IL. 


  • Olsen KB, LE Smith, SL Frazar, AJ Kurzrok, CR Orton, MJ Schanfein, AM Sayre, and RL Jones. 2016. "International Safeguards and the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory." In 57t Annual Meeting of the Institute of Nuclear Materials Management (INMM 2016) July 24-28, 2016, Atlanta, Georgia, vol. 3, pp. 1633-1640.  Institute of Nuclear Materials Management, OAKBROOK TERRACE, IL. 
  • Su YF, TJ Johnson, and KB Olsen. 2016. "Raman Spectroscopy for Analysis of Thorium Compounds ." In Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, and Explosives (CBRNE) Sensing XVII, April 17, 2016, Baltimore, Maryland. Proceedings of the SPIE, vol. 9824, ed. AW Fountain, p. Paper No. 982415.  SPIE, BELLINGHAM, WA.  doi:10.1117/12.2224688
  • Olsen KB, RR Kirkham, VT Woods, DA Haas, JC Hayes, TW Bowyer, DP Mendoza, JD Lowrey, CD Lukins, R Suarez, PH Humble, MD Ellefson, MD Ripplinger, L Zhong, AV Mitroshkov, CE Aalseth, AM Prinke, EK Mace, JI McIntyre, TL Stewart, RD Mackley, BD Milbrath, D Emer, and S Biegalski. 2016. "Noble Gas Migration Experiment to Support the Detection of Underground Nuclear Explosions." Journal of Radioanalytical and Nuclear Chemistry 307(3):2603-2610.  doi:10.1007/s10967-015-4639-7



  • Zhong L, JE Amonette, AV Mitroshkov, and KB Olsen. 2014. "Transport of Perfluorocarbon Tracers and Carbon Dioxide in Sediment Columns - Evaluating the Application of PFC Tracers for CO2 Leakage Detection." Applied Geochemistry 45:25-32.  doi:10.1016/j.apgeochem.2014.02.016


  • Hayes JC, TW Bowyer, EA Cordova, RR Kirkham, AC Misner, KB Olsen, VT Woods, and D Emer. 2013. "Underground Sources of Radioactive Noble Gas." Journal of Radioanalytical and Nuclear Chemistry 296(2):869-876.  doi:10.1007/s10967-012-2214-z
  • Miley HS, TW Bowyer, MD Engelmann, PW Eslinger, JI Friese, LR Greenwood, DA Haas, JC Hayes, ME Keillor, RA Kiddy, II, RR Kirkham, JW Landen, EA Lepel, LS Lidey, KE Litke, SJ Morris, KB Olsen, RC Thompson, BR Valenzuela, VT Woods, and SR Biegalski. 2013. "Measurement of Fukushima Aerosol Debris in Sequim and Richland, WA and Ketchikan, AK." Journal of Radioanalytical and Nuclear Chemistry 296(2):877-882.  doi:10.1007/s10967-012-2231-y


  • Olsen KB, AV Mitroshkov, ML Thomas, EA Lepel, RR Brunson, and J Ladd-Lively. 2012. "Extended Characterization of Chemical Processes in Hot Cells Using Environmental Swipe Samples." In 52nd Annual Meeting of the Institute of Nuclear Materials Management (INMM 52), July 17-21, 2011, Palm Desert, California, vol. 5, pp. 3812-3822.  Institute of Nuclear Materials Management, Deerfield, IL. 


  • Liezers M, KB Olsen, AV Mitroshkov, and DC Duckworth. 2010. "Validation of Electrochemically Modulated Separations Performed On-Line with MC-ICP-MS for Uranium and Plutonium Isotopic Analyses." In Proceedings of the 51st Annual Meeting of the Institute of Nuclear Materials Management, July 11-15, 2010, Baltimore, Maryland.  INMM, Deerfield, IL. 


  • Kips R, MJ Kristo, I Hutcheon, JE Amonette, Z Wang, TJ Johnson, DC Gerlach, and KB Olsen. 2009. "Determination of the Relative Amount of Fluorine in Uranium Oxyfluoride Particles Using Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry and Optical Spectroscopy." In Proceeding of the 50th Annual Meeting of the Institute of Nuclear Materials Management.  Institute of Nuclear Materials Management, Deerfield, IL. 
  • Liezers M, SA Lehn, KB Olsen, OT Farmer, III, and DC Duckworth. 2009. "Determination of Plutonium Isotope Ratios at Very Low Levels by ICP-MS using On-Line Electrochemically Modulated Separations ." Journal of Radioanalytical and Nuclear Chemistry 282(1):299-304. 


  • Dresel PE, KB Olsen, JC Hayes, JI McIntyre, SR Waichler, and BM Kennedy. 2008. "Environmental Applications of Stable Xenon and Radioxenon Monitoring." Journal of Radioanalytical and Nuclear Chemistry 276(3):763-769. 
  • Farmer OT, III, KB Olsen, MLP Thomas, and SJ Garofoli. 2008. "Analysis of IAEA Environmental Samples for Plutonium and Uranium by ICP/MS in Support Of International Safeguards ." Journal of Radioanalytical and Nuclear Chemistry 276(2):489-492. 
  • Wogman NA, KB Olsen, and OT Farmer, III. 2008. "Bulk Analysis of International Atomic Energy Agency Environmental Samples in Support of International Safeguards ." In Proceedings of the 8th International Conference on Facility Operations - Safeguards Interface, March 30-April 4, 2008, Portland, Oregon., p. Paper No. 13  American Nuclear Society, La Grange Park, IL. 


  • Thornton EC, TJ Gilmore, KB Olsen, JT Giblin, and JM Phelan. 2007. "Treatment of a Chromate-Contaminated Soil Site by In Situ Gaseous Reduction." Ground Water Monitoring and Remediation 27(1):56-64. 


  • Olsen KB, PE Dresel, JC Evans, WJ Mcmahon, and R Poreda. 2006. "Measurement of Helium Isotopes in Soil Gas as an Indicator of Tritium Groundwater Contamination ." Environmental Science and Technology 40(9):2895-2902.  doi:10.1021/es0518575
  • Dresel PE, KB Olsen, JC Hayes, JI McIntyre, and SR Waichler. 2006. "Sampling and Analysis of Rare Gas Isotopes for In Situ Delineation of Buried Transuranic and Tritium Waste ." In Waste Management '06: Global Accomplishments in Environmental and Radioactive Waste Management: Education and Opportunity for the Next Generation of Waste Management Professionals.  Arizona Board of Regents, Tucson, AZ. 


  • Guidicini OM, KB Olsen, DM Hembree, JA Carter, M Whitaker, and SM Hayes. 2005. "The Development of Low-Level Measurement Capabilities for Total and Isotopic Uranium in Environmental Samples at Brazilian and Argentine Laboratories by ABACC." JNMM. Journal of Nuclear Materials Management 34(4):4-12. 
  • Johnson VG, RE Peterson, and KB Olsen. 2005. "Heavy Metal Transport and Behavior in the Lower Columbia River, USA." Environmental Monitoring and Assessment 110(1-3):271-289. 


  • Olsen KB, PE Dresel, JC Evans, and R Poreda. 2004. "Helium-3/Helium-4 Ratios in Soil Gas as an Indicator of Tritium Contamination Near the 618-11 Burial Ground, Hanford Site, Washington ." In Proceedings of the 45th Annual Institute of Nuclear Materials Management Meeting, p. Abstract No. 256.  Institute of Nuclear Materials Management, Northbrook, IL. 


  • Olsen KB, PE Dresel, JC Evans, R Poreda, and JS Shin. 2003. "Helium-3/Helium-4 Ratios in Soil Gas as an Indicator of Tritium Contamination Near the 618-11 Burial Ground, Hanford Site, Washington." In Proceedings of the Korean Nuclear Society Autumn Meeting.  Korean Nuclear Society, Taejon, Korea, Republic Of. 
  • Guidicini OM, DM Hembree, JA Carter, KB Olsen, SM Hayes, and M Whitaker. 2003. "Development of Low-Level Environmental Sampling Capabilities for Uranium at Brazilian and Argentine Laboratories by ABACC." In INMM 44th Annual Meeting, Proceedings of the Institute of Nuclear Materials Management, no. 233, Institute of Nuclear Materials Management, Northbrook, IN. 
  • Wacker JF, NA Wogman, KB Olsen, SL Petersen, OT Farmer, JM Kelley, GC Eiden, and TC Maiti. 2003. "Ultratrace Analysis of Uranium and Plutonium By Mass Spectrometry." In ADVANCES IN DESTRUCTIVE AND NON-DESTRUCTIVE ANALYSIS FOR ENVIRONMENTAL MONITORING AND NUCLEAR FORENSICS. 2003, pp. 115-120.  Vienna:; International Atomic Energy Agency, Vienna, Austria. 
  • Williams BA, RE Peterson, and KB Olsen. 2003. Soil Gas Survey and Well Installation at the 618-10 Burial Ground, 300-FF-5 Operable Unit, Hanford Site, WashingtonPNNL-14320, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland, WA. 




Environmental Systems