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Senior Technical Advisor for Probabilistic Risk Assessment

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Background

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) is proud to be ranked as a BEST Place to Work in the Federal Government. We've earned our top ratings by creating a work environment rich in opportunity, diversity, leadership training, teamwork, and work life balance. Help guide our nation into the next generation of nuclear safety! Begin a challenging career with the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission where you can be part of a select group of professionals who protect people and the environment with the peaceful use of nuclear materials in medicine, industry and research.

Duties

This position is located in the Division of Risk Analysis, Office of Nuclear Regulatory Research, Rockville, MD.

As the Senior Technical Advisor for Probabilistic Risk Assessment, you will serve as an agency authority on probabilistic risk assessment (PRA) and other risk assessment methods applicable to the full lifecycle of nuclear facilities and nuclear materials.
You will provide authoritative technical advice and assistance to Division management in the Division of Risk Analysis within the Office of Nuclear Regulatory Research as a Senior Level Advisor, on a broad variety of technical safety matters.
You will serve as an agency authority on PRA of the design, operation, and back-end issues associated with nuclear facilities, including associated nuclear materials, with an emphasis on PRA methods and associated research and development.
You will serve as an agency authority on applying broad risk assessment concepts and methods across a variety of agency programs.

Duties may include, but are not limited to:

• Serves as an agency staff technical expert in probabilistic risk analysis. Advises senior management on highly complex safety issues associated with all aspects of the design, operation, and back-end issues associated with nuclear facilities, including associated nuclear materials. Provides independent and expert evaluation of the NRC and industry's utilization of PRA in regulatory matters. Performs independent probabilistic studies of, or leads and directs teams charged with resolving, significant and complex technical issues associated with the design, operation, and back-end issues associated with commercial nuclear facilities. Provides leadership in establishing new approaches and leveraging new technologies to applying risk assessment concepts in areas that do not easily lend themselves to traditional PRA methods (e.g., materials program, physical and cyber security program). Independently pursues resolution of highly complex issues of safety significance which involve coordination and communication with many parts of the agency, industry, and the public.
• Provides leadership in agency interactions with other government agencies and industry relating to PRA, and presents and defends NRC technical positions, concerns, objectives, and requirements. Represents the Agency at government, academic, and industry conferences, seminars, and meetings. Maintains awareness of developments in other government, academic, industrial, and technology sectors’ activities in the use of risk assessment technology and identifies research activities to improve NRC’s regulatory environment as a modern regulator.
• Reviews draft research reports, proposed regulations, policies, reports, memoranda, and other agency documentation relating to or potentially impacting activities in the area of PRA, and provides comments, analysis, or suggestions as appropriate. Counsels Division management regarding the likely effect of research results, and regulatory or policy actions, related to PRA.
• Serves as a leader in developing training and mentoring programs and serves as a technical trainer and mentor in PRA for agency staff, providing guidance regarding methods, information sources, and approaches to resolving issues.
• Identifies opportunities for research, analysis, or data acquisition relating to issues associated with PRA. Independently identifies, evaluates, and recommends initiation of activities based on personal assessment of the value and relevance of potential lines of inquiry to office and overall NRC mission responsibilities. Supports division-level strategic planning for PRA-related activities.
• Serves as an agency resource in the area of PRA and broad risk concepts and supports, as needed, office and agency level activities. Examples include the response to a major event, and the formulation and implementation of an initiatives and working groups in support of the agency’s mission.
• Functions as a group/team leader for assigned research technical review or regulatory policy development projects. Coordinates efforts of group members within and external to the division, integrates findings and recommendations, develops reports, memoranda, or other documentation as appropriate, and presents project and program results and products to office and agency management.
• Represents agency on national and international working groups and standards committees and on technical conference committees associated with the development and uses of PRA.

Qualifications

Specialized Experience: You must have at least seven to ten years of specialized experience, or an equivalent combination of education and experience (e.g., graduate degree), that demonstrates detailed expert knowledge and experience of the principles, theory, and practices of at least one technical discipline key to the application of probabilistic risk assessment, including reliability engineering, probability and statistical theory, human reliability analysis, external event analysis, accident progression analysis, or offsite consequence analysis. Strong knowledge of the principles and practices of the remaining technical disciplines listed here. This knowledge should not be limited to national activities but should also include activities in the international community.
At least one year of this experience should be comparable in complexity and responsibility to the kind of work normally assigned at the grade 15 level or higher in the Federal government or equivalent.
Evaluation Criteria: Candidates will be evaluated on the criteria listed below. Your resume should include information that is clear, concise, and emphasize your level of responsibilities; the scope and complexity of the programs, activities, and/or issues involved; policy initiatives undertaken; level of contacts; the sensitivity and criticality of the issues you addressed; and the results of your actions as they relate to the evaluation criteria. In addition to your resume, you may use the available space provided to supply additional information regarding your qualifications for this position.

The ideal candidate for this position possesses:

• Demonstrated extensive knowledge of and experience in the theories, principles and especially practices in the field of nuclear engineering as it relates to the design, construction, operation and especially safety analysis of commercial nuclear power plants. (Including specific work experience, education, training, and accomplishments that demonstrate your expert knowledge and application of the principles, theories and practices in one of the fields of engineering as it relates to the design, construction, and operation of currently licensed commercial nuclear power plants. Your experience and accomplishments applying your knowledge and expertise to specific issues, problems, and applications, and providing authoritative advice and guidance on complex engineering issues. T types and complexity of projects or work assignments you have undertaken and your specific role (e.g., lead, contributor, etc.).
• Demonstrated extensive knowledge of, and experience as a recognized expert in, the theories and principles, methods, and especially practical applications of probabilistic risk assessment (PRA). Extensive experience using state-of-the-art probabilistic risk assessment techniques in evaluating safety issues involving nuclear power plant designs and operations, as well as the computer codes used, event tree and fault tree analyses, and knowledge of and experience using related data and parameter estimation techniques. Demonstrated knowledge and experience as an expert for level I PRA applications with general working knowledge of level II/III PRA. Applications should clearly demonstrate ability to achieve significant and useful results. Including specific work experience, education, training, and accomplishments that demonstrate your expert knowledge and experience in the (1) theories and principles, methods, and especially practical applications of PRA (2) as well as using state-of-the-art PRA techniques in evaluating safety issues involving nuclear power plant designs and operations, including the computer codes used, event tree and fault tree analyses, and knowledge of and experience using related data and parameter estimation techniques. Experience providing authoritative advice and guidance with respect to complex probabilistic risk assessment technical and regulatory issues. Your experience in one or more of the major technical disciplines of PRA (e.g.., internal events analysis, human reliability analysis, external hazard analysis). The types and complexity of projects or work assignments you have undertaken and your specific role including work with levels I/II/III PRAs (e.g., lead, contributor, etc.).
• Demonstrated extensive knowledge of, and experience as a recognized expert in, the theories and principles, methods of risk assessment and demonstrated leadership in establishing new approaches and leveraging new technologies to apply risk assessment concepts in areas that do not easily lend themselves to traditional PRA methods (e.g., nuclear materials programs, physical and cyber security programs).(Including specific work experience, education, training, and accomplishments that demonstrate your expert knowledge and experience in the theories and principles, methods of risk assessment and demonstrated leadership in establishing new approaches and leveraging new technologies (e.g., machine learning, data analytics) to apply risk assessment concepts in areas that do not easily lend themselves to traditional PRA methods. Your leadership in the development and implementation of new risk assessment methods in the field of nuclear as well as any additional experience outside of nuclear (aerospace, chemical).)
• Demonstrated advanced oral and written communication skills, and experience effectively conveying and presenting complex and detailed information of a technical and/or policy nature to colleagues, peers, senior management officials, and representative of other institutions, agencies, or organizations. (Including the kinds of oral presentations or briefings you have made, and the audience levels and groups involved (i.e., colleagues, senior management officials, representatives of other institutions/organizations, etc.). The nature, scope and complexity of the issues and topics involved. Your most difficult or challenging writing assignments. Your contributions to publication of articles or studies. Your experience participating on panels or at professional meetings and conferences. Provide specific examples and accomplishments reflecting your ability to explain, advocate and express facts and ideas in a convincing manner.)
• Demonstrated ability to function as an organizational representative, and liaison on substantive technical and policy issues, and to achieve cooperation and consensus among parties engaged in joint or parallel efforts. (The various types and levels of individuals you routinely interact with and for what purposes). Your experience representing (e.g., presenting, negotiating, selling, defending) your organization before a variety of individuals and your success in achieving organizational goals and objectives. Your experience interacting with external entities, both government and non-governmental (e.g., industry, intervener) organizations. Your accomplishments in identifying the internal and external policies that impact the work of the organization and developing and implementing successful approaches to discuss and resolve sensitive or adversarial situations/issues. Provide specific examples of developing professional networks with other organizations and situations which required you to use tact, diplomacy and negotiation skills to achieve cooperation and develop consensus, and your accomplishments in building coalitions and effective work relationships.
A description of how you possess the specialized experience as well as how you meet the qualifications desired in an ideal candidate should be addressed in your resume. The NRC encourages applicants to provide extensive job experience details in your resume. Brief (e.g. one page) resumes are highly discouraged and will place you at a disadvantage during the hiring process due to lack of information. Applicants may also use the supplemental vacancy question to provide additional information pertaining to specialized experience and ideal candidate criteria.

Education

Basic Education Requirements:
1. Degree: Engineering. To be acceptable, the program must: (1) lead to a bachelor’s degree in a school of engineering with at least one program accredited by ABET; or (2) include differential and integral calculus and courses (more advanced than first-year physics and chemistry) in five of the following seven areas of engineering science or physics: (a) statics, dynamics; (b) strength of materials (stress-strain relationships); (c) fluid mechanics, hydraulics; (d) thermodynamics; (e) electrical fields and circuits; (f) nature and properties of materials (relating particle and aggregate structure to properties); and (g) any other comparable area of fundamental engineering science or physics, such as optics, heat transfer, soil mechanics, or electronics.
OR
1. Combination of education and experience -- college-level education, training, and/or technical experience that furnished (1) a thorough knowledge of the physical and mathematical sciences underlying engineering, and (2) a good understanding, both theoretical and practical, of the engineering sciences and techniques and their applications to one of the branches of engineering.

How to Apply

Visit www.nrc.gov Review the NRC Career Opportunities page, Opportunities section and click on “view a list of current NRC vacancies, please visit USAJobs EXIT.” Find the Senior Technical Advisor for Probabilistic Risk Assessment Job Announcement Number RES/DRA-2021-0004 and apply on-line by July 27, 2021. If you are viewing this opportunity after July 27th please visit NRC’s website and discover additional opportunities for which you might be interested.


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