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Reactor Systems Engineer (Severe Accidents)

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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 Office of Nuclear Regulatory Research (RES), Division of Systems Analysis (DSA), Fuel and Source Ter Code Development Branch (FSCB), North Bethesda/Rockville, MD.

DIRECT HIRE AUTHORITY: This position is being filled using Direct-Hire Authority.

As a Reactor Systems Engineer (Severe Accident) at the full performance level of this position, you will conduct and coordinate with other engineers specialized research in the area of severe accident analysis. You will use and develop severe accident analysis codes to support resolution of relevant safety and technical issues of Agency interest. You will also coordinate, plan, develop, and provide technical direction of relevant safety research programs.

Duties include but not limited to:

1. Performs routine studies of severe accident, source term and containment thermal-hydraulic behavior using advanced multiphysics computational codes (e.g., MELCOR) and maintain state-of-the-art knowledge and expertise in the area of severe accident and source term code development and assessment, and experiments used to develop and/or validate computer codes.
2. Maintains and assists other engineers in the development of the state-of-practice NRC severe accident codes such as MELCOR and specialized phenomenology codes (e.g., TEXAS code for fuel coolant interaction, CORQUENCH for ex-vessel corium coolability).
3. Performs severe accident and containment thermal hydraulic modeling with MELCOR in support of Agency research needs as well as urgent licensing needs of user offices.
4. Provides technical direction to contractors involved in various severe accident analysis, and coordinates support to users of these programs.
5. Prepares presentations at technical and programmatic review meetings. Attends and participates in technical conferences and seminars sponsored by the NRC and/or professional societies for the purpose of addressing regulatory issues, as requested.

Qualifications

In order to qualify for this position, you must have at least one year of specialized experience at the next lower grade level in the Federal service or equivalent experience in the private or public sector.
For the GG-11 level:
To qualify at the GG-11 grade level, you must have at least one year of specialized experience equivalent to the GG-09 grade level which is defined as experience that demonstrates the knowledge of computer languages and codes (e.g., Fortran, MATLAB, and/or specialized system level codes) and knowledge of one or more of the following areas of reactor and nuclear power plant systems design and analysis: accident progression and containment thermal-hydraulics, radionuclide release and transport, or severe accident phenomenology.
OR
3 years of progressively higher level graduate education leading to a Ph.D. degree OR a Ph.D. OR equivalent doctoral degree.
For the GG-12 level:
To qualify at the GG-12 grade level, you must have at least one year of specialized experience equivalent to the GG-11 grade level which is defined as experience that demonstrates the knowledge of computer languages and codes (e.g., Fortran, MATLAB, and/or specialized system level codes) and technical experience in one or more of the following areas of reactor and nuclear power plant systems design and analysis: accident progression and containment thermal-hydraulics, radionuclide release and transport, or severe accident phenomenology.
For the GG-13 Level:
To qualify at the GG-13 grade level, you must have at least one year of specialized experience equivalent to the GG-12 grade level which is defined as experience that demonstrates the knowledge of computer languages and codes (e.g., Fortran, MATLAB, and/or specialized system level codes) and technical experience in one or more of the following areas of reactor and nuclear power plant systems design and analysis: accident progression and containment thermal-hydraulics, radionuclide release and transport, or severe accident phenomenology to analyze and resolve technical and safety issues.
The ideal candidate will be able to demonstrate the following:

1. Demonstrated knowledge of engineering principles and mathematical methods for severe accident phenomena and nuclear reactor design and accident analysis. Examples may include specific experience and accomplishments which demonstrate your knowledge of mathematical and experimental methods for containment thermal-hydraulics, severe accident phenomena, and nuclear reactor design and analysis associated with light water reactor (LWR), accident tolerant fuel (ATF), and non-light water advanced reactor designs.
2. Demonstrated knowledge of the design, development, and application of system level and specialized computer codes for severe accidents. Examples may include specific experience and accomplishments which demonstrate your knowledge of the design, development, and application of severe accident codes (e.g., MELCOR, TEXAS, CORQUENCH). Examples may also include experience in analyzing severe accident codes for accuracy and reliability and experience which demonstrate your knowledge in computer code confirmatory analyses of containment thermal-hydraulics and severe accident phenomena (e.g., in-vessel melt progression, combustible gas behavior, fuel coolant interaction, molten core concrete interaction, etc.) and the use of confirmatory analyses to support risk-informing and resolution of relevant safety and technical issues.
3. Demonstrated ability to independently coordinate, plan, develop, and provide technical oversight and direction of analytical and experimental research programs or projects. Examples may include experience in reviewing, coordinating, and managing the activities of an analytical and experimental research program within schedule and resource limitations, in evaluating varied proposals and approaches to meet a program or project’s challenges, and recommending and implementing changes for improving the effectiveness and efficiency of a program or project.
4. Demonstrated ability to effectively communicate technical information both orally and in writing. Examples may include specific experience and accomplishments that demonstrate your ability to effectively communicate technical information both orally and in writing. Examples may also include leading complex technical discussions, consolidating complex and diverse opinions, data, or analysis results into concise, balanced, and well-founded recommendations and producing high quality technical reports to diverse stakeholders.
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 and additional space provided for supplemental response.


Education

Qualification for All Professional Engineering 0800 Series:
Basic 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. The adequacy of such background must be demonstrated by one of the following:
2. Professional registration or licensure -- Current registration as an Engineer Intern (EI), Engineer in Training (EIT)1, or licensure as a Professional Engineer (PE) by any State, the District of Columbia, Guam, or Puerto Rico. Absent other means of qualifying under this standard, those applicants who achieved such registration by means other than written test (e.g., State grandfather or eminence provisions) are eligible only for positions that are within or closely related to the specialty field of their registration. For example, an applicant who attains registration through a State Board's eminence provision as a manufacturing engineer typically would be rated eligible only for manufacturing engineering positions.
3. Written Test -- Evidence of having successfully passed the Fundamentals of Engineering (FE)2 examination or any other written test required for professional registration by an engineering licensure board in the various States, the District of Columbia, Guam, and Puerto Rico.
4. Specified academic courses -- Successful completion of at least 60 semester hours of courses in the physical, mathematical, and engineering sciences and that included the courses specified in the basic requirements under paragraph A. The courses must be fully acceptable toward meeting the requirements of an engineering program as described in paragraph A.
5. Related curriculum -- Successful completion of a curriculum leading to a bachelor's degree in an appropriate scientific field, e.g., engineering technology, physics, chemistry, architecture, computer science, mathematics, hydrology, or geology, may be accepted in lieu of a bachelor’s degree in engineering, provided the applicant has had at least 1 year of professional engineering experience acquired under professional engineering supervision and guidance. Ordinarily there should be either an established plan of intensive training to develop professional engineering competence, or several years of prior professional engineering-type experience, e.g., in interdisciplinary positions. (The above examples of related curricula are not all-inclusive.)

How to Apply

Visit www.nrc.gov Review the NRC Career Opportunities page, click on “Apply Now” then “Search for New Opportunities” and click on “view a list of current NRC vacancies, please visit USAJobs EXIT.” Find the Reactor Systems Engineer (Severe Accidents) Job Announcement Number RES/DSA-2022-0001 and apply on-line by December 21, 2021. We strongly encourage you to read the entire announcement before you submit your application for this position so that you correctly submit all necessary materials and documentation. If you are viewing this opportunity after December 21st please visit NRC’s website and discover additional opportunities for which you might be interested. NOTE: DIRECT HIRE AUTHORITY: This position is being filled using Direct-Hire Authority.



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