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Job Details

Nuclear Regulatory Commission

Nuclear Engineer

Architecture and Engineering


$126,233.00 - $164,102.00



Maryland, Maryland, United States

As a Nuclear Engineer in NRR’s Division of Safety Systems or Division of Advanced Reactors, Non-Power Production, and Utilization Facilities, you will be responsible for the following pertaining to operating or new light-water or non-light-water power or non-power production or utilization facility applications: 1) reviewing and evaluating design, process design parameters, and performance of reactor systems and nuclear fuel designs, including fuel performance, thermal hydraulic, and reactivity phenomena under steady-state, transient and accident conditions for licensing basis events; 2) conducting reactor systems confirmatory analyses; 3) reviewing and evaluating policy issues related to reactor systems methodologies and requirements for proposed designs; 4) preparing safety evaluation reports (SERs), audit reports, and other documentation; 5) presenting results of evaluations to internal and external stakeholders (e.g., NRC Commission, NRC Advisory Committee on Reactor Safeguards (ACRS), NRC Atomic Safety and Licensing Board Panel, international regulatory counterparts, industry and non-governmental organization representatives, the public); and 6) performing technical audits related to reactor systems performance and licensing basis event evaluation.

Requirements Conditions of Employment

  • This is a Drug Testing position.
  • Subject to security ownership restriction reporting requirements.
  • U.S. Citizenship Required
  • Background investigation leading to a clearance is required for new hires.

You must meet the qualifications for this position by no later than 30 calendar days after the closing date of this announcement and before placement in the position.


In addition to the educational requirements to qualify for this position, you must have at least one year of specialized experience at the next lower grade level (GG-13) in the Federal Service or equivalent experience in the private or public sector.

Specialized Experience is defined as experience technically and analytically reviewing and evaluating design, process design parameters, and performance of reactor systems and nuclear fuel designs for nuclear reactors, including both thermal hydraulic and reactivity phenomena under steady-state, transient and accident conditions for design basis events.

The ideal candidate will be able to demonstrate the following:

  1. Demonstrated capacity to apply the theories, principles, and practices in the field of reactor systems and nuclear fuel sufficient to evaluate designs, process design parameters, and review performance for a variety of operating or new light-water or non-light-water power or non-power reactor and nuclear fuel designs.

    Describe specific experience, education, and training that demonstrate your ability to apply your knowledge related to reactor systems design, neutronic and thermal-hydraulic behavior and fuel designs for operating or new light-water or non-light-water power or non-power reactors. Include examples relative to both thermal hydraulic and reactivity phenomena under steady-state, transient and accident conditions for licensing basis events and issues related to qualification of nuclear fuel designs. Highlight experience in performing computer-assisted analyses in the area of nuclear fuel, reactor thermal-hydraulics and/or core physics for licensing basis event analysis.

  2. Demonstrated ability in formulating sound technical judgements, making technical or policy recommendations, and finding solutions to unique first of a kind technical or policy challenges regarding issues pertaining to event evaluation in the areas of core physics, fuel behavior, reactivity control system and control rod design, and core thermal-hydraulic performance.

    Describe education, training and experience that demonstrate your ability to formulate technical judgments. Provide examples of judgments, recommendations, or actions you have taken regarding unique first of a kind technical or policy issues pertaining to core physics, fuel behavior, reactivity control system and core thermal-hydraulic performance. Describe your ability to identify complex issues and recommend successful approaches for resolution for areas representing a departure from past precedent, or in the absence of applicable guidance. Highlight examples that demonstrate resourcefulness, initiative, and ingenuity in reaching work objectives. Include specific examples that describe the complexity of the work, and your ability to organize, prioritize and accomplish work such as reactor systems reviews, or authorship of technical or policy papers.

  3. Demonstrated knowledge of NRC rules, regulations, and policies pertaining to light-water or non-light-water power or non-power production or utilization facilities through familiarity with NRC’s advanced reactor vison, strategy, and policy activities, reactor licensing regulations, passive reactor design policies, system design standards, and regulatory guides and practices. Demonstrated application of this regulatory knowledge through the performance of licensing activities related to nuclear reactors such as recommending and implementing improvements to regulations, guidance, and technical review processes related to nuclear engineering.

    Describe specific experience, training, and accomplishments that demonstrate your familiarity with NRC rules, regulations, and policies pertaining to light-water and non-light-water power or non-power production or utilization facilities. Include several technical work examples and describe the complexity of the issues. Highlight licensing experience evaluating reactor system performance under steady state, transient, and accident conditions, and experience with new light-water and non-light-water power or non-power production or utilization facilities. Include specific examples that demonstrate your experience recommending and implementing improvements to regulations, guidance and technical review processes related to nuclear engineering.

  4. Demonstrated ability to communicate information, ideas, and advice in a clear, concise, and logical manner, both orally and in writing. Demonstrated ability to establish and maintain effective work relationships with management and staff, colleagues, and representatives of external organizations.

    Describe education, training, and experience which demonstrate your ability to present information, ideas, and advice in a clear, concise, and logical manner both orally and in writing. Describe your ability to deal effectively with various levels of staff, to coordinate and prepare documents using various inputs. Describe the various types and levels of individuals you routinely interact with and for what purposes. What types of original writing do you generate? With whom do you communicate orally and for what purpose? What types of working relationships have you made, with whom, and how frequently? Include examples of situations where it was necessary for you to use tact, diplomacy, and negotiation skills to achieve cooperation or consensus when interacting with staff, management, or the general public

    A description of how you possess the specialized experience, as well as how you meet the qualifications desired, should be addressed in your resume and additional space provided for supplemental response.


Qualification for All Professional Engineering 0800 Series:

Basic Requirements:

A. 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.


B. 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:

1. 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.

2. 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.

3. 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.

4. 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.)

More detailed information about these alternatives are described in the U.S. Office of Personnel Management Qualification Standards Operating Manual which may be accessed at the following [Register to View]

Additional information

This position is not subject to Confidential Financial Disclosure reporting requirements. This position issubject to security ownership restriction reporting requirements.

Based on the staffing needs of the agency/area of consideration, additional selections may be made from this vacancy announcement.

The duty location of this position is Rockville, MD. In general, employees are expected to be in the office 4 days per pay period. Telework schedules are approved, on a case-by-case basis. If selected, telework will be determined in accordance with Agency policy and the Collective Bargaining Agreement, if applicable.

To ensure compliance with an applicable preliminary nationwide injunction, which may be supplemented, modified, or vacated, depending on the course of ongoing litigation, the NRC will take no action to implement or enforce the COVID19 vaccination requirement pursuant to Executive Order 14043 on Requiring Coronavirus Disease 2019 Vaccination for Federal Employees. The NRC will request information regarding the vaccination status of selected applicants for the purposes of implementing other workplace safety protocols, such as protocols related to masking, physical distancing, testing, travel, and quarantine.

The NRC provides reasonable accommodation to applicants with disabilities where appropriate. Individuals with disabilities may contact the Selective Placement Coordinator for assistance with the application or hiring process via [Register to View] Deaf applicants may contact the Disability Program Manager by calling the NRC videophone at [Register to View] .

Individuals who are eligible for non-competitive appointment under an OPM special appointing authority may apply for consideration under a comparable NRC non-competitive appointing authority. Veterans, please visit: [Register to View] will be required to complete a "Declaration of Federal Employment", (OF-306), prior to being appointed to determine their suitability for Federal employment and to authorize a background investigation. False statements or responses on your resume or questionnaire can jeopardize your employment opportunity and subject you to disciplinary action, including removal from Federal service.

A transferable security clearance from another agency or a background investigation leading to a clearance is required for all new hires. To begin work at the NRC without a security clearance, you must be granted a temporary waiver of the required clearance, referred to as a 145(b) waiver. To be eligible for a 145(b) waiver you will need a favorable education verification, reference, credit, and criminal history checks. If a wavier is granted, the successful completion of a background investigation and favorable adjudication is required for continued employment. If you have resided outside the U.S. for an extended period of time, the agency may not be able to (1) grant the 145(b) waiver where the required investigation cannot be completed in a timely manner, or (2) achieve timely completion of the background investigation required for a security clearance.

The NRC is a zero tolerance agency with respect to illegal drug use. Individuals selected for this position will be subject to pre-appointment drug testing unless currently in a NRC position subject to random drug testing AND will be subject to random drug testing upon appointment to the NRC.

How You Will Be Evaluated

You will be evaluated for this job based on how well you meet the qualifications above.

We strongly encourage you to read the entire announcement before you submit your application for this position.

Your application for this vacancy must be received online via the USAJOBS application system BEFORE 11:59 pm Eastern Time on the closing date of this announcement. If you fail to submit a complete online application, you will not be considered for this position.

The NRC requires that applicants submit resumes built using the USAJOBS Resume Builder tool. The Resume Builder tool is activated upon selecting "Build New Resume" under the "Resumes" section of your USAJOBS account.

Resumes uploaded to your USAJOBS jobseeker account that have not been built using the USAJOBS Resume Builder tool WILL NOT be accepted and you WILL NOT be allowed to further advance through the NRC application process.

To ensure you are using the correct resume type when applying to our vacancies, please make sure that the resume you are using during the application process is listed with a format type of "USAJOBS Resume" and a source type of "Built with USAJOBS Resume Builder. Verifying this information on your USAJOBS resume before applying will ensure the successful submission of your application to the NRC job vacancy.

Paper applications will not be accepted unless hardship circumstances can be demonstrated. Requests for extensions WILL NOT be granted. If applying online poses a hardship for you, the Human Resources Specialist listed on the announcement will provide assistance to ensure that applications are submitted online by the closing date. Applicants must contact the Human Resources Specialist during business hours BEFORE the closing date of the announcement and speak to someone who can provide assistance for your online submission.

You must answer any job specific vacancy questions. You will be rated based on your responses to any vacancy questions and especially the information provided in your resume. Breadth, recency, and length of experience in the field; training, awards, and commendations; past and current performance; and community or outside professional activities will be considered to determine your level of knowledge, skill or ability for this position. Abbreviated responses to the vacancy questions, such as “significant experience” or “see resume” do not provide enough information and should not be used. You will not be considered for this position if you leave any of the vacancy questions unanswered.
To begin the application process, select the "Apply On-line" button to the right on this screen. Then follow the prompts to login/register, submit all required supplemental documents, and complete the application process.

Required Documents

List of supplemental material that may be applicable:

If you are a NRC employee you are required to submit your most recent Rating of Record (Performance Appraisal) or a statement saying that one is not available.

If you are a current/reinstatement eligible Federal employee with status (Tenure Group 1 or 2), you will be considered under our merit promotion procedures and must submit a copy of your most recent SF-50 (Notification of Personnel Action) to verify competitive status or reinstatement eligibility.

Veterans' Preference documentation, if applicable (e.g. DD-214 Member Copy 4 showing type of discharge/character of service; Current Active Duty members must submit a certification of expected discharge or release from active duty under honorable conditions dated within 120 days; SF-15 Form and related documentation; VA letter.) You can find additional information about Veterans' Preference at [Register to View] you are applying for a position that requires a college degree, you must submit your College Transcripts.

All supplemental documents will now be collected electronically and should be submitted before the closing date of this vacancy announcement. You have three choices for submitting your supplemental documents:

1. Use the "USAJOBS" feature to download documents from your USAJOBS portfolio; or
2. use the "Upload" feature to upload documents directly from your computer. The following types of documents can be uploaded: .gif, .jpeg, .png, .rtf, .pdf, and .doc; or
3. use the "Fax" feature to print the Fax Cover Sheet and fax it, along with your supplemental documents to 1-[Register to View] .

If you are relying on your education to meet qualification requirements:

Education must be accredited by an accrediting institution recognized by the U.S. Department of Education in order for it to be credited towards qualifications. Therefore, provide only the attendance and/or degrees from [Register to View] .

Failure to provide all of the required information as stated in this vacancy announcement may result in an ineligible rating or may affect the overall rating.