Reliability and Risk Analyst

Rockville, Maryland
Mar 07, 2021
Mar 14, 2021
Full Time


This position is located in Office of Nuclear Regulatory Research (RES), Division of Risk Analysis (DRA), Probabilistic Risk Assessment Branch (PRAB). The supervisor is John A. Nakoski. This position is in the Bargaining Unit, has Contracting Officer Representative duties that may subject the incumbent to the Confidential Financial Disclosure Reporting requirements, and is subject to the security ownership restriction reporting requirements.

Learn more about this agency


As a Reliability and Risk Analyst, you will perform technical analyses and review technical studies. You will have the responsibility of managing research projects in the fields of system reliability analysis for internal and externally initiated accidents, including fire initiated accidents, accident physical process analysis, containment severe accident response, human reliability analysis and/or offsite consequence analysis of nuclear reactors or other facilities using nuclear materials. Duties include but not limited to:

1. Performs risk analyses: Evaluates the design and functional capability of nuclear facilities and/or devices to withstand accident conditions, with a focus on estimating the frequencies of accidents and their consequences.

2. Performs reviews of risk analyses: Reviews risk analyses of an issue in a nuclear facility or device, or a more broad study of an entire facility or device, submitted by NRC licensees or other organizations.

3. Manages contractor projects in risk analysis methods development or applications: Identifies the need for research projects which can be obtained under contract, and develops appropriate work scope. Serves as project manager on research programs in support of the staff regulatory activities under contract with Department of Energy laboratories, other government agencies, academic institutions, and private contractors to provide technical guidance and to assure compliance with contract requirements.

Travel Required

25% or less - Minimal travel may be required.

Supervisory status

Promotion Potential


Conditions of Employment

  • U.S. Citizenship Required
  • This is a Drug Testing position.
  • 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 order to qualify for this position, you must have at least one year of specialized experience at the next lower grade level (12) in the Federal service or equivalent experience in the private or public sector.

SPECIALIZED EXPERIENCE is defined as experience that demonstrates the knowledge of probabilistic risk analysis and application of risk assessment tools, methods, or models to support risk-informed safety decision-making for nuclear power plants.

The ideal candidate will be able to demonstrate the following:

1. Demonstrated knowledge of the design, operation and configuration of major systems of commercial nuclear power plants (reactor, engineered safety feature, balance of plant, and auxiliary). (Examples may include your education, training and experience related to engineering (nuclear, mechanical, electrical, chemical or similar) or "hard" science (e.g., physics). Examples may also include your experience related to the following: (1) engineering and analysis or inspection experience involving design, maintenance, or operation of nuclear power plant systems; (2) plant transient and accident analysis typical of or similar to SAR Chapter 15; (3) level 1 or similar nuclear power plant probabilistic risk assessment.)

2. Demonstrated ability in applying the principles, theories, and practices of probabilistic risk analysis in the assessment of operating commercial nuclear power reactors. (Examples may include your experience that demonstrates your knowledge of the principles, theories and practices of engineering or physical science as it relates to the application of reliability and risk analysis and/or severe accident analysis in nuclear power facility design, fabrication, construction, analysis, testing, maintenance and/or operations. Examples may also include your experience in the application of probabilistic risk analysis for nuclear power plants or other complex facilities. Your accomplishments in areas such as Levels 1, 2, and 3 risk analyses; severe accident progression; low-power and shut down operations; fire safety; human reliability analysis; common cause failure; and external events are described.)

3. Ability to plan, manage, and analyze regulatory or technical issues and to develop sound recommendations and solutions. Ability to contribute to mission-critical programs with competing deadlines and conflicting resource demands. Ability to negotiate and build consensus on the resolution of regulatory and technical issues. (Examples may include your experience and training with analyzing regulatory or technical issues and developing recommendations for resolution. Examples may also include your ability to negotiate and build consensus on the resolution of regulatory and technical issues.)

4. Ability to communicate information, ideas, and advice in a clear, concise and logical manner, both orally and in writing, with colleagues, subordinates, management, senior managers, advisory organizations such as the NRC's Commission or Advisory Committee on Reactor Safeguards (ACRS) or equivalent industry organization(s), members of the public, representatives of professional groups, or other Federal/State agencies. (Examples may include your specific experience, training and accomplishments that demonstrate your ability to communicate information and ideas, both orally and in writing, where the type of original writing you routinely perform is described ( e.g., memoranda, letters, reports) as well as the type of oral briefing you perform.)

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.


Qualification for 0801 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 website:

Qualification for 1301 series:

Basic Requirements:

A. Degree: physical science, engineering, or mathematics that included 24 semester hours in physical science and/or related engineering science such as mechanics, dynamics, properties of materials, and electronics.


B. Combination of education and experience -- education equivalent to one of the majors shown in A above that included at least 24 semester hours in physical science and/or related engineering science, plus appropriate experience or additional education.

Additional information

Travel expenses associated with interview will not be paid. Relocation expenses will not be paid, with the exception of current NRC employees.

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 Deaf applicants may contact the Disability Program Manager by calling the NRC videophone at 240-428-3217.

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:

Selectee's 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.

When the application process is complete, your application will be reviewed to determine if you meet the job requirements. You will be rated based on the information provided in your resume and responses to any vacancy questions to determine your level of knowledge, skill, and ability related to the job requirements. If you are among the top candidates for this position, your application will be referred to the hiring manager.

Your resume is the key means we have for evaluating your knowledge, skills, and abilities as they relate to this position. Therefore, we encourage you to submit a thorough resume that directly relates to this position.

To preview questions please click here .

Background checks and security clearance

Security clearance
L Access Authorization

Drug test required

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

If you are applying for a position that requires a college degree, you must submit your College Transcripts.

If you are applying under the Schedule A Hiring Authority and wish to be considered you must supply supporting documentation. Documentation of disability is required, i.e., Schedule A Letter. Such documentation is used to verify that the individual being hired is indeed a person with an intellectual disability, severe physical disability, or psychiatric disability. This documentation must be provided to the hiring agency at the time of application, before an individual can be hired. Documentation of eligibility for employment under Schedule A can be obtained from a licensed medical professional (e.g., a physician or other medical professional certified by a state, the District of Columbia, or a U.S. territory to practice medicine); a licensed vocational rehabilitation specialist (i.e., state or private); or any Federal agency, state agency, or agency of the District of Columbia or a U.S. territory that issues or provides disability benefits. You may refer to the following link to view Proof of Disability Documentation (

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 1-571-258-4052.

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 schools accredited by accrediting institutions recognized by the U.S. Department of Education .

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.

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