PNNL Careers

Nuclear Criticality Safety Engineer


Job Description

Job ID: 307820
Full/Part Time: Full-Time
Regular/Temporary: Regular

Job Description

At Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, we distinguish ourselves in our commitment to deliver outstanding science and technology that makes a difference to the nation. We provide nationally leading expertise in chemistry, earth sciences, and data analytics. And we excel at advancing scientific discovery, improving energy resiliency, and enhancing national security. At the heart of these rich capabilities and important outcomes is our talented scientists, engineers, and support professionals. Therefore we provide a work environment that fosters creativity, innovation, and collaboration. At the forefront is our focus on executing our programs safely and securely.

The Nuclear Operations Division of PNNL contributes to operational success by delivering effective and efficient facilities, systems, processes, and services that produce outstanding results for our research and operations partners, and enable staff to conduct their work in a safe, compliant, and environmentally sound manner.

The Nuclear Criticality Safety Program provides the framework, expertise, and training to enable safe and compliant work with fissionable materials.

Responsibilities and Accountability:

• Develop nuclear criticality safety evaluations and program documents that meet applicable PNNL and DOE requirements and standards, utilizing nuclear criticality safety software (SCALE and MCNP) as needed.
• Perform nuclear criticality safety reviews of existing and proposed facility designs and modifications; and research or processing activities involving fissionable materials.
• Perform evaluation of unplanned events involving fissionable material and participate in recovery planning.
• Participate in the preparation and approval of Criticality Safety Specifications and associated Temporary Variances.
• Mentor nuclear criticality safety staff in performance of nuclear criticality safety evaluations and support of program implementation and training.
• Performs hazards analysis, accident analysis, derives hazard controls, and documents the results in a nuclear facility safety basis (i.e., documented safety analysis and technical safety requirements).
• Maintains the safety basis current via the un-reviewed safety question process, performance of safety basis amendments and updates, and development of preliminary documented safety analyses in support of new nuclear facility designs or major modifications to existing facilities.
• Develops procedures and training related to the planning, development, implementation, maintenance, and revision of safety basis documentation and the un-reviewed safety question process.

Equal Employment Opportunity

Battelle Memorial Institute (BMI) at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity Employer and supports diversity in the workplace. All employment decisions are made without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, veteran status, marital or family status, sexual orientation, gender identity, or genetic information. All BMI staff must be able to demonstrate the legal right to work in the United States. BMI is an E-Verify employer. Learn more at

Minimum Qualifications

Bachelor's degree and 10+ years of relevant experience or Advanced degree and 8+ years of relevant experience.

Preferred Qualifications

• Progressively responsible experience in the nuclear industry; DOE experience preferred. The individual should possess strong technical and operational experience in operating nuclear facilities, preferably in an R&D environment. Must be self-motivated and self-directed; and recognized as a technical expert.
• Proven ability to successfully address criticality safety and regulatory issues, with a strong background in the interpretation and application of ANSI/ANS-8 requirements and DOE Standards for development and implementation of criticality safety evaluations is preferred. The individual should be capable of writing robust criticality safety specifications and implementing procedures.
• Effective writing and verbal communication skills are required. The incumbent must possess good negotiation skills, and must be able to effectively communicate with a variety of levels of staff and external DOE clients in providing effective and compliant solutions to programmatic criticality safety issues. The incumbent must also have experience in conducting assessments, preparing complex technical procedures and reports, assessment responses, and correspondence for internal and external DOE customers.
• The ability to obtain a DOE security clearance is required.
• The ability to obtain Radiological Worker I qualifications is also required.
• Professional license and/or certification.
• Capability to qualify as a Nuclear Criticality Safety Engineer as a joint position/role.

Organization and Job ID

Job ID: 307820
Directorate: Operational Systems Directorate (OSD)
Division: Facilities and Operations (F&O)
Group: Nuclear Safety and Facility Authorization

Other Information

Special/Hazardous Working Conditions or Environment:
– Work at 325 Radiochemical Processing Laboratory, a hazard category 2, DOE-owned non-reactor nuclear facility.
– Potential exposure to low levels of ionizing radiation and standard industrial hazards.

Other Information

This position requires the ability to obtain and maintain a federal security clearance.

* U.S. Citizenship
* Background Investigation: Applicants selected will be subject to a Federal background investigation and must meet eligibility requirements for access to classified matter in accordance 10 CFR 710, Appendix B.
* Drug Testing: All Security Clearance (L or Q) positions will be considered by the Department of Energy to be Testing Designated Positions which means that they are subject to applicant, random, and for cause drug testing. In addition, applicants must be able to demonstrate non-use of illegal drugs, including marijuana, for the 12 consecutive months preceding completion of the requisite Questionnaire for National Security Positions (QNSP).

Note: Applicants will be considered ineligible for security clearance processing by the U.S. Department of Energy until non-use of illegal drugs, including marijuana, for 12 consecutive months can be demonstrated.