What aspects of the job interest you? What type of upward mobility does this job provide? Where do you see yourself five or ten years after you first start the job?
The job I’m looking at and would like to work towards is a Nuclear Regulatory Commission Health Physicist. This job interests me because it combines my experience with nuclear power plants, radiation monitoring and mixed (hazardous and radioactive) waste storage and disposal. I believe that, because of the inspection and policies required for this job, upward mobility would include policy writing for the NRC. I could see this job lasting for 5 to 10 years before I’d move on to policy writing.
What are some of the job responsibilities described for this position?
Job responsibilities for a Health Physicist include the following:
Review license applications for all uses of byproduct, source and special nuclear material other than nuclear power production.
Perform routine and complex inspections of operating and/or decommissioning reactor facilities, including ISFSI to observe and assure conformance to NRC rules and regulations.
Perform routine planned and reactive inspections of materials licensees to ascertain conformity with design and other criteria, evaluate the adequacy of licensee controls and provisions for radiological and environmental safety.
Recommend enforcement action with regional management approval when inspection findings indicate a significant violation of the license or NRC rules and regulations
Prepare inspection reports to document whether the facility is being operated safely, the licensee’s management control program is effective, and regulatory requirements are being met.
What types of training or education will prepare you for the job? Once you acquire the job, what type of training or education will prepare you to advance in your position?
Education and training requirements for this job are:
Knowledge of the principles, theories and practices in the field of health physics and radiation safety, and in the implementation of programs associated with the use of byproduct, source or special nuclear materials in the areas of medical, industrial, academic, decommissioning (material use or reactor operations), or Independent Spent Fuel Storage Installation (ISFSIs).
Demonstrated ability to perform evaluation and analysis of radiological health hazards, or remediation of either byproduct, source or special nuclear material.
Demonstrated knowledge of NRC rules and regulations related to the radiation protection aspects in the licensing and inspection of byproduct, source, and special nuclear materials.
Demonstrated ability to present technical information both orally and in writing.
Degree: natural science or engineering that included at least 30 semester hours in health physics, engineering, radiological science, chemistry, physics, biology, mathematics, and/or calculus OR Combination of education and experience — courses as shown in A above, plus appropriate experience or other education; or certification as a health physicist by the American Board of Health Physics, plus appropriate experience and other education that provided an understanding of sciences applicable to health physics comparable to that described above.
Give an example of a work activity which may require the skill sets of multiple crafts mentioned above.
The combination of education and experience for this job would cover a range of work activities, but the focus on health physics and radiological science specifically would lend itself towards the types of inspections I did as Mixed Waste lead at Kings Bay. We had areas of our radiologically controlled building where materials that were both hazardous (lead, cadmium, chromium, etc) and radioactive, where stored until shipment. Because the equipment or material covered both of these descriptors, a basic understanding of radiological controls was required, as well as a thermoluminescent dosimeter (TLD) radiation monitoring device. This also covered the potential of an emergency, like a radioactive spill, where potentially radioactive substances are found outside of their designated areas, and immediate actions would need to be taken. From there, a list of standards for that area, including cleanliness, storage and labeling requirements, were assessed and annotated, potentially with specific critiques or areas for improvement. A follow-up report for this inspection would then be made and either posted or sent to the appropriate leadership.
USAjobs.com (2020). Health Physicist: Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Retrieved from: https://www.usajobs.gov/GetJob/ViewDetails/574548300
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