Probabilistic Risk Assessment (PRA) Engineer

Date: Feb 5, 2024

Location: Oak Ridge, TN, US, 37830

Company: Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Requisition Id 12455 


We are seeking a Probabilistic Risk Assessment (PRA) Engineer who will focus on developing new risk, safety, security, and economic models and their integrations to enable the deployment of advanced nuclear energy systems in support of global decarbonization and energy transition efforts. This position resides in the Risk Methods and Analysis (RMA) Group in the Advanced Reactor Engineering and Development Section of the Nuclear Energy and Fuel Cycle Division of the Fusion and Fission Sciences and Engineering Directorate, at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL).  


As part of our research team, you will contribute to:


  • Development of PRA models for advanced and small modular reactors (A/SMRs), radioisotope systems, energy grid, AI/ML supervisory systems, and other systems with critical safety or economic elements
  • Development of new analysis methods and computer simulation tools for safety and security analysis of nuclear energy systems
  • Development of regulatory and licensing recommendations for A/SMRs
  • Inform the additive manufacturing and other advanced manufacturing industries on the use of statistics and risk to support product qualification and regulatory acceptance
  • Support project development activities such as proposals and idea creation in new areas of research related to PRA, nuclear safety and security, energy resiliency, system reliability, and regulatory/policy development


Work in these areas supports the research programs of the US Department of Energy, partnerships with other federal programs, industry collaborations, and operations at ORNL’s major research facilities, such as the Spallation Neutron Source and High Flux Isotope Reactor.


Our team members have the opportunity to work collaboratively with diverse subject matter experts from across the laboratory to solve challenging and important problems related to the development, construction, and operation of nuclear energy technologies, other carbon-free energy technologies, and ORNL scientific facilities.


Staff are expected to perform work consistent with Environment, Safety, Security, Health, and Quality (ESH&Q) requirements and business rules.  Further, all staff members are expected to support a diverse and inclusive work environment where every employee feels safe, heard, and appreciated—a workplace that sets an example for the broader community.


Major Duties/Responsibilities: 

  • Support Principal Investigators with the development, design, and analysis of high-impact PRA and nuclear safety/security related research.
  • Thoroughly document work performed to meet sponsor and mission needs, including preparation of peer-reviewed papers for publications in journals and conference proceedings.
  • Collaborate with other members of the division to develop new programs, write proposals, and pursue new funding opportunities.
  • Exercise the principles in ORNL’s “Research Code of Conduct” as a guide for proposing, performing, and communicating research.
  • Deliver ORNL’s mission by aligning behaviors, priorities, and interactions with our core values of Impact, Integrity, Teamwork, Safety, and Service. Promote diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility by fostering a respectful workplace – in how we treat one another, work together, and measure success.


Basic Qualifications:

  • PhD in nuclear engineering, mechanical engineering, physics, mathematics, computational science, or a closely related field


Preferred Qualifications:

  • Demonstrated knowledge of nuclear fundamentals, radiation protection, and nuclear energy systems
  • Demonstrated experience working with or developing PRA, risk, or other statistical models
  • Demonstrated experience writing scientific and technical reports and giving presentations to government, industry, or research communities
  • Experience with nuclear systems or nuclear safety concepts
  • Experience working with analysis tools such as CAFTA, RISKMAN, SAPHIRE, RELAP, MELCOR, MAAP, SCALE, MCNP, GOTHIC, TRACE, etc.
  • Experience with Python, C#, Matlab, R, or other scientific programming languages


About Fusion and Fission Energy and Science Directorate:

The Fusion and Fission Energy and Science Directorate (FFESD) addresses compelling challenges in fission and fusion energy systems, enabling Oak Ridge National Laboratory to pursue national priorities in current and advanced nuclear research, development, and deployment.


FFESD traces its roots to the X-10 Graphite Reactor, the world’s first continuously operated nuclear reactor, and to early innovations in fusion research and engineering. The directorate’s unique facilities, capabilities, and talented scientists and engineers are currently tackling such challenges as extended operations of the current US nuclear reactor fleet; investigating economical and flexible advanced reactor systems; and making fusion energy a viable power source. The directorate leverages synergies between fusion and fission across domestic and international programs.


To learn more about FFESD at ORNL go to


This position will remain open for a minimum of 5 days after which it will close when a qualified candidate is identified and/or hired.

We accept Word (.doc, .docx), Adobe (unsecured .pdf), Rich Text Format (.rtf), and HTML (.htm, .html) up to 5MB in size. Resumes from third party vendors will not be accepted; these resumes will be deleted and the candidates submitted will not be considered for employment.

If you have trouble applying for a position, please email

ORNL is an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants, including individuals with disabilities and protected veterans, are encouraged to apply.  UT-Battelle is an E-Verify employer.

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