Environmental Scientist

Environmental Scientists are the technical experts who review all environmental aspects of licensing, constructing, operating and decommissioning nuclear power facilities.  The work they do to evaluate the environmental impact of actions can be the difference between success and failure of the Commission’s responsibilities to protect the environment and uphold public health and safety.
  • Environmental Scientists consider socioeconomic impact, environmental justice, human health, air and water quality, noise impact, land use/visual impact, waste management, cost-benefit analyses and other cumulative effects on the environment.
  • Their work assures compliance with applicable environmental laws, executive orders and regulations.
  • They are excellent communicators of complex technical information to NRC management and diverse stakeholders, including members of the public and state and local officials.
  • NRC’s strategic objectives of protecting public health and safety and the environment, promoting national security and providing for regulatory actions that are effective, efficient and open are part of their everyday modus operandi.
photo of a man with a white lab coat on wearing latex gloves, is holding a long test tube in his right hand, and pouring it into a clear glass container held in his left hand.

Quote from current or former employee in this position:

“To be an Environmental Scientist with NRC, you need to be
part scientist, part engineer, part lawyer and part politician.
All of these roles come into play.  I know my work has agency-wide impact.”

  • ‚ÄčIncumbents are skilled analysts and technical evaluators able to identify data gaps in environmental reviews
  • They have knowledge and experience in physical and environmental science fields to analyze and evaluate environmental impact reports, license applications, construction and operating processes and decommissioning studies.
  • They are knowledgeable of the technologies that exist to minimize the impact of environmental issues.
  • They are effective communicators with superb verbal and written delivery skills, especially when it involves the presentation of complex information in an understandable manner to NRC leadership and outside stakeholders.
  • The accuracy and thoroughness of their work is critical to the ultimate success of NRC’s environmental impact assessments.
  • Incumbents must be knowledgeable of the environmental laws, rules, regulations and Commission procedures that are in play when evaluating the environmental impact of nuclear facility siting, construction, operation and decommissioning.
  • They understand the importance of effective interactions with officials of other Federal agencies and with state, local and Tribal representatives.
Environmental Scientists range in grade from GG-13-15, depending upon the level of duties and responsibilities.‚Äč
  • Complete environmental reviews that cover pre- and post-construction permits, various operating and facility licenses, nuclear fuel transportation and storage licenses and decommissioning reviews
  • Functions as a technical specialist and an environmental project manager to assess the environmental impact of license applications, construction, operation and decommissioning of nuclear-facility sites
  • Prepares written reports and makes presentations to explain the content and conclusions of environmental reviews
  • Interacts with NRC internal staff and representatives of other governmental bodies and Tribal organizations to solicit input, collaborate and explain proposed and final decisions relating to environmental impact findings
  • Uses knowledge of environmental laws, rules, regulations and Commission processes to advise management on best alternatives for granting licenses, constructing and operating facilities and decommissioning sites
  • Handles and helps resolve allegation issues
  • Provides specialized technical assistance and represents NRC at hearings and meetings of diverse stakeholders when environmental impact assessments are in question
  • Advises agency management on all aspects of environmental impact
  • Performs regulatory and technical reviews and analysis of environmental assessments
  • Evaluates proposed environmental impact activities
  • Prepares studies and reports
  • Presents problem-solving alternatives
  • Provides guidance to technical staff
  • Reports accomplishments, challenges and issues, including budgetary concerns to management
  • Coordinates input and collaborates with internal and external stakeholders
  • Interacts and collaborates with other technical staff of contractors and state and local bodies to resolve issues and develop alternatives to solve environmental impact challenges
  • Participates in public hearings to explain environmental content and conclusions of reviews
  • Headquarters—Offices/Divisions, Rockville, MD
  • Regions—King of Prussia, PA; Atlanta, GA; Lisle, IL; Arlington, TX
  • Creative problem-solving skills
  • Strong verbal and written communications skills
  • Ability to see issues from multiple perspectives
  • Able to balance collaborative and autonomous work environments
  • Strong planning and organizational skills
  • Research ability
  • Analytical and evaluative abilities
  • Attention to detail
  • Ability to self-manage
  • Ability to manage the work of other technical staff
  • Ability to establish and maintain amicable working relationships
  • Effective listening ability
  • Interpersonal skill at all levels
  • Knowledge of physical and environmental science as applied to assessing environmental impact of various stages of nuclear site establishment, operation and decommissioning
  • Knowledge of agency policies, rules and regulations relative to environmental impact activities
Candidates for Environmental Scientist opportunities can be found in the following types of NRC jobs:
  • Engineer
  • Physical Scientist
  • Health Physicist
View Current NRC Vacancies and explore the possibilities!