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Section Head (Operational Safety Section) (P5)

Vienna (Austria)

  • Organization: IAEA - International Atomic Energy Agency
  • Location: Vienna (Austria)
  • Grade: P-5, International Professional - Internationally recruited position - Senior level
  • Occupational Groups:
    • Nuclear Technology
    • Technology, Electronics and Mechanics
    • Monitoring and Evaluation
    • Security policy
    • Security and Safety
    • Managerial positions
    • Operations and Administrations
  • Closing Date: 2020-04-03

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Organizational Setting

The Department of Nuclear Safety and Security (NS) formulates and implements the IAEA's nuclear safety and security programme, which encompasses the IAEA's activities to protect people and the environment from radiation exposure, and responds to the needs of its Member States related to nuclear safety and security.

The objective of the Division of Nuclear Installation Safety (NSNI) is to achieve and maintain a high level of safety of nuclear installations worldwide that are under design or construction or in operation. The Division does this by establishing standards of safety for the protection of health, including standards for nuclear power plants and other nuclear installations and facilities, and by providing for the application of these standards through, among other things, support for the IAEA's Technical Cooperation programme, the rendering of safety review services, the promotion of education and training, the fostering of information exchange and the coordination of research and development. In addition, the Division helps ensure safety at nuclear installations by promulgating international safety instruments such as the Convention on Nuclear Safety and the Code of Conduct on the Safety of Research Reactors. NSNI comprises five Sections\:
•External Events Safety Section
•Operational Safety Section
•Safety Assessment Section
•Regulatory Activities Section
•Research Reactor Safety Section

The main aim of the Operational Safety Section (OSS) is to enhance Member States' capabilities to improve the operational safety of nuclear power plants through operational safety review services, the use of IAEA safety standards and continuous self-assessment. Its activities include assessment of operational safety performance, long-term operation and operating experience; promotion of management for safety and safety culture; and maintaining the international reporting system database for nuclear power plants.

Main Purpose

Reporting to the Division Director, the Section Head is the manager and team leader of the Operational Safety Section responsible for initiating, developing and implementing the IAEA's policy and programme on operational safety. He/she leads the Section's activities to ensure the efficacy and efficiency of the IAEA's programme on a global level, and manages the Section's financial and human resources.


The Section Head is\: (a) a programme manager in a specialized, multilateral environment, finding practical solutions and presenting arguments that can achieve results; (b) an adviser, providing analysis and background information to the Division Director on the formulation of strategies and policies related to the Section's technical responsibilities, and facilitating their implementation; (c) a managerial team leader, planning, managing, coordinating and supervising the activities of the Section in accordance with IAEA policies and programmes and Member States' needs and ensuring that programmes and tasks are implemented effectively; (d) a safety review services mission team leader, planning and leading complex safety reviews, preparatory meetings and follow-up missions; (e) a promoter, conveying to multiple audiences the IAEA's vision and mission in this area; (f) a substantive technical expert contributor, managing and implementing projects of particular complexity and/or sensitivity; and (g) a facilitator of cooperation with other organizations and with other Departments in the IAEA dealing with this area of work.

Functions / Key Results Expected

  • Plan, initiate, develop, implement, coordinate and supervise the activities of the Section.
  • Provide technical and managerial leadership to (a) develop or revise IAEA Safety Standards for all types of nuclear installations which are under the responsibility of the Section; (b) enhance the capability of Member States in relation to the application of the IAEA's Safety Standards by carrying out operational safety review services; and (c) coordinating and supporting education and training activities, and conducting Coordinated Research Projects to enhance technical skills in Member States.
  • Broaden knowledge of operational safety, operating experience feedback, long term operation and safety culture through\: organizing scientific meetings and programmes, contributing to the preparation and of scientific publications, and collaborating with relevant international organizations, committees and scientific societies.
  • Plan, manage and lead the development, review and publication process of IAEA Safety Standards for all types of nuclear installations which are under the responsibility of the Section.
  • Plan, organize and lead complex safety review missions, including preparatory and follow up visits and assessment of Member States' needs. Provide technical input and coordinate the preparation of mission reports.
  • Identify strategies and analyse information to enhance the capability of the Section's programme to address Member States' needs and lead the IAEA's activities related to supporting the further strengthening of the international safety regime in the assigned technical areas.
  • Coordinate the Section's provision of specialized technical input to technical cooperation projects in the subject area.
  • Provide support and relevant expertise for the Incident Emergency System (IES) and participate in associated training and exercises.

The incumbent may perform his/her work in areas involving exposure to radioactive materials. Therefore, as an Occupationally Exposed Worker, he/she must be medically cleared by VIC Medical Service and is subject to an appropriate radiation and health monitoring programme, in accordance with the IAEA's Radiation Safety Regulations.

Competencies and Expertise

Core Competencies

Name Definition
Planning and Organizing Sets clearly defined objectives for himself/herself and the team or Section. Identifies and organizes deployment of resources based on assessed needs, taking into account possible changing circumstances. Monitors team’s performance in meeting the assigned deadlines and milestones.
Communication Encourages open communication and builds consensus. Uses tact and discretion in dealing with sensitive information, and keeps staff informed of decisions and directives as appropriate.
Achieving Results Sets realistic targets for himself/herself and for the team; ensures availability of resources and supports staff members in achieving results. Monitors progress and performance; evaluates achievements and integrates lessons learned.
Teamwork Encourages teamwork, builds effective teams and resolves problems by creating a supportive and collaborative team spirit, remaining mindful of the need to collaborate with people outside the immediate area of responsibility.

Functional Competencies

Name Definition
Analytical thinking Applies business analytics to establish programme priorities. Makes rational judgements from the available information and analysis.
Client orientation Examines client plans and develops services and options to support ongoing relationships. Develops solutions that add value to the IAEA's programmes and operations.
Judgement/decision making Consults with and seeks advice at the appropriate managerial level when making complex decisions. Facilitates dialogue and development of best practice to support judgement/decision making, in full compliance with the IAEA's regulations and rules.

Required Expertise

Function Name Expertise Description
Nuclear Safety NPP Conduct of Operations Experience in the conduct of operation of nuclear power plants, including operation, maintenance, operating experience feedback, radiation protection, chemistry, accident management and emergency planning and preparedness.
Nuclear Safety Nuclear Installation Safety Expertise in all aspects of safety of nuclear installations, including siting, design, construction, commissioning, operation and decommissioning.
Nuclear Safety Operational Safety Assessment Expertise in assessing operational safety performance of nuclear power plants, including leadership and management and culture for safety.
Human Resources Project Management Excellent project management skills and work experience in multidisciplinary and multi-cultural environment.

Qualifications, Experience and Language skills

  • Advanced university degree in engineering or physical/nuclear sciences. 
  • Minimum of 10 years of experience in nuclear related applications, out of which 5 years should be in a senior or managerial level in international or regulatory settings.
  • Experience at the international level, including the development of the IAEA safety standards (either directly or indirectly) and/or providing for their implementation through participation in IAEA Safety Review Services or IAEA Technical Workshops.
  • In-depth knowledge of such complementary fields as nuclear physics, and reactor design and operation.
  • Excellent oral and written command of English. Knowledge of other official IAEA languages (Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian and Spanish) is an asset.


The IAEA offers an attractive remuneration package including a tax-free annual net base salary starting at US $88162 (subject to mandatory deductions for pension contributions and health insurance), a variable post adjustment which currently amounts to US $ 35177, dependency benefits, rental subsidy, education grant, relocation and repatriation expenses; 6 weeks' annual vacation, home leave, pension plan and health insurance

Applications from qualified women and candidates from developing countries are encouraged

Applicants should be aware that IAEA staff members are international civil servants and may not accept instructions from any other authority. The IAEA is committed to applying the highest ethical standards in carrying out its mandate. As part of the United Nations common system, the IAEA subscribes to the following core ethical standards (or values)\:
Integrity, Professionalism and Respect for diversity. Staff members may be assigned to any location. The IAEA retains the discretion not to make any appointment to this vacancy, to make an appointment at a lower grade or with a different contract type, or to make an appointment with a modified job description or for shorter duration than indicated above. Testing may be part of the recruitment process

We do our best to provide you the most accurate info, but closing dates may be wrong on our site. Please check on the recruiting organization's page for the exact info. Candidates are responsible for complying with deadlines and are encouraged to submit applications well ahead.
Before applying, please make sure that you have read the requirements for the position and that you qualify.
Applications from non-qualifying applicants will most likely be discarded by the recruiting manager.

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