International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)

Unit Head (Decommissioning and Remediation Unit)

International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA)

Job Description

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

The Division of Radiation, Transport and Waste Safety (NSRW) develops and maintains standards for radiation protection, radioactive waste safety, and safety in the transport of radioactive material that enable the beneficial uses of radiation to be used while ensuring appropriate protection of workers, the public and patients. It also assists Member States in the implementation of these standards and provides related services.

The Waste and Environmental Safety Section is responsible for the delineation of a global waste safety framework based upon the Joint Convention on the Safety of Spent Fuel Management and on the Safety of Radioactive Waste Management, and the development and application of safety standards for the management of radioactive waste, decommissioning, remediation and environmental releases.

The Decommissioning and Remediation Unit of the Waste and Environmental Safety Section is concerned with the establishment and application of safety standards related to the remediation of contaminated environments, the decommissioning of facilities using radioactive material (e.g. nuclear power plants, research reactors, fuel cycle facilities) and the management of naturally occurring radioactive material (NORM) waste, in particular the residues and wastes from the mining and milling of uranium ores. The Unit provides leadership for services to operators, regulators and other specialized users involved in assuring safety in the decommissioning of facilities using radioactive material, the release and re-use of sites, the clearance of material and in assessing and advising on the safety of mine/mill tailings.

Main Purpose The Unit Head identifies opportunities for improving the quality and application of safety standards for decommissioning, remediation and management of NORM, drawing on the knowledge and experience of those around them. As a team leader reporting to the Section Head, the Unit Head develops and coordinates a programme that makes best use of the team and available resources to deliver against these opportunities on a global scale.

Role The Unit Head is: (a) a programme Coordinator in a specialized, multilateral environment with diverse views on the issues, finding practical solutions and presenting arguments that can achieve results; (b) a manager and team leader, ensuring that programmes and tasks are implemented effectively; (c) a facilitator of cooperation with other organizations and with other Departments in the IAEA dealing with this area of work; and (d) an Adviser/promoter, conveying to multiple audiences the IAEA's vision and mission in this area.

Functions / Key Results Expected Proposes improvements to and leads development of the IAEA's safety standards and guidance material on decommissioning, remediation and NORM management, based on the most recent knowledge and experience in this area, with a view to establishing a consistent approach to regulation at the international level.

Promotes exchange of information among specialists on an international level regarding the latest developments in the area, e.g. through technical cooperation projects, technical meetings, workshops and specialised forums.

Leads and participates in international advisory and appraisal missions to Member States to determine the level of safety in decommissioning nuclear facilities, in site remediation and management of NORM. Provides authoritative information, advice and guidance on the subject to national counterparts.

Builds and maintains strategic partnerships and alliances with a wide range of stakeholders in Member States, international and other governmental organizations and the industry to ensure acceptance of the IAEA's safety standards for decommissioning, remediation and management of NORM. Leads efforts within the IAEA to ensure the coherence and synergy of related programmes of work.

Plans and coordinates the work of the Unit to ensure delivery of the programme objectives and supervises the staff.

Competencies and Expertise

Core Competencies
  • 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
  • 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 Agency’s regulations and rules.
  • Leading and supervising Serves as a role model when leading and supervising others. Provides his/her team with clear direction, promotes a dynamic working climate and empowers others. Is open to new ideas and demonstrates creativity in search of excellence.
  • Partnership building Identifies interests and goals common to the Agency’s partners and its stakeholders to foster partnership building. Promotes collaboration with partners, colleagues across teams and stakeholders.
  • Technical/scientific credibility Provides guidance and advice in his/her area of expertise on the application of scientific/professional methods, procedures and approaches.
Required Expertise
  • Radiation, Transport and Waste Safety Application of Safety Standards Understanding and knowledge of the IAEA's Safety Standards and experience in their application.
  • Radiation, Transport and Waste Safety Development of IAEA Safety Standards Ability to develop consensus views of specialists on complex technical issues, and capture conclusions in well researched and high quality reports.
  • Radiation, Transport and Waste Safety Environmental Remediation Understanding and knowledge of planning and implementing projects to remediate contaminated sites and environments.
  • Radiation, Transport and Waste Safety Management of Naturally Occurring Radioactive Material Understanding and knowledge of the safety issues associated with the management of materials containing naturally occurring radioactive material (NORM), including their long-term management.
  • Radiation, Transport and Waste Safety Safe Decommissioning of Installations using Radioactive Substances Understanding and knowledge of strategies for decommissioning of facilities, and implementation of strategies.
  • Radiation, Transport and Waste Safety Safety of Tailings from the Mining and Milling of Radioactive Ores Understanding and knowledge of what is needed to ensure the long-term safety of tailings facilities and remediated sites, in particular for sites related to uranium production.
Qualifications, Experience and Language skills

Master's Degree - Advanced university degree in engineering, science or other related field.

At least 10 years' experience in the fields of waste safety, of which at least 7 years should have been concerned with some aspects of the safe decommissioning of installations using radioactive substances, the remediation of contaminated environments, and the management of residues from uranium production and 5 years' managerial experience.

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 $89837 (subject to mandatory deductions for pension contributions and health insurance), a variable post adjustment which currently amounts to US $ 46266, 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
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