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Learn more about Nuclear Criticality Safety Division

A Professional Division of the American Nuclear Society dealing with the practice of ensuring that fissile material operations outside of reactors are performed safely.  Our area of expertise encompasses operating practices, field support, code development, cross section measurement, critical and subcritical experimentation as well as common sense.


A diverse and active group. We represent all facets of nuclear criticality safety, including academics, the Department of Energy, Nuclear Regulatory Commission, contractors, owners and operators of nuclear facilities.  We include national and international individuals, professionals and students, technical experts and program managers.  NCSD has over 800 members, yet is small enough to have others know your name and follow your development.

Criticality safety is a close-knit community and the opportunity for making technical and social contacts through NCSD is substantial.  NCSD gives you instant access to an extensive technical network that can help you solve difficult problems quickly and distinguish yourself from the crowd.  We provide training and resources to help you get the answer right the first time.  By getting involved, you can make a difference: contributing best practices and innovative solutions, helping others in your field through mentoring and sponsoring newcomers, and increasing the safety of the public.  NCSD represents a forum where you can develop leadership skills, contribute new ideas, make your opinions heard and help shape future standard practices and regulations.  We also recognize and award impressive contributions to the field.


  The highly educated and experienced Nuclear Criticality Safety (NCS) professionals examined in this study are commanding healthy salaries, an attractive array of benefits and they appear to have satisfaction in their overall compensation. Their salaries are higher than that of all engineers when adjusting for years of experience, which can be attributed to a number of factors including:

  • Large portion of respondents with advanced degrees (66%)
  • Significant professional experience: 21.9 years on average
  • Significant experience in NCS: 14.6 years on average
  • Expertise in NCS, where 65% (on average) of respondents’ time is devoted to NCS

Nuclear Criticality Safety Professionals Compensation Study        (PDF) (October 2016)

News / Upcoming Events

NCSD Topical RFP

The American Nuclear Society (ANS) Nuclear Criticality Safety Division (NCSD) sponsors the NCSD Topical meeting with support from Local Sections, international institutions, and subsets of the NCSD. The notice is to request a proposal for the NCSD Topical meeting.

Pitch Your Job!

Congratulations to Amber McCarthy of Consolidated Nuclear Services (CNS) on winning the popular vote in the ‘Pitch Your Job’ Young Members Group (YMG) session at the 2020 ANS Annual Virtual Meeting. Early career and mid-career professionals were allowed 3 minutes and a single slide to present their career to their peers; the pitch format was a fun and informal way to provide a quick snapshot at the diverse applications and experiences Nuclear Criticality Safety (NCS) engineers can support within the nuclear field. NCS engineers are present at both DOE and NRC sites because ‘any process that uses fissile material had a nuclear criticality safety engineer in the background making sure that it was transported safely, stored safely, and produced safely’. Much thanks to the YMG for hosting the session and encouraging our early career professionals to share why they enjoy working in NCS!


NCSD Mentor Match Program

NCSD Education Committee members Hannah Morbach, Jennifer Alwin, and Deb Hill have been developing a mentoring program for professionals in the NCS community. The NCSD Mentor Match Program leverages a modular framework to connect mentors and mentees based on past experience, desired skillsets, and communication preferences, and seeks to facilitate the mission of the Education Committee: To promote development of nuclear criticality safety expertise by providing opportunities that offer technical growth and recognition. Click on the link to download the NCSD Mentor Match Program (69626 downloads) .

In order to identify any potential improvements, we are kicking off the program now to any interested participants so that we have time to incorporate feedback before the 2019 ANS Winter Meeting Mentor Match Program Panel. If you are interested in participating in the first round, please fill out an application and return to by September 17. The Matching Committee will review your applications and make pairs based on the interests and needs indicated in your application. This is a great way to share, learn, and make meaningful and lasting connections! Our goal is to reveal your Mentor/Mentee by September 30.