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EM Update | Vol. 8, Issue 12 | June 30, 2016
EM Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary Mark Whitney delivers the keynote address at this year’s Contract and Project Management Workshop.
WASHINGTON, D.C. – About 100 EM employees from across the complex gathered for a meaningful exchange that focused on continuous improvements in planning and executing the cleanup program’s contracts and projects at an annual workshop this month.
The interactive Contract and Project Management Workshop at EM headquarters provided an interactive forum for the meaningful exchange of ideas and perspectives between field and headquarters staff. Headquarters officials listened to the needs and achievements of EM’s field sites and participants gave insight into the drivers that lead to contract and project management policies changes.
Workshop attendees, who included federal procurement directors, contracting officers, project directors and operations activities managers, listened to briefings by EM leaders and participated in panel discussions that covered a range of topics, from contract human resources management improvement to awarding and managing fixed-price contracts.
In his keynote address at the workshop, EM Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary Mark Whitney shared successes resulting from implementing lessons learned and best practices in project management across the complex.
“Strong contract and project management is essential to everything we do in the EM program and this workshop has done a lot over the last several years to help in that regard, particularly in the area of lessons learned and best practices,” Whitney said. “This is something we have really tried to focus on in the past couple years within the EM program.”
Whitney said it’s an exciting time for the program with several recent significant accomplishments, from completion of construction of the Salt Waste Processing Facility at the Savannah River Site eight months ahead of schedule to implementing a revised safety basis and starting cold operations at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP).
“A lot of work has been done there in the past couple years and I’ve said repeatedly how proud I am of that,” Whitney said of the WIPP workforce’s efforts.
A successful project at one site benefits the entire complex because the accomplishment gives the communities near cleanup sites and other stakeholders confidence in EM, Whitney said.
“The confidence we instill in them that we are able to complete things effectively and efficiently and in a safe manner is huge,” Whitney said. He added that the efforts of the workshop attendees in the contract and project management fields are instrumental in EM’s success.
EM Acquisition and Project Management Deputy Assistant Secretary Jack Surash noted that when EM and its contractor teams are aligned in contract and project management, problems can be resolved at the lowest level, benefitting the program. Surash also said maintaining communication and following through with components of partnering agreements between contractors and site managers is an effective way to expedite cleanup.
The panels discussed scenarios that affect project and contract managers. Topics included critical decisions through the budget process and impacts of a DOE order that gives direction on the acquisition of capital assets with the goal of delivering projects within the original performance baseline, cost and schedule, and fully capable of meeting mission performance, safeguards and security, and environmental, safety, and health requirements.
DOE and Parsons employees gather in front of SWPF after the ribbon-cutting ceremony.
AIKEN, S.C. - EM celebrated another milestone in the cleanup of radioactive liquid waste stored at the Savannah River Site (SRS) with a recent ribbon-cutting ceremony for the Salt Waste Processing Facility (SWPF).
The event marked the completion of construction of SWPF, a key component of the SRS liquid waste program.
SWPF will process the majority of the site’s salt waste inventory by treating highly radioactive salt solutions stored in underground tanks at SRS. Removing salt waste, which fills over 90 percent of tank space in the SRS tank farms, is a major step toward emptying and closing the site’s remaining 43 high-level waste tanks.
DOE-Savannah River Manager Jack Craig said SWPF is a “main cog” in the future of the site’s high-level liquid waste remediation.
“When operational, it will allow us to accelerate or more rapidly treat our salt waste at 10 times the rate it is being processed today,” said Craig.
Parsons, the contractor for SWPF, declared construction of the facility complete in April, eight months ahead of the renegotiated schedule and $60 million under budget.
Parsons Executive Vice President of Construction Services Anthony Leketa and Parsons Senior Vice President and SWPF Project Manager Frank Sheppard praised workers for the project’s successful completion.
“We at Parsons are so very proud of our team here on the ground in Aiken, led by Frank Sheppard, and what they have accomplished,” said Leketa.
DOE and Parsons officials gather to cut the ribbon for SWPF. Pictured foreground, left to right, holding oversized scissors, DOE-SR SWPF Federal Project Director Pam Marks, Parsons Senior Vice President and SWPF Project Manager Frank Sheppard, EM Assistant Secretary Monica Regalbuto, and DOE-SR Manager Jack Craig.
EM Assistant Secretary Monica Regalbuto, center, DOE-SR Manager Jack Craig, left to right, Parsons SWPF Construction Director Chuck Swain, and Parsons Vice President and SWPF Deputy Project Manager/Director of Engineering Tom Burns tour the newly constructed SWPF.
EM Assistant Secretary Monica Regalbuto joined in the praise for SWPF.
Before Parsons signed the design contract in 2002, Regalbuto was among those working in research and development on processes that would one day be used in the operation of the facility.
Regalbuto said that if you are a chemical engineer, it is not often that you see a project go from the research and development stages to full operation.
The project will now transition to the testing and commissioning phase. Components and systems will be rigorously tested to ensure that they meet DOE’s strict safety and design requirements for waste processing. The facility is currently scheduled to begin radioactive operations in December 2018.
SWPF won the Department of Energy Secretary’s Project Management Improvement Award for 2015 and was recently named Project of the Year by the American Society of Civil Engineers, South Carolina Section.
WEST VALLEY, N.Y. – It has been 20 years since a human has been allowed in the Vitrification Cell at EM’s West Valley Demonstration Project (WVDP), where past operations involved solidifying liquid high-level radioactive waste.
WVDP workers are cleaning up the cell in the Vitrification Facility as part of greater efforts to decontaminate the facility and prepare for its safe and compliant demolition.
“The West Valley Demonstration Project was the only operational commercial used fuel reprocessing facility in the U.S. This marks a major milestone in advancing the Phase I Decommissioning – Facility Disposition,” WVDP Director Bryan Bower said of workers entering the cell. “Many of the current workers were involved in the construction of the Vitrification Facility, and now they are taking part in the deconstruction.”
To watch a video of the deactivation in the cell, click here.
Inside the cell, which is 70 feet long, 43 feet wide and 46 feet tall, workers will:
Workers were allowed to enter the cell after all major components used in the vitrification process were removed, which allowed deactivation activities to be conducted more safely.
Crane-supported shears and robotic arms cut jumpers and piping. Components were disconnected and placed in specially designed containers. Some packages were filled with grout to fix contamination, eliminate void space, reduce radioactivity dose rates external to the containers, and stabilize the components inside the containers. The components and piping were dismantled remotely.
Three major vitrification components collectively weighing more than 300,000 pounds — the melter, the Concentrator Feed Makeup Tank and the Melter Feed Hold Tank — were removed from the cell and placed in safe storage on the southern plateau of the site until they can be transported to a permanent disposal site.
Workers also remotely removed from the cell as much of the contaminated and potential hazardous materials as possible, including lead counterweights, petroleum-based oils from cranes and material packaged as mixed or hazardous wastes. That work also allowed workers to enter the cell to perform additional decontamination and further reduce the radiological source term in the highly radioactive cell prior to demolition.
“The crews have been actively involved in the work planning process to ensure we complete this demolition as successfully as the 01-14 Building — safe, compliant demolition,” said Tom Dogal with Facility Disposition at CH2M HILL BWXT West Valley, EM’s WVDP contractor.
During commercial fuel processing conducted at the site between 1966 and 1972, approximately 600,000 gallons of liquid high-level waste was generated. Inside underground tanks, the waste separated into high-activity and low-activity portions.
In the late 1980s and early 1990s, the low-activity portion was mixed with cement and disposed of as low-level waste offsite in 2006 and 2007.
Workers solidified the liquid high-level waste extracted from the underground tanks into borosilicate glass through the vitrification process and filled 275 10-foot-tall canisters. The canisters are stored in a shielded cell inside the Main Plant Process Building, where they are being added to concrete casks and placed on an on-site interim storage pad awaiting offsite disposal.
After the last canister was filled in 2002, the system was flushed and powered down, and the cleanup focus shifted from vitrification to decontamination, deactivation and dismantlement of the cell.
Shirley Perez, a robotic arms operator, center, and EM Assistant Secretary Monica Regalbuto, right, listen to a briefing on the new robotic arms to be installed in EM’s Advanced Mixed Waste Treatment Project this fall.
IDAHO FALLS, Idaho – Shirley Perez may be the most excited person ready to get her hands on new robotic arms when they are installed in the EM Idaho Site’s Advanced Mixed Waste Treatment Project (AMWTP) boxlines this fall.
Perez is certified to operate the robotic arms and supercompactor in AMWTP, a transuranic waste treatment plant at the Radioactive Waste Management Complex (RWMC), where she has worked since 2004. During that time, Perez estimates she’s cut, ripped apart, and smashed more than 2,000 containers of transuranic waste that came to the Idaho Site from the former Rocky Flats Plant near Denver, a weapons facility EM closed in 2006 after completing a complex environmental cleanup project there.
“That’s the best part of the job, being in control of a robotic arm that can break things up into smaller pieces,” Perez said. “We operate in pairs, with our partner watching and recording every container that we break apart. Who wouldn’t love being able to be productive while flattening containers?”
EM is working to better leverage technology development to reduce time and life-cycle costs associated with its cleanup across the DOE complex. EM focuses on the use of robotics in some of the cleanup’s most hazardous, challenging environments. The program believes there is an important role for robotics in monitoring, and detecting abnormal conditions, and conducting cleanup, reducing the potential for human exposure to hazardous operations.
Built by a Swedish company, the Idaho Site’s robotic arms will replace existing older model arms that have operated over the past 12 years to help with the treatment of the legacy waste. The arms are located in the AMWTP Treatment Facility’s boxlines, huge concrete and metal hot cells where the containers of radioactive waste are opened and sorted without exposing workers to the hazardous materials inside.
AMWTP employee Shirley Perez checks out features of new robotic arms to be installed this fall to help with legacy waste cleanup.
Perez says it takes three months to qualify as a robotic arms operator and at least another three months to become proficient in moving them and using the shear and super clamshell tools designed to perform different functions.
“We’re very skilled in the operations of these arms,” Perez said. “Even to the point where we’re able to turn the individual pages of a magazine with the super clamshell tool.”
EM plans to replace other key AMWTP equipment, including portions of the conveyor system that moves drums, the robotic computer control system for the cranes and drum lidding machines, and new components for the ventilation system, as funding permits.
While the ripping and smashing work will continue with the new robotic arms, Perez is most looking forward to the ease with which the arms’ tools can be changed.
“When Assistant Secretary Monica Regalbuto visited in mid-June, she asked what was the hardest activity operating robotic arms,” Perez said. “Hands down, it’s changing tools on the current arms. It’s a difficult, multi-step process, about as easy as standing on your head. The new arms have the capability of changing tools with a single click and that’s going to make an operator’s life much easier.”
The new robotic arms will increase the productivity of Perez and other employees at AMWTP.
“We’re really, really good at what we do at the RWMC-AMWTP,” Perez said. “RWMC-AMWTP has safely and compliantly treated more transuranic waste than any other project in the country. It’s the only facility in DOE’s complex that has this type of equipment, including our supercompactor. Without a doubt, we’re poised to help the rest of the nation safely and compliantly treat its remaining transuranic waste.”
AMWTP employees have treated and shipped 57,300 cubic meters of waste out of Idaho.
RICHLAND, Wash. – Final decontamination efforts are underway in a former processing canyon that once supported Hanford’s Plutonium Finishing Plant. Due to the facility’s contamination levels, employees wear several layers of protective gear and breathe air from tanks on their backs as they decontaminate “hot spots” from the wall of the Plutonium Reclamation Facility canyon. EM and contractor CH2M HILL Plateau Remediation Company have made significant progress preparing the facility for demolition. In 2013, debris covered the canyon floor and processing tanks hung in the canyon. Presently, the debris and tanks are gone, with cleanup efforts wrapping up for the facility.
IDAHO FALLS, Idaho – Several recommendations from technical experts who attended a Chemistry Summit in January and a Fluidized Bed Workshop in April have been incorporated into EM’s Idaho Integrated Waste Treatment Unit (IWTU), and based on a recent simulated waste treatment test, the results look promising.
IWTU is intended to treat the approximately 900,000 gallons of remaining radioactive liquid tank waste at DOE’s Idaho Site using steam-reforming technology to convert the liquid sodium-bearing waste to a granular solid, which is transferred to stainless steel canisters for safe storage and eventual disposal.
DOE’s Idaho Operations Office and DOE headquarters convened the two meetings of scientists and engineers from several DOE sites to examine a problem IWTU was experiencing during advanced startup testing. At the Chemistry Summit, technical experts examined the chemical processes inside IWTU’s reaction vessel, how the simulated waste feed was being applied, the type of fluidized media inside the vessel, and the temperature of the process. Scientists and engineers who attended the Fluidized Bed Workshop were tasked with examining how to improve the fluidized movement of the media inside the treatment vessel as simulated liquid waste was being injected into the fluidized bed.
Recommendations from both groups were incorporated into a waste simulant campaign that was completed in May. These recommendations included introducing supplemental carbon dioxide into the reaction vessel, reducing the feed rate of coal used in the process (to provide heat and carbon for reactions) to minimize the ash content of the product, changing how the waste simulant was injected into the reaction vessel, and maintain a fairly constant waste feed rate of 1.6 gallons per minute.
At the end of the 10-day waste simulant campaign, IWTU engineers and operators noticed a stark difference from previous waste simulant runs. The entire plant ran smoother; very little unburned coal was present in the waste simulant end product; and the waste product itself was the optimum size for packaging. There are some challenges that will require resolution before the next planned waste simulant run, though, and Fluor Idaho, LLC, which assumed the Idaho Cleanup Project Core contract on June 1, is studying the results of IWTU’s last waste simulant run.
Fluor Idaho has enlisted the help of world-renowned fluidized bed and steam-reforming experts to conduct bench-scale tests and use a smaller steam-reforming unit at the Hazen Facility near Denver to advance from the laboratory to an operational facility. Modifications, as necessary, will be made to IWTU based on lab and operations results.
Fluor-BWXT Portsmouth workers seal the HEUFS material into a sealed waste container.
PIKETON, Ohio – Disposition of a 40-plus-year-old legacy waste at the Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion Plant site was completed thanks to a cooperative effort among EM, contractors, and private industry.
Since 1973, DOE worked to characterize and dispose of these High Enriched Uranium Fluoride Solids (HEUFS). The task was to find an acceptable disposition path for the complex waste stream that resulted from oils entering the uranium enrichment cascade during operations.
DOE and its contractors sent samples to several DOE national laboratories and to Nuclear Fuel Services, Inc. in Tennessee in efforts to develop a method for recovering the uranium or treating and disposing of the material. However, proposed methods were not cost effective and much of the material would still remain without a disposal path.
Recent Portsmouth Site efforts with EM headquarters resulted in qualification of EM decontamination and decommissioning contractor Fluor-BWXT’s (FBP) Nuclear Safety and Quality Assurance program, and the Savannah River Packaging Group and Paragon Industries provided the package that allowed FBP to safely ship the material most effectively.
These certified waste packages were ready for Department-of-Transportation-compliant shipping.
The Portsmouth waste management team completed repackaging of the HEUFS in March this year. All shipping and disposition activities were completed in May.
EM’s Cid Voth, the waste management project director at Portsmouth, said the accomplishment was made possible by cooperation among a variety of entities with talented professionals.
“This project could only be completed with excellent teamwork among DOE, Wastren-Advantage security, a variety of FBP organizations, and the Savannah River Packaging Group,” Voth said. “There was tremendous effort and dedication to accomplish this task by the people involved.”
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LAS VEGAS – Representatives from the Consolidated Group of Tribes and Organizations (CGTO) met this month to continue developing recommendations on how to revegetate 92 acres of land at the Nevada National Security Site (NNSS) Area 5 Radioactive Waste Management Complex.
The meetings included a visit to the NNSS to examine the revegetation site at Area 5 and a past successful revegetation site at Area 3.
CGTO will submit recommendations to the EM program at the Nevada Field Office (NFO) this summer.
CGTO representatives at the NNSS, left to right, Kenny Anderson, Las Vegas Paiute Tribe; Richard Arnold, Pahrump Paiute Tribe, CGTO spokesperson; Ross Stone, Big Pine Paiute Tribe; Betty Cornelius, Colorado River Indian Tribes; Maurice Frank-Churchill, Duckwater Shoshone Tribe; Danelle Gutierrez, Big Pine Paiute Tribe; and Barbara Durham, Timbisha Shoshone Tribe.
CGTO representatives with staff from NFO, Desert Research Institute (DRI), and Portland State University (PSU) at the NNSS. From left to right, standing: Colleen Beck, DRI; Kenny Anderson, Las Vegas Paiute Tribe; Richard Arnold, Pahrump Paiute Tribe, CGTO spokesperson; Ross Stone, Big Pine Paiute Tribe; Betty Cornelius, Colorado River Indian Tribes; Maurice Frank-Churchill, Duckwater Shoshone Tribe; Scott Wade, NFO; Danelle Gutierrez, Big Pine Paiute Tribe; Reed Poderis, NSTec, the NNSS management and operations contractor; Barbara Durham, Timbisha Shoshone Tribe; Jeremy Spoon, PSU; and Michael Clifford, DRI. From left to right, seated: Kate Barcalow, PSU; Tiffany Lantow, NFO; and Alissa Silvas, NSTec.
CGTO representatives Barbara Durham, Betty Cornelius, and Maurice Frank-Churchill examine the revegetation site at Area 5.
SRNS engineers Alex Somers (left) and Nhon Do (center) discuss H-Canyon nuclear processes with SRNS Engineering Leadership Development Program Manager Mike Hughes. Somers and Do visited most major facilities at SRS as part of the training and enrichment program for new engineers.
AIKEN, S.C. – Alex Somers pursued a military career with a goal of serving on a nuclear submarine until a diabetes diagnosis ended his dream.
Nhon Do obtained a degree in criminal justice and prepared to become a police officer until a severe motorcycle accident left him with permanent leg damage.
Somers and Do found new career paths in their struggles as engineers with Savannah River Nuclear Solutions (SRNS), the DOE Savannah River Site’s (SRS) management and operations contractor, and took advantage of a successful leadership development program to grow in their roles.
Somers said he was pleased to become an SRNS engineer.
“What I also found attractive was the professional demeanor, devotion to teamwork and comradery that is the core of the engineering program at SRNS. I believe I’ve found a home here at SRS,” he said.
In addition to working as an electrical engineer with SRNS, Do owns a nail salon and mushroom farm.
“The SRNS Engineering Leadership Development Program (ELDP) is one of the reasons I chose to work at SRS,” Do said. “The various classes and types of mentoring are highly valuable for a new engineer. Our mentors’ level of experience is amazing, and the management team is excellent. I’d recommend this company to anyone.”
Somers and Do are two of 25 new engineers participating in ELDP, which invests in technical engineering and operational training combined with short-term projects in a variety of facilities and processes across the site. There is an emphasis on knowledge transfer and one-on-one focus with experienced engineers who serve as mentors.
Mike Hughes, the ELDP manager, said the program focuses on professional attention, support and respect that is hard to come by in today’s society.
“We want to attract the best engineers for the best reasons, creating and sustaining a mutually beneficial work environment,” he said.
Somers and Do appreciate the professional relationships they have with their managers.
“This type of training and supervision is highly appealing,” Somers said. “After all, we are all investing in the future of this organization.”
Somers has a bachelor’s degree in nuclear engineering from North Carolina State University. Do has a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from the University of South Carolina.
Washington Closure Hanford workers prepare waste retrieved from the Hanford Site’s 618-10 Burial Ground for shipment to the site’s disposal facility for low-level waste.
RICHLAND, Wash. – EM’s Richland Operations Office contractor Washington Closure Hanford (WCH) and its subcontractor employees achieved a significant safety milestone by working 7 million hours without a lost workday injury. That’s 3½ years since the last on-the-job injury that required an employee to spend time away from work.
The River Corridor is a 220-square-mile section of the Hanford Site that borders the Columbia River and was the home to nine plutonium production reactors and fuel development facilities, and hundreds of support structures that operated during World War II and the Cold War era. The River Corridor Closure Project is EM’s largest environmental cleanup closure project.
WCH’s work involves demolishing hundreds of contaminated buildings, remediating hundreds of waste sites and burial grounds, as well as managing the Environmental Restoration Disposal Facility (ERDF), Hanford’s onsite landfill.
“This is a remarkable achievement for the entire River Corridor team,” said Scott Sax, WCH president and project manager. “Our employees have met the unique and hazardous challenges they face on a daily basis by placing safety and the well-being of each other above all else. I’m very proud to be a part of such a team.”
Since beginning cleanup work on the River Corridor in 2005, WCH has demolished 324 buildings, cleaned up 574 waste sites, disposed of 11.6 million tons of contaminated material in ERDF and placed two nuclear reactors in interim safe storage. By completing cleanup projects safely and efficiently, WCH has saved taxpayers by coming in more than $300 million dollars under budget, allowing EM to reinvest the savings toward additional cleanup work along the Columbia River.
In October 2015, EM added a year to WCH’s original 10-year contract. During the past year, the company has focused on two complex cleanup projects: remediating the highly hazardous 618-10 Burial Ground and placing the 324 Building in maintenance status for future demolition.
Students from Carla Evans’ Advanced Environmental Science class at Ohio’s Waverly High School visit Lake Hope State Park as part of educational activities included within the ASER Summary Project.
LEXINGTON, Ky. – EM’s Annual Site Environmental Reports (ASER) are complex technical documents comprising several hundred pages of information about the former gaseous diffusion plants near Piketon, Ohio and Paducah, Ky.
To some area high school students, the reports are something else.
“It was pretty intimidating,” said Andrew Trego, who was an 18-year-old senior in Carla Evans’ Advanced Environmental Science class at Waverly High School in southern Ohio. The class took part in Ohio University’s program to turn the ASER for EM’s Portsmouth Site into a more comprehensible document to be distributed publicly throughout the region.
“They thought it was hard, but we broke the class into four groups and we got through it,” Evans said.
The class recently completed the project after working on it throughout the 2015-2016 school year. Ohio University will print and publish the student summary of the ASER in the fall as part of its educational outreach under an EM grant to the Voinovich School for Leadership and Public Affairs.
Several hundred miles away at Marshall County High School (MCHS) in western Kentucky, another group of advanced-placement environmental science students is summarizing the ASER for the Paducah Site. Like the Waverly, Ohio project, that report describes ongoing environmental operations and analytical cleanup-related data used in ongoing environmental monitoring and remediation programs. The project is part of an educational outreach program facilitated by an EM grant to the University of Kentucky’s Center for Applied Energy Research.
To help kick off the project, the students recently participated in presentations about the site’s mission, history, role in the nuclear industry, and its economic impact. The presentations were followed by a site tour and a visit to the West Kentucky Wildlife Management Area adjacent to the Paducah site.
“The size of the plant amazed me,” MCHS senior Justice Beal said. “It really shows how much America can accomplish.”
MCHS students tour the Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant site.
Teacher Tina Marshall said her students learned a great deal about the history of the plant and its economic influence in western Kentucky while receiving valuable experience and training in environmental science. “The student ASER program also allows the students to sharpen their writing, group collaboration and critical thinking skills,” she added.
For Trego, the Ohio student, he had an appreciation for seeing the plant before its decontamination and decommissioning in the coming years. “I’ve always enjoyed history and I liked learning about the history of the plant,” he said. “It was a good opportunity for a lot of students to get to see something that many people will never get to see.”
Added Trego’s teacher Evans: “I appreciated the speakers and how they talked about how their careers were made. I think it allowed them to see what’s possible.”
According to EM Portsmouth/Paducah Project Office Acting Manager Robert Edwards, over several years the ASER summary projects have motivated many area students to want to pursue scientific and technical careers while honing skills to help them get there.
“The students are becoming knowledgeable about the important environmental remediation work that’s ongoing at these plants as well as the cultural and economic aspects,” Edwards said. “Some of these young people will probably help determine the future of these historic sites for our local communities.”
Aiken Technical College students get a firsthand look at the tritium production program while on a tour of the 310-square-mile Savannah River Site.
AIKEN, S.C. – Students in a nuclear training program’s inaugural class recently toured the Savannah River Site (SRS) to view EM cleanup efforts and nuclear facilities where they may one day work.
“We’ve met many of the Savannah River Nuclear Solutions (SRNS) facility managers through this program, but they usually come to us,” said Ed Redd, a member of the Nuclear Fundamentals Certificate class at Aiken Technical College (ATC). “They try to tell us how it works and what it looks like at SRS, but actually being able to have feet on the ground and look at the facilities was a great opportunity.”
As the nuclear industry experiences major growth in Georgia and South Carolina, ATC offers opportunities for area residents through the nuclear fundamentals class and other nuclear-based education programs.
The college collaborated with SRNS, the SRS management and operations contractor, to develop the certificate program’s curriculum. Program graduates could qualify for nuclear operations careers at SRS and the region’s other major nuclear facilities.
ATC President Dr. Susan Winsor said the ATC program prepares students for entry-level positions in the nuclear industry. A mix of applied chemistry, physics and engineering classes provides a strong foundation for employment in nuclear facilities.
Windsor emphasized the importance of the SRS tour for the students.
“We recognize the enormous value of an onsite visit where theory meets reality,” she said.
SRNS donated $10,000 to the ATC program to reduce costs for students. Qualifying students receive up to $2,000 in financial assistance from ATC to cover tuition and fees associated with the program.
“The graduates of this ATC program will have met all our fundamental training needs, providing much needed job candidates who are ready to go to work in SRNS nuclear facilities almost immediately,” SRNS President and CEO Carol Johnson said. “A large percentage of our employees are reaching an age where they qualify for full retirement. We know those seeking retirement will rise every year throughout the near future.”
RICHLAND, Wash. – Four EM Office of River Protection employees peddled for the annual Federal Bike Challenge, logging an impressive 1,375 miles and taking third place out of 200 teams. The ORP team “The Isotopes,” which included James McCormick-Barger, Benjamin Crock, Layne Papenfuss and David Garcia (pictured), also placed second in DOE for average trips per rider. The challenge encourages bicycle riding, especially to replace automobile use. Participants recorded trips greater than .10 miles between home and work, to the park, store and other places two wheels take the riders. McCormick-Barger logged the most trips of The Isotopes with 46, followed by Papenfuss with 45. McCormick-Barger also biked the most miles of the team with 434.5 miles total, followed by Crock at 377.8. The challenge fosters awareness of the benefits of cycling, such as increasing cardiovascular fitness, decreasing body fat levels, reducing stress and helping the environment.
Steve Ashe, Savannah River Site
Lynette Bennett, West Valley Demonstration Project
Steve Christmas, Paducah Site
Sonja Goines, Savannah River Site
Rick Greene, Portsmouth Site
Destry Henderson, Hanford Site
Kaylyssa Hughes, Nevada National Security Site
Anita Iacaruso, EM Headquarters
Daniel Kloepfer, Ohio University
Yvonne Levardi, Hanford Site
Mark McKenna, Hanford Site
Danielle Miller, Idaho Site
Michael Nartker, EM Headquarters
Laura Russo, Savannah River Site
David Sheeley, EM Headquarters
Erik Simpson, Idaho Site
Garland Snyder, Portsmouth Site
Stephan Tetreault, EM Headquarters
DT Townsend, Savannah River Site