A top U.S. Department of Energy manager at the Hanford nuclear reservation in south-central Washington is being replaced by the manager of DOE’s Los Alamos Site Office in New Mexico.
The Tri-City Herald reports that Olympia native Kevin Smith will take over as manager of DOE’s Hanford Office of River Protection at the end of December.
For the past 18 months, Scott Samuelson has been in charge of problem-plagued construction at the Hanford vitrification plant. He’s also been in charge of the tank farms, where 56 million gallons of radioactive waste are held in underground tanks. He’ll return to his previous Energy Department agency.
The Energy Department says Smith initially will focus on resolving remaining technical issues at the $12.2 billion vitrification or Waste Treatment Plant.
He’ll also work on establishing a new cost and schedule estimate for the plant, as well as managing and retrieving waste from the aging underground tanks.