The president of CH2M Hill Plateau Remediation Co. is stepping in to oversee operations at Hanford's Plutonium Finishing Plant after the departure of vice president Jerry Long.
Long no longer works at Hanford. "It's a sensitive issue, a personnel issue," said CH2M Hill spokeswoman Dee Millikin.
John Fulton, the contractor president, will be filling the role as Plutonium Finishing Plant vice president as well as his regulator duties, with chief operating officer John Ciucci backfilling him in those roles, Fulton told employees in a memo this week.
He will be looking for the right person to serve as vice president, Millikin said.
Mike Swartz will continue as deputy vice president at the Plutonium Finishing Plant, which once processed plutonium for nuclear weapons and is now being decontaminated and demolished.
"Mike has the vision, experience and collaborative mindset necessary to lead our workforce to safely and compliantly meet the TPA (Tri-Party Agreement) milestone for demolishing PFP by 2016," Fulton said in the memo.
Work has been going well at the plant, Millikin said. Next week workers are expected to pull out three contaminated gloveboxes.
The plant has had some issues with radioactive and hazardous chemical contamination of workers, most recently in January, when two workers breathed in radioactive contamination. However, progress has been made on safety, Millikin said.
Performance was not the reason for Long's departure, she said.
Long was named vice president for the Plutonium Finishing Plant closure project in summer 2011. Before that he was vice president of nuclear operations for CH2M Hill's nuclear business group in Denver. He also served as chief operating officer and project manager for the Hanford tank farms for CH2M Hill Hanford Group in 2007 and 2008.