HANFORD — The Department of Energy named Scott Samuelson manager of the Hanford Office of River Protection on Wednesday.
It's one of the two top DOE positions at Hanford. He will share oversight of Hanford nuclear reservation environmental cleanup with Matt McCormick, the manager of the second DOE Hanford office, the Richland Operations Office.
Samuelson has been serving as the acting director of the Office of the National Ignition Facility at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California.
"Scott's ex-tensive experience in project, financial and contract management will be vital to continuing our momentum at Hanford and preparing for the next phase of tank waste cleanup," said Ines Triay, DOE's assistant secretary of energy for environmental management, in a statement.
"Scott's leadership and demonstrated ability to deliver large projects such as the National Ignition Facility and his breadth of experience in numerous DOE programs make him uniquely suited to lead our tank waste cleanup mission at Hanford," she said.
At Hanford, Samuelson will oversee work at the tank farms, where 53 million gallons of radioactive waste are stored in underground tanks, and where the $12.2 billion vitrification plant is being built to treat the waste.
Tank waste remains one of DOE's highest priorities in environmental management, Triay said.
Samuelson, who also served as federal project director for the National Ignition Facility, was named DOE Federal Project Director of 2009 for his work there. The one-of-a-kind construction project was completed in 2009 on budget, said the National Nuclear Security Administration.
It is the world's largest and most energetic laser, planned to achieve fusion ignition in the laboratory and obtain more energy from the target than is provided by the laser. It has potential applications in ensuring the reliability of the nation's nuclear stockpile without underground testing, plus breaking the nation's dependence on foreign oil.
The National Ignition Facility project also was recognized by the Project Management Institute as the 2010 Project of the Year.
Samuelson has worked for DOE for 26 years in its nuclear energy, science and defense programs. He was site manager for the Energy Technology Engineering Center and the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, both in California.
He has substantial experience in commercial and federal contracting, having served as Source Evaluation Board chairman for major procurements and as a contracting officer's representative, according to DOE.
Before joining DOE he worked in the nuclear power industry, developing and implementing inspection and testing programs for commercial light-water reactors.
He earned a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering, computer science and nuclear engineering and a master's in nuclear engineering from the University of California at Berkeley. He also has a master's in business administration from the University of Oregon.
He starts work full time at Hanford on May 8, but is expected to make some visits to the site before then. Stacy Charboneau will continue as acting manager until then.
Dave Brockman held the position from July 2010 until January, when he retired from DOE. It was a short-term assignment for him after he agreed to take the position until his retirement when former manager Shirley Olinger took a job with DOE headquarters. She is assistant principal deputy for environmental management.
Samuelson was on a spring break vacation with his family when the announcement was made Wednesday.
* Annette Cary: 509-582-1533; firstname.lastname@example.org.