Stacy Charboneau has been named manager of the Department of Energy’s Hanford Richland Operations Office after serving as acting deputy manager of the Hanford office since June 2014.
She will start work in her new position Dec. 14, replacing Matt McCormick, who retired as manager in June.
“Stacy is a talented and seasoned senior executive with tremendous technical and managerial expertise on all aspects of the Hanford cleanup,” said Mark Whitney, DOE acting assistant secretary for environmental management.
She has worked at Hanford for 20 years, holding leadership positions at both DOE Hanford offices — the Richland Operations Office and the Office of River Protection. Previously she worked for the Naval Undersea Warfare Center in Keyport, Wash.
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The highest priority of the Richland Operations Office is getting the Plutonium Finishing Plant torn down by 2016, she said. The contaminated plant, which DOE has called the most complex and hazardous facility at Hanford, was used for decades to convert plutonium extracted from uranium fuel rods into a solid form that could be shipped to nuclear weapons production facilities.
Charboneau also will continue the office’s work to reduce contamination in groundwater. Systems that pump up groundwater, clean it and then reinject it back into the ground have removed about 3 tons of chromium from groundwater.
“The biggest focus is preventing any contamination from reaching the river,” she said.
She also will be responsible for work to move radioactive sludge out of the K West Basin and away from the Columbia River and planning and managing the infrastructure needed now and for future environmental cleanup work at Hanford.
She will face the challenge of what’s expected to be a flat budget for DOE environmental cleanup across the DOE complex, at a time when Hanford’s needs are not flat, she said.
“We have important and challenging work ahead of us and it’s going to take the combined and focused efforts of the states, tribes, stakeholders and our community partners to achieve our goal of cleanup of the Cold War legacy at Hanford,” she said.
She will be discussing priorities with the public as priorities are set and then aligned with the money available for cleanup, she said.
She also is concerned about being able to maintain expertise for Hanford cleanup, with the average age of the Hanford workforce over 50 and cleanup work expected to continue for decades, she said.
Her leadership experience at both Hanford offices gives her an understanding of all the major projects at Hanford. She will have the background needed as decisions are made about cleanup assigned to the Hanford Richland Operations Office and to participate in discussions about cleanup across all of Hanford and the nationwide DOE nuclear complex, she said.
The Richland Operations Office is responsible for all cleanup and activities at Hanford, other than 56 million gallons of radioactive waste held in underground tanks and the vitrification plant that will treat the tank waste. That work is assigned to the Hanford Office of River Protection.
Charboneau holds the highest project management certification level available within DOE and has 15 years of experience managing projects.
As acting deputy manager of the Richland Operations Office, she was responsible for oversight of daily operations, program planning, project execution, budgeting and meeting Tri-Party Agreement requirements.
She has worked as the assistant manager for safety and environment for the Richland Operations Office and deputy manager and chief operating officer of the Office of River Protection. Other Hanford assignments have included serving as assistant manager for the tank farms, engineering and construction manager for the K Basins used fuel project, and DOE project director for the Plutonium Finishing Plant, the river corridor and central Hanford.
She has a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering and a master’s degree in engineering management.
“Her education, technical and programmatic expertise, and past experience make her uniquely qualified to lead the talented workforce responsible for completing the next and critical phase of the important (Richland Operations Office) cleanup work,” Whitney said.