Hanford

Top Hanford nuclear reservation manager steps down

Hanford workers begin moving radioactive waste away from Columbia River

Hanford workers began moving some of the highly radioactive sludge out of the K West Reactor Basin, located just 400 yards from the Columbia River, on June 12, 2018. It will be stored in below-ground cells until it can be prepared for disposal.
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Hanford workers began moving some of the highly radioactive sludge out of the K West Reactor Basin, located just 400 yards from the Columbia River, on June 12, 2018. It will be stored in below-ground cells until it can be prepared for disposal.

One of Hanford’s top two local Department of Energy leaders at the Hanford site is retiring.

Doug Shoop has led the DOE Richland Operations Office since July 2016, and served as deputy manager of the office for eight years before that.

DOE did not immediately announce on Monday how it plans to fill Shoop’s position permanently or any plans to fill the position on an interim basis.

Shoop will leave at the end of next week.

The Richland Operations Office is responsible for running the 580-square-mile nuclear reservation and environmental cleanup other than work associated with waste in underground tanks.

Shoop shares local authority for Hanford with Brian Vance, manager of the Office of River Protection, which is responsible for tank waste and treatment.

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Doug Shoop, manager of Department of Energy Richland Operations Office, discusses Hanford’s radioactive waste storage tunnels in 2017 after one of the tunnels partially collapsed. Tri-City Herald File

Leader on key cleanup projects

During Shoop’s tenure, he opened the Hanford Workforce Engagement Center in Richland to help current and former Hanford workers and their families seeking medical coverage and compensation for illnesses caused by working around Hanford’s radioactive and hazardous chemical waste.

He oversaw completion of a major cleanup project, removing highly radioactive waste from the 618-10 Burial Ground six miles north of Richland.

Work started to move highly radioactive sludge from underwater containers in the K West Basin near the Columbia River to dry storage at the T Plant in central Hanford.

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Doug Shoop, DOE Richland Operations Office manager, right, chats with Rep. Dan Newhouse, R-Wash., and Anne White, DOE assistant secretary for environmental management, at a dedication ceremony for the Hanford Workforce Engagement Center at 309 Bradley Blvd. in Richland. Bob Brawdy Tri-City Herald

Three other key projects remain in progress.

Work is being done to prepare for digging up a spill of high-level radioactive waste underneath the 324 Building just north of Richland near the Columbia River.

Demolition of the highly contaminated Plutonium Finishing Plant, believed to be the most hazardous demolition project undertaken at Hanford, should resume this month or next. Demolition halted in December 2017 after radioactive particles spread.

Shoop also was in charge when a sealed tunnel storing underground waste partially collapsed in May 2017.

Shoop moved to quickly fill the tunnel with concrete-like grout to stabilize it and a second waste storage tunnel now is being filled with grout.

Shoop has more than 30 years of management and technical experience, most of them at Hanford.

Before serving as deputy manager of the Richland Operations Office, he was assistant manager for safety and engineering. He also has worked for previous Hanford contractors Fluor Hanford and Westinghouse Hanford Co.

Senior staff writer Annette Cary covers Hanford, energy, the environment, science and health for the Tri-City Herald. She’s been a news reporter for more than 30 years in the Pacific Northwest.
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