Frank Martinet, a maintenance superintendent in the Newport News Nuclear BWXT-Los Alamos contact-handled transuranic waste program, takes a break from the Operational Excellence Initiative with his sons, Ethan, 11, at left, and Blake, 4, who he calls his assistants. Photo Courtesy DOE-EM
Department of Energy Environmental Management made steady progress in its cleanup mission after most field sites moved into an essential mission-critical operating posture beginning in mid-March due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Field sites across the DOE complex marked noteworthy accomplishments during this period of reduced operations, positioning the cleanup program for further success as the sites now work to restart activities and continue tackling an ambitious set of priorities, many of which remain on track to be completed this year.
“I attribute our success during the period of essential mission-critical activities to our dedicated federal and contractor employees who remain committed to our cleanup mission,” EM Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary Todd Shrader said. “I’m impressed by their accomplishments as they safely responded to the pandemic, and their achievements will only continue as we move to resume full operations across the complex.”
Newport News Nuclear BWXT-Los Alamos, EM’s cleanup contractor at Los Alamos National Laboratory, established the Operational Excellence Initiative (OEI) to create a training program for employees unable to telework during the period of essential mission-critical activities.
OEI allowed about 180 employees — including radiological control technicians, craftsmen, waste operators, and nuclear facility operators — with the contact handled transuranic waste program at Technical Area 54’s Area G to pursue training and qualifications, helping them maintain the knowledge and skills necessary to support mission objectives.
Participants have completed more than 160 online training courses, required reading assignments, and live teleconference briefings delivered by subject-matter experts.