New manager takes over demolition of Hanford plant

John Lehew will oversee the Plutonium Finishing Plant demolition.

Demolition Personnel Activity

A new manager has been named for the Hanford Plutonium Finishing Plant in Richland, Washington, a report by Tri-City Herald says. John Lehew, who served as president of contractor CH2M Hill Plateau Remediation Co., Richland, will manage the preparations to restart demolition of the contaminated plant.

Demolition of the plant halted in December after radioactive contamination spread, the report says. Workers’ vehicles were contaminated and at least 11 workers inhaled or ingested small amounts of radioactive particles. The Washington Department of Health has detected small amounts of airborne radioactive contamination miles from the plant over the past year.

The Department of Energy (DOE) ordered a change in management in January, the report says, and Jacobs Engineering Group, CH2M’s parent company headquartered in Dallas, assumed control of operations.

John Fulton, the former CH2M president, was named by Jacobs Engineering to take over recovery operations of the spread in January. Lehew was chosen last week to take over the transition from recovery to the restart of the demolition.

According to the report, demolition will not restart until an expert panel assembled by DOE provides feedback on a plan to correct any issues and proposed a new approach to demolition. The new approach hasn’t been made public.

Hazardous waste Remediation