Richland, WA,
17:40 PM

Atwell Named Vit Plant Acting Project Director


Bechtel National Inc. has named John Atwell as the acting Project Director for the Hanford Site’s Waste Treatment and Immobilization Plant (Vit Plant), effective immediately. John is a principal vice president and for the past two years has served as Project Director for Bechtel’s Vogtle Units 3&4 Completion project for Georgia Power.

Atwell served as manager of Functions and Operations for Bechtel’s Nuclear, Security, and Environment business unit from 2020 to 2021. During this time, he was responsible for operational oversight of the Vit Plant project on behalf of Bechtel.

He has more than 40 years of managerial experience leading engineering and project management activities across a range of projects, including nuclear power plants, nuclear and high-hazard facilities, and corporate functional departments. Atwell is a proven leader in both the field and corporate office, leading some of Bechtel’s largest and most complex nuclear power projects.

He earned a Bachelor of Science in Nuclear Engineering from the University of Maryland and a Master of Business Administration from National University. He was elected a Bechtel principal vice president in 2005.

Atwell moves into the role in an acting capacity after the recent passing of Valerie McCain, who was the project director from October 2018 until March 2023.

Contact: Staci A. West, 509-378-0308 or

About Bechtel National Inc.:

Bechtel is a trusted engineering, construction and project management partner to industry and government. Differentiated by the quality of our people and our relentless drive to deliver the most successful outcomes, we align our capabilities to our customers’ objectives to create a lasting positive impact. Since 1898, we have helped customers complete more than 25,000 projects in 160 countries on all seven continents that have created jobs, grown economies, improved the resiliency of the world's infrastructure, increased access to energy, resources, and vital services, and made the world a safer, cleaner place. Bechtel serves the Infrastructure; Nuclear, Security & Environmental; Oil, Gas & Chemicals; and Mining & Metals markets. Our services span from initial planning and investment, through start-up and operations.