Richland, WA,
12:33 PM

New Coaches at Vit Plant to Help Ensure Safety, Success

As any sports fan can attest, achieving greatness takes more than just a team full of star players. Experienced coaches need to design the plays and guide them to success.

The team at the Vit Plant follows that model in its approach to operations with the recent addition of conduct-of-operations coaches.

The coaches, who have experience in nuclear or environmental cleanup operations, observe work performed, provide constructive feedback and reinforce positive operational behaviors. Their mentoring, training and coaching help implement a disciplined and structured operations approach to support commissioning and future operations while promoting worker, public and environmental protection.

“These operations coaches help shape our staff’s behaviors and conduct as we move into melter heatup, cold and hot commissioning and future Direct-Feed Low-Activity Waste (DFLAW) Program operations,” said Eugene Nemeth, nuclear facility manager for Waste Treatment Completion Company, a subcontractor to project lead Bechtel National, Inc. “Their experience and mentorship provide our team with valuable insights and learning.”

The Vit Plant employs three coaches: one from Hanford contractor Washington River Protection Solutions and the others from Bechtel’s team at the Pueblo Chemical Agent-Destruction Pilot Plant in Colorado. There are plans to hire a fourth coach in the near future, with each coach supporting the four rotating operations shifts.

The addition of the coaches is part of a larger strategy at the Vit Plant to enhance the operational mindset and culture, which includes the creation of a conduct-of-operations council. The council is the governing body for ensuring continuous improvement of facility operations using the Vit Plant conduct-of-operations program. The objectives of the council are to provide oversight and direction for plant-wide conduct of operations, including implementation and monitoring, and recommendations regarding program effectiveness, lessons learned and consistency.

The team is closing in on heatup of the first melter that will be used during the DFLAW Program operations to convert radiological and chemical waste from the Hanford tank farms into a form safe for disposal.

The plant facilities can be viewed using the self-guided Hanford Virtual Tour.

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.