Show cover of Gone Fission Nuclear Report

Gone Fission Nuclear Report

Are you interested in the latest news about environmental cleanup at the Department of Energy's nuclear facilities? The GONE FISSION Nuclear Report is for you! This podcast covers all the latest developments across the DOE complex. More than just the news, you'll get commentary and insights to help you better understand the impact of developments.

Tracks

S4E10 Depleted UF6: A By-Product for Industry - 05/20/24 - Zak LaFontaine, DOE Program Director, Depleted Uranium Hexafluoride Conversion Program
The Department of Energy’s environmental cleanup program is more than tearing down aging, contaminated buildings.  In this week’s episode of the Gone Fission Nuclear Report, we’ll take a look at another dimension of cleanup--the conversion of depleted uranium hexafluoride—or UF6--at Paducah, Kentucky, and Portsmouth, Ohio.  A by-product of the conversion process is hydrofluoric acid which has wide applications in industry--from pharmaceuticals and refrigerants to aluminum, plastics, electrical components and more. Hydrofluoric acid from the conversion process is sold to industry and  is a revenue generator for the government.  Our guest is Zak LaFontaine, DOE Program Director for the Depleted Uranium Hexafluoride Conversion Program at Paducah and Portsmouth.Visit the Gone Fission Nuclear Report channel on youtube.com for a videocast of episodes since November 7, 2022.
26:21 5/20/24
S4E9 K-25 Reunion: Recalling Nuclear History - 05-06-24 - Dr. Harold Conner Jr. and Pam Toon
On April 27, 2024, more than 650 former workers at the historic K-25 gaseous diffusion plant in Oak Ridge, TN, came together for their first-ever reunion. As Daniel Dassow wrote in the Knoxville News-Sentinel, it was the first time many had driven their private cars into the complex, the first time they weren’t required to show a badge and perhaps the first time they had seen K-25 as a field site with no large buildings left. In this week’s Gone Fission Nuclear Report podcast, Host Michael Butler takes a look at this unique get-together and joins attendees in remembering their historic careers. Our guests are former K-25 Plant Manager Dr. Harold Conner Jr. and Pam Toon, one of the Reunion's organizers.Visit the Gone Fission Nuclear Report channel on youtube.com for a videocast of episodes since November 7, 2022.
56:43 5/6/24
S4E8 Meet DOE's Top Project Director - 4/22/24 - Jud Lilly, DOE Portsmouth/Paducah Project Office
Thousands of workers show up each day to advance the environmental cleanup mission at DOE sites around the country. They are talented and dedicated but for the most part their work goes unheralded without awards or accolades. In this week’s Gone Fission Nuclear Report host Michael Butler talks with a DOE official who has been singled out by the Secretary of Energy for a major performance award. Jud Lilly, a DOE executive at the Portsmouth OH site, has been named Federal Project Director of the Year by the Secretary of Energy. Meet Jud and hear his story, including the tremendous respect he has for the Portsmouth team who get the job done very day.Visit the Gone Fission Nuclear Report channel on youtube.com for a videocast of episodes since November 7, 2022.
55:14 4/22/24
S4E7 National Laboratories Speed Hanford Cleanup - 04/08/24 - Connie Herman, SRNL, Delmar Noyes, DOE-Hanford
The Department of Energy’s 17 national laboratories conduct research and development on some of the world’s most vexing challenges—from climate change to the origins of the universe.  Most recently, six labs have turned their attention to speeding cleanup of underground tank waste at DOE’s Hanford site in Washington State. The labs are using $27 million in DOE funding to research everything from tank integrity and the impact of corrosion to robotic handling of tank waste.  Estimates show this and other work could save $150 billion in cleanup costs and shave up to two decades off a 60-year timeline. This week, Gone Fission host Michael Butler talks with Connie Herman, Associate Director, Savannah River National Laboratory, and Delmar Noyes, DOE Tank Farms Manager at Hanford.NOTE: The work Network of National Laboratories for Environmental Management and Stewardship (NNLEMS) performs is overseen by the EM Laboratory Policy Office with the support of the EM Technology Operations Office, Hanford Site Office as well as the Office of Science, and ARPA-E.”Visit the Gone Fission Nuclear Report channel on youtube.com for a videocast of episodes since November 7, 2022.
30:46 4/8/24
S4E6 Cleanup and the Nuclear Renaissance - 03/25/24 - Ashley Saunders, UCOR, Dr. Wes Hines, Head, UT Nuclear Energy Department, Jim Little, Board Member, E-4 Carolinas
The Department of Energy’s environmental cleanup program is boosting a resurgence in the growth of nuclear energy. Cleaning up formerly contaminated land has created a new home for advanced reactor concepts that have become the centerpiece of the nuclear renaissance. In this week’s episode, the Gone Fission Nuclear Report examines how environmental cleanup is helping to position the nation for a clean energy future. Guests are Ashley Saunders of UCOR, Dr. Wes Hines, Head of the Nuclear Engineering Department at the University of Tennessee, and Jim Little, E-4 Carolinas board member.Visit the Gone Fission Nuclear Report channel on youtube.com for a videocast of episodes since November 7, 2022.
61:50 3/25/24
S4E5 Celebrating WIPP's 25th Anniversary - 03/11/24 -- Mark Bollinger, Tammy Hobbes, Brandon Jones
This month, the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant in New Mexico celebrates its 25th Anniversary. Located in Southeast New Mexico about 26 miles east of Carlsbad, WIPP was constructed for disposal of defense-generated transuranic--or TRU-- waste. WIPP is the nation’s only repository for the permanent disposal of TRU waste. In this week’s episode, Host Michael Butler talks with DOE Carlsbad Field Office Manager Mark Bollinger, Senior WIPP offiicial Tammy Hobbes, and Brandon Jones, Project Manager for the facility’s new underground venting system. They join us in looking back on WIPP’s history, starting with receipt of the first shipment of TRU waste from Los Alamos National Laboratory in March 1999.Visit the Gone Fission Nuclear Report channel on youtube.com for a videocast of episodes since November 7, 2022.
42:39 3/11/24
S4E4 Black History Month: Scarboro 85 - Desegregating Oak Ridge Schools - 02/26/24 - Ray Smith, Oak Ridge Historian
As we near the end of Black History Month, in this week’s podcast host Michael Butler features the story of the Scarboro 85. In August 1955, 85 young African American students entered all-white classrooms in the Oak Ridge High School and the Robertsville Junior High School in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. This desegregation stands as an important milestone in American civil rights history. Oak Ridge City Historian Ray Smith is our guest.Visit the Gone Fission Nuclear Report channel on youtube.com for a videocast of episodes since November 7, 2022.
42:51 2/26/24
S4E3 The Birth of the Nuclear Cleanup Caucus - 02/12/24 - Former Congressmen Doc Hastings (WA) and Zach Wamp (TN)
Consistent, reliable Congressional funding is an essential element of success in the Department of Energy’s environmental cleanup program. In this week’s episode of the Gone Fission Nuclear Report podcast, host Michael Butler interviews two former members of Congress who were instrumental in creation of the Nuclear Cleanup Caucus in the mid-1990s. Our guests are former Washington State Congressman Doc Hastings, whose district included the Hanford site, and former Tennessee Congressman Zach Wamp who represented Oak Ridge. Over the past 30 years, the Caucus has worked diligently to educate fellow members about the importance of cleanup and to keep funding flowing to meet site cleanup priorities across the country.Visit the Gone Fission Nuclear Report channel on youtube.com for a videocast of episodes since November 7, 2022.
45:53 2/12/24
S4E2 DOE Procurement Process -- How EM Contracts Work -- 01/29/24 -- Angela Watmore, DOE Deputy Assistant Secretary, Aaron Deckard, Proocurement Director, EM Consolidated Business Center as I by
The Department of Energy’s environmental cleanup program is now focused on 15 remaining sites around the country, down from 107 at the start of the program three decades ago. It is a multi-million dollar, multi-decade effort that depends on qualified contractors to get the job done. DOE is the largest civilian contracting agency in the federal government. In this week’s episode, the Gone Fission Nuclear Report examines the procurement process that results in contract awards and looks at the agency’s new contracting model, the role of small business and the impact of protests on cleanup schedules and progress.  Guests are Angela Watmore, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Acquisition and Project Management and Aaron Deckard, Procurement Director, EM Consolidated Business Center.Visit the Gone Fission Nuclear Report channel on youtube.com for a videocast of episodes since November 7, 2022.
51:13 1/29/24
S4E1 Remembering Gary Petersen - Hanford "Force of Nature" -- 01/08/24 -- Former Congressman Doc Hastings, Duane Schmoker, David Reeploeg, Seth Kirshenberg, Carl Adrian
Every DOE community has local leaders who step up to advocate for funding and new missions and to hold the Department of Energy accountable for its cleanup obligations. These leaders take the time to educate themselves on site issues, get to know DOE leaders and members of Congress, and use their voices and influence to represent their communities. In this week’s episode, the Gone Fission Nuclear Report remembers one such leader--Gary Petersen, a long-time passionate advocate for the Hanford site in Washington State, who passed away last October, leaving an impressive legacy of advocacy and support.Paying tribute to Gary are former Congressman Doc Hastings, Duane Schmoker, President, Sterling Engineering, David Reeploeg, Vice President, TRIDEC, Seth Kirshenberg, Executive Director, Energy Communities Alliance, and Carl Adrian, past president, TRIDEC.Visit the Gone Fission Nuclear Report channel on youtube.com for a videocast of episodes since November 7, 2022.
44:18 1/8/24
S3E33 Manhattan Project National Park: Three Sites, Many Stories - 11/20/23 - Wendy Behrman, Park Superintendent
In 2015, the United States welcomed its 409th National Park. Known as the Manhattan Project National Historic Park, it tells the story of the men and women who developed the atomic bomb that ended World War II. The Park features three key locations across the U.S.—Oak Ridge TN, Los Alamos NM, and Hanford WA. National Park Service Superintendent Wendy Behrman is our guest in this week’s episode of the Gone Fission Nuclear Report podcast.Visit the Gone Fission Nuclear Report channel on youtube.com for a videocast of episodes since November 7, 2022.
39:52 11/20/23
S3E22 A DOE View: Community Support is Essential - 11/13/23 - Kristen Ellis, Yvette Cantrell, Paradio Maith
In our last episode, the Gone Fission Nuclear Report podcast examined the Community Reuse Organization of East Tennessee’s decision to close in two years. This week, Department of Energy officials at Headquarters and two sites discuss the continuing need for CROs and the importance of community support in the success of DOE’s cleanup mission.  Hear our interview with Kristen Ellis, DOE-EM Headquarters, Yvette Cantrell, DOE-Portsmouth/Paducah, and Paradio Maith, DOE-Savannah River Site.Visit the Gone Fission Nuclear Report channel on youtube.com for a videocast of episodes since November 7, 2022.
28:03 11/15/23
S3E21 A Community Reuse Organization Closes: CROET Says Mission Accomplished - 11/06/23 - David Bradshaw, CROET, Seth Kirshenberg, ECA
The Community Reuse Organization of East Tennessee (CROET) recently announced its plans to close after three decades of successfully representing the Oak Ridge community with the Department of Energy. Why now? And what does this decision mean for the CROs that continue to operate in other DOE communities? Learn the answers in this week’s episode of the Gone Fission Nuclear Report podcast featuring interviews with David Bradshaw of CROET and Seth Kirshenberg, Energy Communities Alliance.Visit the Gone Fission Nuclear Report channel on youtube.com for a videocast of episodes since November 7, 2022.
44:19 11/6/23
S3E20 EM Young Professionals: Building the Workforce - 09/25/2023 - Ike White, EM Senior Advisor, Ken Rueter, UCOR President & CEO
If you want job security and the feeling of doing something meaningful, the Department of Energy’s Environmental Management program is the place to be. That was the message of top government and industry leaders—and young professionals themselves—at the 2023 National Cleanup Workshop in Washington, DC. EM Senior Advisor Ike White says about half the federal EM workforce is eligible to retire now. And UCOR President and CEO Ken Rueter describes a novel program called Rising Senior Leaders that is preparing young professionals for executive positions. It’s all featured in this week’s episode of the Gone Fission Nuclear Report. #environment #workforce #podcastVisit the Gone Fission Nuclear Report channel on youtube.com for a videocast of episodes since November 7, 2022.
23:36 9/25/23
S3E19 Two Congressmen Talk Cleanup - 09/18/23 - Congressmen Chuck Fleischmann (R-TN) and Dan Newhouse (R-WA), 2023 National Cleanup Workshop
Cleanup is essential. Budgets are tight. Partnership is imperative. That was the message delivered by two members of Congress at the National Cleanup Workshop in Washington, DC, last week. Hear Congressmen Chuck Fleischmann (R-TN) and Dan Newhouse (R-WA) assess the current status of the Department of Energy’s environmental cleanup program in this week’s episode of the Gone Fission Nuclear Report.Visit the Gone Fission Nuclear Report channel on youtube.com for a videocast of episodes since November 7, 2022.
17:18 9/18/23
S3E18 Stuart MacVean - Looking Back over 40 Years - 09/11/23 - Stuart MacVean, Retired President and CEO, Savannah River Nuclear Solutions
This week's episode of the Gone Fission Nuclear Report podcast features an in-depth interview with Stuart MacVean, recently retired President and CEO of Savannah River Nuclear Solutions, DOE's lead environmental cleanup contractor at the Savannah River Site. MacVean looks back on his four decades in the nuclear industry and discusses the challenges that remain in the DOE environmental cleanup program and his plans for the future.Visit the Gone Fission Nuclear Report channel on youtube.com for a videocast of episodes since November 7, 2022.
35:50 9/14/23
S3E17 Labor Day 2023: Saluting America's Workers - 09/04/23 - Sean McGarvey, President and CEO, NABTU
The Gone Fission Nuclear Report podcast celebrates the American worker on Labor Day 2023. Our skilled crafts work daily in hazardous environments and all kinds of weather to carry out the EM cleanup mission. Sean McGarvey, president and CEO of North America’s Building Trades Unions, joins us on this week’s episode to thank these workers for all they do.Visit the Gone Fission Nuclear Report channel on youtube.com for a videocast of episodes since November 7, 2022.
49:08 9/4/23
S3E16 Electrifying the EM Vehicle Fleet - 07/31/23 - Rob Seifert, EM HQ, Stuart MacVean, President & CEO, Savannah River Nuclear Solutions
The Department of Energy's Environmental Management office spends a lot of time remediating the problems of the past. But that doesn't mean they don't have an eye on the future. Perhaps nowhere is that more evident than in EM's current push to electrify it's gasoline-powered vehicle fleet. In this week’s episode of the Gone Fission Nuclear Report, Rob Seifert, DOE EM Headquarters, and Stuart MacVean, President and CEO of Savannah River Nuclear Solutions, discuss the status of progress in meeting federal mandates to electrify the fleet. Visit the Gone Fission Nuclear Report channel on youtube.com for a videocast of episodes since November 7, 2022.
45:10 7/31/23
S3E15 Environmental Cleanup: A Family Affair - 07.24.23 - Meet families who work together at DOE sites
Environmental cleanup at Department of Energy sites is a family affair. Each day, mothers and fathers, sons and daughters, brothers and sisters, uncles and nephews show up together to perform the hazardous tasks and myriad support services necessary to carry out one of the world’s largest environmental cleanup missions. In this week’s episode of the Gone Fission Nuclear Report podcast, we introduce you to some of these families and learn what it’s like to work together in this challenging setting. Visit the Gone Fission Nuclear Report channel on youtube.com for a videocast of episodes since November 7, 2022.
52:35 7/24/23
S3E14 Oppenheimer: The Movie - 7/17/23 - Dr. Thom Mason, Director, Los Alamos National Laboratory
A controversial figure to this day, J. Robert Oppenheimer led the development and construction of the world's first atomic bomb. After World War II, his past communist leanings came to a head when his government security clearance was revoked after several contentious hearings at the height of the "Red Scare". In this week’s episode of the Gone Fission Nuclear Report, we look ahead to Friday’s premiere of “Oppenheimer” in theaters. Our  guest is Dr. Thom Mason,  Oppenheimer’s modern-day successor as Director of Los Alamos National  Laboratory in New Mexico. Dr. Mason joined former lab directors in successfully advocating last year that the 1954 revocation of Dr. Oppenheimer’s security clearance be nullified.Visit the Gone Fission Nuclear Report channel on youtube.com for a videocast of episodes since November 7, 2022.
38:02 7/17/23
S3E13 - EM Strategic Plan - 7/10/23 - Erik Olds, EM Communications Director, Lee Tucker, EM External Relations
The Department of Energy’s environmental cleanup program is complex, expensive and long-term. It requires federal oversight, experienced contractor management, a skilled workforce, continual funding from Congress, negotiations with regulators, buy-in and support from communities and stakeholders, and lots of careful planing. That planning is conveyed in DOE Environmental Management’s Strategic Vision. In this week’s episode of the Gone Fission Nuclear Report, we examine the latest EM Strategic Vision and talk with two Headquarters officials about the cleanup priorities and challenges that lie ahead. See this insightful interview with Erik Olds, EM Communications Director, and Lee Tucker, EM External Relations.Visit the Gone Fission Nuclear Report channel on youtube.com for a videocast of episodes since November 7, 2022.
46:08 7/10/23
S3E12 Preserving K-25 History - 05/22/23 - Jim Dunn, UCOR National Historic Preservation Manager
Officials have taken another step forward in preserving the history of the K-25 site in Oak Ridge, breaking ground for a new viewing platform that will provide a bird’s eye view of the former gaseous diffusion plant’s footprint. A nearby K-25 History Center focuses on the men and women who built and operated the Oak Ridge Gaseous Diffusion Plant during the Manhattan Project and Cold War. In this week’s episode, we learn how the new viewing platform and associated exhibits--part of the Manhattan Project National Park--will help visitors understand the scope and magnitude of K-25 while they learn about the personal stories of the workforce. Visit the Gone Fission Nuclear Report channel on youtube.com for a videocast of episodes since November 7, 2022.
24:18 5/22/23
S3E11 Gone Fission Nuclear Report - 05/15/23 - DOE-EM is Hiring - Today and Tomorrow, Dameone Ferguson, DOE-EM HQ
Ensuring an adequate workforce for the Department of Energy’s environmental cleanup program is a continuing concern and a high priority. There are decades of cleanup work left to do, and much of the current workforce is approaching retirement age. EM is now engaged in an aggressive program to hire more professionals.  In this week's episode, we examine the need for workers and what EM is doing to make sure there are enough qualified employees now and in the decades ahead.Visit the Gone Fission Nuclear Report channel on youtube.com for a videocast of episodes since November 7, 2022.
32:37 5/15/23
S3E10 Idaho Celebration: EBR-2 Spent Fuel Wet to Dry Transfer - 05/08/23 - Gov. Brad Little, Dr. Kathryn Huff, Ike White
This week, the Gone Fission Nuclear Report celebrates with employees of Idaho National Laboratory, INL management, the Department of Energy and state leaders. Crews have completed transfer of Experimental Breeder Reactor-2 spent fuel from wet to the dry storage, meeting a key milestone in a settlement agreement between the Department of Energy and the state. Employees exceeded expectations, completing the project nine months ahead of schedule. EBR-2 was an historic reactor experiment, capable of producing more fuel than it consumed. Join Governor Brad Little, DOE Assistant Secretary Dr. Kathryn Huff, and Senior EM Advisor Ike White as we celebrate this Idaho milestone in this week's episode. Visit the Gone Fission Nuclear Report channel on youtube.com for a videocast of episodes since November 7, 2022.
40:37 5/8/23
S3E9 SRS Landlord Transition: From EM to NNSA - 05.01.2023 - Frank Rose, NNSA, Ike White, EM
Every Department of Energy field site has a landlord—a DOE programmatic office that oversees the real estate, utilities, security and other day-to-day operations. Every now and then a new landlord is installed to reflect the site’s changing missions and programmatic responsibilities. It’s happening now at Savannah River as NNSA prepares to take over landlord responsibilities from Environmental Management. Learn more about this transition in this week’s episode of the Gone Fission Nuclear Report podcast. Visit the Gone Fission Nuclear Report channel on youtube.com for a videocast of episodes since November 7, 2022.
57:27 5/2/23
S3E8 Gone Fission Nuclear Report - 03/27/2023 - SRS Cleanup: Building Saltstone Disposal Units, Charles Comeau, DOE-SRS
The Department of Energy’s Savannah River Site is engaged in a comprehensive cleanup program for liquid radioactive waste. 51 underground carbon-steel tanks were built to hold radioactive liquid waste from Cold War-era nuclear weapons production. Eight of the tanks have been emptied and closed. The remaining 43 tanks contain about 34 million gallons of liquid waste. In this week’s episode of the Gone Fission Nuclear Report podcast, we interview Charles Comeau, SRS Federal Project Director for Saltstone Disposal Unit Construction. We discuss the SRS waste cleanup program, focusing on the critical importance of mega-volume Saltstone Disposal Units now under construction and their central role in successful mission completion.Visit the Gone Fission Nuclear Report channel on youtube.com for a videocast of episodes since November 7, 2022.
30:20 3/27/23
S3E7 Gone Fission Nuclear Report - 03/20/2023 - Women in EM History - Dr. Carolyn Huntoon
In observance of Women's History Month, the Gone Fission Nuclear Report this week features Carolyn Leach Huntoon, the first woman Assistant Secretary of Environmental Management at the Department of Energy. She was the first of six women to hold this important DOE post. Dr. Huntoon had a distinguished federal career, having also served as the first woman Director of NASA’s Johnson Space Center. Meet this impressive woman in this week’s episode. Visit the Gone Fission Nuclear Report channel on youtube.com for a videocast of episodes since November 7, 2022.
16:28 3/20/23
S3E6 Gone Fission Nuclear Report - 03/13/23 - Oak Ridge Cleanup: The Next Chapter - Ken Rueter, UCOR President and CEO
In support of its Department of Energy client, United Cleanup Oak Ridge LLC (UCOR) has entered the next chapter of environmental cleanup on the Oak Ridge Reservation in Tennessee. With the historic Oak Ridge Gaseous Diffusion Plant fully demolished and significant portions of land turned over to the community for economic development, UCOR is now focused on new cleanup projects at Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the Y-12 National Security Complex. In this week's episode of the Gone Fission Nuclear Report, UCOR President and CEO Ken Rueter talks about the accomplishments and the new challenges that lie ahead in one of the country's largest nuclear cleanup programs. Visit the Gone Fission Nuclear Report channel on youtube.com for a videocast of episodes since November 7, 2022.
69:10 3/13/23
S3E5 Gone Fission Nuclear Report - 03/06/2023 - One Hanford: A Team Approach to Cleanup, Brian Vance, DOE Manager, Office of River Protection
The Department of Energy’s Hanford site in Washington State is engaged in one of the largest and most complex environmental cleanup challenges on the planet. Multiple contractors are performing various parts of a decades-long mission that will ultimately result in 56 million gallons of radioactive waste being converted to a solid glass form for ultimate disposal. In this week’s episode, Brian Vance, Manager of DOE’s Office of River Protection and the Richland Operations Office, discusses the One Hanford approach and the vital importance of seamless teamwork to mission success.Visit the Gone Fission Nuclear Report channel on youtube.com for a videocast of episodes since November 7, 2022.
43:05 3/6/23
S3E4 Gone Fission Nuclear Report - 01/23/23 - Retiring CRO Head Looks Back - Rick McLeod, President & CEO, SRS Community Reuse Organization
The longest serving Community Reuse Organization (CRO) leader in the Department of Energy complex has retired. He is Rick McLeod, president and CEO of the Savannah River Site Community Reuse Organization. Rick held the post for 15 years, nearly half of the CRO's existence. Since he took the job in 2008, Rick has worked with DOE and the community in two states to make sure community interests are addressed, new SRS missions are promoted, and the community has a unified voice in Washington. In this week's episode of the Gone Fission Nuclear Report, Rick looks back on the CRO's challenges and accomplishments and has some advice for his successor.Visit the Gone Fission Nuclear Report channel on youtube.com for a videocast of episodes since November 7, 2022.
33:29 1/27/23

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