Hanford Workforce Restructuring

Hanford recently hired 1400 or more workers under the Recovery Act and maintains an existing workforce which contains many Cold War Veterans. DOE contractors are rumored to be in the process of hiring Nuclear Operator Training managers, trainers, and Nuclear Operators for the operation of the new Waste Treatment Facilities (Vit. Plant). The Recovery Act money will expire within 16 months and approximately 200 Nuclear Operators will be jobless. The new waste processing plant requires Nuclear Operators to take fundamental courses in mathematics, chemistry, mechanical, electrical, and process equipment training. All of the existing Nuclear Chemical Operators have passed these courses and will be operating the processes in Tank Farms that will supply the waste stream to the Vitrification Plant. DOE should not hire non-Hanford workers to operate a new Hanford facility when the displacement of qualified workers is eminent. Hanford's Metal Operators (fuel fabricators), Hot Cell Technicians, Reactor Operators, Fuels Operators, and Nuclear Process Operators were all consolidated into one group and renamed Nuclear Chemical Operators in 1993. This group should be assigned to operate the Waste Treatment Plant currently being constructed at Hanford. The current contractor URS should not be soliciting non-Hanford workers from other states to staff these positions.

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