30-year industry veteran will be responsible for providing AECOM leadership at the Department of Energy repository
AIKEN, S.C. (May 4, 2017) — AECOM, a premier, fully integrated global infrastructure firm, announced today that Bruce Covert has been appointed president and project manager of Nuclear Waste Partnership (NWP), the AECOM-led company that manages the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP).
“Bruce is a proven leader in the nuclear industry with extensive experience in the DOE market,” said John Vollmer, president, Management Services group. “His expertise and leadership will enable Nuclear Waste Partnership to safely and effectively operate WIPP for the long term.”
Mr. Covert brings more than 30 years of experience with AECOM legacy companies in the management and operation of nuclear and other high-hazard facilities for the DOE and the U.K.’s Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA). His expertise envelops every aspect of the nuclear facility life-cycle, from design and construction to start-up, operations, decommissioning, deactivation, decontamination and demolition.
“I’m extremely excited to join NWP,” said Mr. Covert. “I commend the Nuclear Waste Partnership employees for their hard work in getting WIPP back into operation this year. I look forward to helping the DOE advance its mission at WIPP and its role in cleaning up the DOE complex.”
Most recently, Mr. Covert served as AECOM group vice president and project director for waste management projects for Dounreay Site Restoration Limited, Dounreay, U.K. He was responsible for safe delivery of the Waste and Shaft & Silo projects at Britain’s former center for fast reactor research and development. His leadership responsibilities included delivering the site’s waste program including characterization, transportation, storage and disposal, along with treatment of low level and intermediate level waste from the site’s decommissioning program. He manages over 12,000 drums of contact-handled and remote-handled intermediate level radioactive waste. Mr. Covert was also an active member of the National Low Level Waste Program Board established to implement the U.K.’s strategy for the management of solid low level radioactive waste from the nuclear industry.
His most recent work in the U.S. was as project director, environmental, safety, health and quality for Washington Closure Hanford (WCH) at the DOE’s Hanford site, where he led development of a “best-in-class” contractor assurance system program that yielded outstanding safety, cost and schedule performance. He also managed the regulatory relationship with the Environmental Protection Agency and Washington State Department of Ecology to allow site closure of the 220 square-mile River Corridor. As the WCH project director for waste operations, he managed the recovery of the Environmental Restoration Disposal Facility, including developing and implementing regulatory and operational basis.
Mr. Covert replaces Phil Breidenbach who led recovery and restart activities at WIPP since April 2015. Mr. Breidenbach will return to AECOM supporting other projects in the DOE and nuclear market.
“I want to thank Phil Breidenbach for his fantastic leadership and steady hand that led to the restart of transuranic waste operations at WIPP, and the resumption of shipments from the DOE sites around the nation,” said Vollmer. “I wish Phil all the best in his next assignment at AECOM.”
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AECOM and BWXT Technical Services Group, Inc. formed Nuclear Waste Partnership LLC to support the DOE Office of Environmental Management and Carlsbad Field Office in achieving WIPP and National TRU Waste Program goals.
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