EM Responding to Challenges, Positioning for New Era, Mullis Says at Conference; Savannah River Site Liquid Waste Team Achieves 35 Million Safe Hours; and much more!

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EM Update | Vol. 14, Issue 23 | June 14, 2022


EM Appoints Five, Reappoints Two to Paducah Citizens Advisory Board

PADUCAH, Ky. – EM has appointed five new members to the Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant Citizens Advisory Board (CAB).

William R. “Billy Bob” Clark is an operator with Four Rivers Nuclear Partnership, which is the EM Paducah Site deactivation and remediation contractor, and represents the United Steel Workers. Hannah Chretien is an economic developer and chamber of commerce director in Ballard County, Kentucky. Myron Wessel is a senior process engineer working at Honeywell in Metropolis, Illinois. Riley Beth Willett is the director of the Graves County Health Department. Elizabeth Wilson is a loans servicing relief specialist at Paducah Bank.

Two reappointed members will continue their service for the next two years. Clinton Combs is an insurance agent with Peel & Holland Insurance in Benton, Kentucky. Frances L. Johnson is a retired vice president of governmental affairs for the Paducah Area Chamber of Commerce and the executive director of the West Kentucky Regional Chamber Alliance.


William R. “Billy Bob” Clark

Hannah Chretien



Myron Wessel

Riley Beth Willett



Elizabeth Wilson

The CAB is federally chartered to provide advice to EM concerning environmental remediation and future use of the Paducah Site in western Kentucky. It is comprised of up to 15 individuals from McCracken, Graves, Ballard, and Marshall Counties in Kentucky, and Massac County in Illinois. Volunteer members can serve up to three consecutive two-year terms.

Members represent a diverse group of interests within the community, such as business, academia, labor, local government, the environment and the general public. Additionally, the board has liaisons from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Commonwealth of Kentucky.

Program Encourages Hanford Employees to Think Critically to Improve Processes


This year’s class of Black Belt graduates from the Hanford Lean Six Sigma program for continuous improvement are pictured from left: Christopher Derrick, Hanford Mission Integration Solutions (HMIS); Peter Diaz, Central Plateau Cleanup Company; Michelle Oates, Washington River Protection Solutions; and Jennifer Bull, Echo Dahl, and Megan O’Brien, HMIS.

RICHLAND, Wash. – Improving processes to increase efficiency and reduce waste are vital to the Hanford Site cleanup mission.
They are also the driving forces that guide the Hanford Lean Six Sigma program, led by EM Richland Operations Office (RL) contractor Hanford Mission Integration Solutions’ (HMIS) Operating Excellence program.
The program teaches participants how to incorporate “lean” thinking and Six Sigma methodologies to identify opportunities for improvement within organizations by eliminating waste and increasing standardization. Candidates must complete 40 hours of training to earn Green Belt certification.
A cohort of certified Hanford Green Belts recently completed the next level of Lean Six Sigma Black Belt training, meeting virtually with instructors from Rutgers University for 12 weeks. The class included employees from contractors HMIS, HPMC Occupational Medical Services, Central Plateau Cleanup Company and Washington River Protection Solutions (WRPS).
“We are so proud of the work our Lean Six Sigma professionals perform throughout the Hanford Site,” said Holly Munroe, a certified Black Belt coach with HMIS. “We want each of them to encourage, instill and expand a culture of continuous improvement, to continue to move the mission forward through identifying ways we can work smarter in our everyday work processes.”


This year’s Hanford Lean Six Sigma Black Belt training was conducted virtually and led by instructors from Rutgers University. Participants completed 72 hours of training over a 12-week period.

The Black Belt candidates will now work to obtain certification by mentoring Green Belt candidates and facilitating three structured improvement activities under the coaching of the Operating Excellence program, all while continuing to work in their full-time positions.

“The Black Belt training helps you assess challenges from multiple angles,” said Michelle Oates, a Black Belt candidate with WRPS. “I plan to use what I’ve learned to benefit my organization and the Hanford Site as a whole to help achieve high performance outcomes.”

Since 2015, the program has trained and certified more than 140 Green and Black Belts across the Hanford Site, including 40 EM employees.

-Contributor: Shane Edinger

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