B&W announces leadership changes at Y-12

Dave Richardson

Dave Richardson

The Babcock and Wilcox Co. on Friday announced top management changes at B&W Y-12, the contractor that operates the Y-12 National Security Complex in Oak Ridge.

Among the changes: B&W Y-12 President and General Manager Charles G. “Chuck” Spencer, who started at Y-12 shortly after the July 28, 2012, security breach, will return to his former position as vice president and chief operating officer of Babcock and Wilcox Technical Services Group Inc. Spencer will continue his involvement at Y-12 and the Pantex Plant in Texas as chairman of the Board of Managers for both B&W Y-12 and Babcock and Wilcox Technical Services Pantex LLC, a press release said.

Spencer replaced Darrel P. Kohlhorst in August 2012. Kohlhorst abruptly retired after the security breach.

Spencer will be replaced by Dave Richardson, who will become president and general manager of Babcock and Wilcox Technical Services Y-12 LLC, or B&W Y-12, on Feb. 1. [Read more…]

Y-12 cameras weren’t working, guards failed to react, federal letter says

Transform Now Plowshares

The three anti-nuclear weapons activists pictured above sneaked into a high-security area at the Y-12 National Security Complex on July 28 and triggered a security crisis that has led to personnel changes, a temporary halt in nuclear operations, and a potential termination of a federal contract with B&W Y-12. From left to right, the three protesters are Michael R. Walli, Megan Rice, and Greg Boertje-Obed. (Submitted photo)

Note: This story was last updated at 9:32 a.m. Aug. 15.

Many security cameras weren’t working when three anti-nuclear weapons activists sneaked into the Y-12 National Security Complex early in the morning on Saturday, July 28, a federal official said in a critical letter released Tuesday evening.

One of those cameras was near a fence penetrated by the protesters, who allegedly used bolt-cutters to slice through three fences before they walked to a high-security building known as the Highly Enriched Uranium Materials Facility, where bomb-grade uranium is stored.

The intruders, who allegedly spray-painted slogans and splashed human blood on the HEUMF, set off many alarms in a “multi-layered sensor system” in a fence line, but the Y-12 protective force failed to react, the official said.

When guards alerted by the alarms responded with a vehicle patrol, it took them too long to arrive at the scene, and once there, they “failed to take appropriate steps to take control of the situation,” said the official, National Nuclear Security Administration Contracting Officer Jill Y. Albaugh. She said a responding supervisor finally took control and removed the protesters.

Written Friday, Albaugh’s letter gives Babcock and Wilcox Technical Services Y-12, the plant’s managing and operating contractor, 30 days to show why the federal government should not proceed to terminate its contract.

[Read more…]

Kohlhorst, Klemm retire from Y-12; new manager starts

Darrel P. Kohlhorst

Darrel P. Kohlhorst

Note: This story was updated at 11:30 p.m. Aug. 12.

Two weeks after an unprecedented security breach, two top executives have retired from the company that manages the Y-12 National Security Complex, and one of them has been replaced.

In a press release, The Babcock and Wilcox Co. announced that Charles “Chuck” G. Spencer is now acting president and general manager for Babcock & Wilcox Technical Services Y-12 LLC, the contractor that manages the plant for the National Nuclear Security Administration. He replaces Darrel P. Kohlhorst, who has retired.

William R. Klemm

William R. Klemm

It said William R. Klemm, deputy general manager of operations, has also retired.

The statement didn’t say whether the staff changes were related to the highly publicized July 28 intrusion by three anti-nuclear weapons activists, and it didn’t say who would replace Klemm.

[Read more…]