A California-based occupational health, wellness and absence management company has acquired HPM Corp. (HPMC), the prime medical services contractor at Hanford.
WorkCare Inc. bought HPMC on April 1. Terms weren’t disclosed.
HPMC Occupational Medicine Services has been managing the health and medical-related safety needs of more than 8,000 U.S. Department of Energy and site contractor employees since 2012.
DOE announced plans in February to award a new contract for the work, which will be expanded to include occupational medical services to vitrification plant employees.
The new contract is expected to include a base period of three years, including a transition period of 60 days, and two option periods of two years each, for a total of seven years.
The current HPMC contract expires at the end of 2023 and includes an option to extend services through the end of 2025, though it doesn’t include coverage for Direct Feed Low-Activity Waste and future Waste Treatment and Immobilization Plant operations.
WorkCare said its acquisition of HPMC aligns with its strategic business development strategy and involves plans to continue to provide best-practice occupational health services to the Hanford site workforce in compliance with DOE requirements.
“We’re excited to welcome HPMC and its team of proven experts to the WorkCare family of companies,” said Bill Nixon, WorkCare’s president and chief executive officer, in a statement. “Given our experience in occupational medicine and our company origins, WorkCare is exceptionally well-prepared to support continued delivery of essential medical surveillance and other clinical services to protect and promote employee health at the site.”
Bechtel National Inc. has named John Atwell as the acting project director for the Hanford site’s Waste Treatment and Immobilization Plant, better known as the vit plant.
He is a principal vice president and for the past two years has served as project director for Bechtel’s Vogtle Units 3 & 4 Completion project for Georgia Power.
Atwell served as manager of functions and operations for Bechtel’s Nuclear, Security, and Environment business unit from 2020-21. During this time, he was responsible for operational oversight of the vit plant project on behalf of Bechtel.
He has more than 40 years of managerial experience leading engineering and project management activities across a range of projects.
He earned a bachelor of science in nuclear engineering from the University of Maryland and a master of business administration from National University.
Atwell moves into the role in an acting capacity after the recent death of Valerie McCain, who was the project director from October 2018 until March 2023.
Experience the vastness of the Hanford site and take a crash course in how nuclear reactors produced plutonium by signing up for a free public tour.
The Manhattan Project National Historical Park tours, which include a narrated bus ride, are popular. In 2022, more than 5,600 people visited the B Reactor National Historic Landmark from all 50 states and 26 different countries.
This year’s free tours run through November.
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) offers two tours of the national park at Hanford.
On tours to the B Reactor, visitors can stand in front of the world’s first full-scale nuclear reactor. Built in 11 months, the reactor started operations in September 1944 and produced the plutonium used in the Trinity Test in July 1945 and the “Fat Man” atomic weapon dropped on Nagasaki, Japan, in August 1945 to help bring an end to World War II in the Pacific.
The second park tour explores the history of the Mid-Columbia Basin area of Eastern Washington prior to the government’s eviction of homeowners and tribes in 1943 as the Manhattan Project began.
Both tours last about four hours and include bus transportation and short walking tours.
Registration is available online, at manhattanprojectbreactor.hanford.gov.
Washington State University Tri-Cities will host a panel discussion titled “In the Atomic Field: The Reach of Hanford” from 5:30-7 p.m. April 18 on campus in the East Auditorium and via Zoom.
Moderated by anthropologist and author Mark Auslander, this panel brings together science and technology studies focused anthropologist Pedro de la Torre III, historian and author Robert Franklin, and artist Glenna Cole Allee to discuss the past, present and future of Hanford site.
The panel will discuss how historic narratives expand when dissenting perspectives are acknowledged and entered into the record and how the inclusion of formerly marginalized voices impact discourse about the history and future of the Hanford site.
Audience participation will be welcomed in a question and-answer format.
The panel convenes to accompany the exhibition currently on display through May in the WSU Tri-Cities Art Center, “Hanford Reach: In the Atomic Field”, an installation that explores the paradoxical histories of Hanford and reflects the complexities of personal and collective memory.
Glenna Cole Allee will sign copies of her recently published monograph (Daylight Books, 2021).
WSU Tri-Cities is at 2710 Crimson Way in Richland.
Brian Vance, the manager of the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of River Protection and Richland Operations Office, will provide an update on Hanford at the Tri-City Regional Chamber of Commerce’s membership luncheon on May 4 at the Holiday Inn Richland on the River.
Vance will speak to the history of the site, progress being made, future plans and the economic impact the Site has on our community.
The program is from noon to 1 p.m. Attendees will have an opportunity to network during the half hour prior to the program.
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