USW Member Joins Paducah Citizens Advisory Board

William R. “Billy Bob” Clark, an operator with Four Rivers Nuclear Partnership and a Local 550 health and safety representative, is bringing his experience to the Paducah Citizens Advisory Board.

The Department of Energy Office of Environmental Management appointed Clark to the board in June for a two-year term along with four other people.

Various stakeholders sit on the advisory board, which provides information and makes recommendations on issues impacting the cleanup of the former Paducah Gaseous Diffusion Plant site to the Office of Environmental Management. This includes cleanup standards and environmental restoration, stabilization and disposition of non-stockpile nuclear materials, and future land use and long-term stewardship.

Clark worked at the Paducah site when it enriched uranium and Martin Marietta Energy Systems was the operating contractor. Since then, he worked under five contractors, and participated in the deactivation and remediation process.

“With my background in operations, I know the daily, weekly and monthly testing of safety devices, and understand that if something fails, the system is taken off line. Those folks on the advisory board are not familiar with our buildings and what goes on,” Clark said. “I can help them through the history of what was out there at the site.”

“I thought it would be interesting to influence the future of the plant,” he added.

He said the advisory board looks 10 years ahead, thinks about the progress it wants to see at the site,  makes a yearly proposal and gets a budget from the federal government. Helping plan for the future and determining the action steps to take are a large part of the board’s duties.

Recycling of non-radioactive materials like oil in the transformers and copper busbars is one area the board considers, he said. Done right, this will help that the environment and put money back into the community.

“I plan to listen more at first,” Clark said. “I don’t know what will come of my participation, but I will wade into this new experience with open eyes.”

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