January 09, 2009

Crapo Commends INL Employee Honors

Washington, DC - Idaho Senator Mike Crapo today commended nine leaders at the Idaho National Laboratory that have received one of the U.S. Department of Energy's top honors. Retiring DOE Idaho Manager Elizabeth Sellers heads a group that received a team achievement award under DOE's Secretarial Awards Program.

INL team members honored during a DOE ceremony in Washington, DC this week include Sellers, Brandt Meagher, Richard Provencher, Robert Iotti, Brett Bowhan and Mark Arenaz. The Idaho operations have been credited by DOE with saving taxpayers nearly $5 billion dollars in cleanup efforts of past buried waste that improve the long-term protection of the Snake River Plain Aquifer while stressing a safe working environment for site employees.

Idaho employees Kenneth Allen, Igor Bolshinsky, and Mike Tyacke also received an award from the Secretary at the same event. The trio received the award for long-standing efforts to eliminate central European stockpiles of highly enriched uranium and encourage those countries to convert their research reactors to reduce waste.

"In the last six years, the INL team -- along with experts from other national laboratories, the International Atomic Energy Agency and the National Nuclear Security Administration -- has secured and safely transported nearly 1,700 pounds of fuel from countries including the Czech Republic, Poland and Bulgaria," Crapo said in commending the efforts of Idaho workers.

"The Idaho National Laboratory, the nation's lead laboratory for nuclear research, has been recognized yet again for outstanding achievement and Idahoans can be proud of the accomplishments of Beth Sellers and workers at the Site," Crapo added after meeting with Sellers in Washington, DC. "Just as important as these honors is the fact that the leadership of these individuals is resulting in work that makes Idaho safer and helps to bring closure to an ongoing legal dispute as we find a permanent home for waste stored in Idaho."

Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman created the Secretarial Awards Program two years ago to honor DOE's best workers for their outstanding achievements. The awards represent the highest form of non-monetary recognition given to DOE employees and contractors.