Bechtel today named Senior Vice President Brian Hartman as project director for the Waste Treatment and Immobilization Plant (WTP) project at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Hanford Site in Washington state. Hartman is a 40-year Bechtel veteran with extensive leadership experience.
“Brian is an exceptional leader with a proven talent for building strong partnerships with customers and creating high-performance teams,” said John Howanitz, president of Bechtel’s Nuclear, Security, and Environmental business. “His deep experience on complex projects and across all aspects of project management and execution, from development to startup and commissioning, makes him an ideal choice to lead the WTP project forward.”
Hartman will lead the WTP team through final commissioning of the Low-Activity Waste Facility and its support facilities, which will immobilize low-activity waste in a form safe for disposal. He also will oversee the team working the engineering, design, and procurement for a facility to treat the Hanford Site’s high-level waste.
“I look forward to building on the WTP team’s quality culture and collaborative approach to how we do work,” Hartman said. “We have an important mission to protect the environment and the public. I’m eager to work with our customer, other Hanford contractors, regulators, and the local community as we achieve hot commissioning for low-activity waste and ramp up efforts toward vitrifying high-level waste.”
Hartman served most recently as Bechtel’s corporate manager of Engineering and Technology and project execution manager. In this role, he headed the global engineering and technology functions for 5,000 professionals in 115 locations across 20 countries. Over the past year he also managed collaborative engineering efforts between Bechtel, NASA, and subcontractors to design a new launch facility at the Kennedy Space Center supporting NASA’s Artemis Mission.
Hartman began at Bechtel as an intern in 1982 and joined the company full time in 1983 as a junior engineer on the Grand Gulf Nuclear Station project in Mississippi. His career includes leadership roles related to nuclear, thermal, and renewable energy systems, including distributed control systems, instrumentation and controls, and facilities.
Hartman was elected a principal vice president in 2013 and senior vice president in 2020. He holds a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. He is a certified professional engineer, a member of the International Association of Automation ISA, and the National Society of Black Engineers.
Hartman succeeds Valerie McCain, who passed away earlier this year.
Treating Manhattan Project and Cold War-era waste
Hanford is the United States’ most challenging and complex radioactive waste cleanup site, where nine nuclear reactors, as well as chemical separation facilities, produced plutonium for U.S. nuclear weapons from 1944 to 1987. Approximately 56 million gallons of chemical and radioactive waste is stored and awaiting treatment in underground tanks.
In WTP’s first phase, the waste will be piped to the Low-Activity Waste Facility, mixed with silica and other materials, melted, and poured into stainless steel containers where it will solidify – a process called vitrification. The containers will then be disposed at Hanford’s existing low-level waste disposal site. In a second phase, the remaining high-level waste will be vitrified in another facility still under construction. Construction of all facilities for vitrifying low-activity waste is complete and commissioning is underway. Completion of hot commissioning is anticipated in 2024.
Bechtel is a leader in environmental cleanup and restoration of former nuclear weapons production sites. The company’s experience spans nearly 40 years and includes the cleanup, remediation, and closure of nuclear waste facilities in Washington state, Idaho, New Mexico, Tennessee, Nevada, and South Carolina, including the only currently operating vitrification plant in the U.S. – the Defense Waste Processing Facility at the DOE’s Savannah River Site.