Bechtel announced that Michael Costas, head of the company’s corporate quality function, is joining the Waste Treatment and Immobilization Plant
leadership team to lead quality, engineering, procurement, and other key functions on the project. Bechtel is designing and building the plant in Washington state to safely treat and package 56 million gallons of radioactive waste for the U.S. Department of Energy.
“The Waste Treatment Plant is one of the most complex projects in the world, and we continuously look for ways to strengthen our quality culture,” said Craig Albert, president of Bechtel’s government services business unit. “Michael joins the project at a critical time, as we ramp up our engineering and construction activities, and he will be integral to the success of this project.”
Costas will also supervise functions including construction, plant startup, and safeguards and security. He brings to his new role nearly 30 years’ experience in nuclear, defense, aerospace, and large infrastructure projects.
“Michael is driving upgrades to Bechtel’s core processes, most notably in systems engineering, supplier quality, and process improvement,” said Bechtel’s Waste Treatment Plant project director, Peggy McCullough. “He will be a great addition to our senior leadership team.”
The Waste Treatment Plant is a complex of more than 20 facilities, including four stadium-sized buildings that will safely treat radioactive waste currently stored in 177 underground tanks at the Hanford Site, near the Columbia River in southeastern Washington. When operational, the plant will turn the waste into a stable, solid glass form using a process called vitrification. The waste is a byproduct of plutonium production from the 1940s Manhattan Project through the 1980s and must be deliberately and responsibly disposed of to eliminate any health or environmental risk.
Bechtel is a leader in environmental cleanup and restoration
of former nuclear weapon production sites. The company’s experience spans nearly 40 years and includes the cleanup, remediation, and closure of nuclear waste facilities in Washington state, New Mexico, Tennessee, Nevada, and South Carolina.