To help repair and heal the Planet by cleaning up and eliminating dangerous materials and decaying infrastructure that are the legacy from 50 years of the Cold War.
Action in the World:
Steve Simon has been a key contributor to a wide variety of environmental remediation and clean-up projects throughout his career, dating back to 1970. Since becoming initiated in the MKP in June, 1994, Steve focused his efforts on the remediation and clean-up of radioactive waste and the associated legacy resulting from 50 years of the Cold War with the former Soviet Union. This effort first took him to the DOE Hanford Reservation in southeastern Washington State as part of a major contract to advance the remediation of the 150+ underground storage tanks, some as large as 2 million gallons, containing liquid radioactive waste resulting from production of over 100 metric tons of plutonium for nuclear weapons. Many of these tanks are leaking and threatening the Columbia River. Steve, as the Chief Systems Engineer, led the team to develop the integrated plan and schedule logic to accomplish this cleanup which is in progress at this time. His team’s work earned high accolades from the Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board, Washington State and other stakeholders.
Following several years at Hanford, Steve was requested to lead a program dealing with clean up and containment of nuclear waste resulting from the dismantlement of the Russian Federation’s nuclear submarine fleet. This effort was completed in record
time for a complex project led by foreign firms in Russia and resulted in construction of three facilities located near Archangelsk and Vladivostok to reduce volume and safely store medium level nuclear waste from the dismantled submarines. These facilities are in use now, and this project is highly praised as one of the first and best examples of cooperation between the Russian Federation and the USA on eliminating the Cold War legacy. Commissioning of these facilities in 2002 allowed the Russian Federation to meet its commitments outlined in the London Convention to stop dumping radioactive waste into the Bearing Sea and the Sea of Japan. Steve and his international team of experts from Russia, US, France, England and Norway received multiple accolades from the Russian Federation, US Government, and stakeholders in each of the affected Russian regions. Steve’s work in Russia continued with the design of a complex building renovation and special containers to safely store spent nuclear fuel from Russian submarines at the highly environmentally contaminated Mayak complex in the central Ural mountain area. He had a major role in the facility design and regulatory analysis and permitting process to replace an aging Chernobyl-type nuclear reactor in central Siberia with a modern power plant allowing elimination of a recognized world-wide hazard and environmental threat. This project is on-going and is making excellent progress to achieve reactor shutdown by 2011. During the past two years, while living in Moscow, Steve was the Technical Leader in a contract to support the US Government in securing weapons from theft and attacks at 12 Russian nuclear weapon storage facilities scattered throughout the Russian Federation. This project is scheduled for completion in late 2008 and is proceeding excellently at some of the most secret locations throughout the Russian Federation. Steve is known for his enthusiasm, deep commitment, work ethic and passion to use his technical skills to make the world a better place. He lives his mission every day, often working in some of the most polluted and therefore dangerous places on earth with few comforts and long stretches from home and family. He is highly deserving of the 2007 Hering award from the Greater Washington Chapter of the MKP.