DOE appoints Candice Robertson to role of EM-1

June 3, 2024, 12:00PMNuclear News



The Department of Energy has selected Candice Robertson to head the department’s Office of Environmental Management as acting assistant secretary (EM-1). Robertson has over 20 years of experience in radioactive waste management and previously served as principal deputy assistant secretary and as an associate principal deputy assistant secretary for DOE-EM.

Robertson replaces William "Ike" White, who was nominated by President Biden on May 23 to serve on the Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board, the independent agency responsible for ensuring that DOE facilities are protective of public health and safety. White, who has held the position of EM-1 since June 2019, will continue to serve as a senior advisor while he awaits confirmation to the DNFSB.

Reaction: The Energy Communities Alliance, a nonprofit organization of local governments and communities that host, are adjacent to, or impacted by DOE nuclear facilities, said the selection of Robertson is a good choice for the DOE-EM role. In a statement the ECA said, “DOE is appointing someone with years of experience in the program both working on specific projects and running programs from a senior level. Candice has worked closely with the local, state, and tribal governments; the unions and workforce at the sites; the contractors; the citizen advisory boards; all the regulators; universities; citizen activists; and others.”

In addition to her previous roles with DOE-EM, Robertson has served as the DOE’s chief human capital officer and as a chief of staff at the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Prior to federal service, she served as an elected commissioner in Nye County, Nev., which hosts the Nevada National Security Sites.

Ike’s accomplishments: The DOE said that under White’s leadership, the Office of Environmental Management has made significant progress advancing liquid waste treatment systems, including reaching an agreement with the state of Washington and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on a realistic and efficient path forward for the Hanford Site’s tank waste mission, completing construction of the facilities supporting Hanford’s direct feed low-activity waste treatment approach, and beginning the first large-scale treatment of radioactive and chemical tank waste at the Tank-Side Cesium Removal System at Hanford. Other successes include beginning operations at the Savannah River Site’s Salt Waste Processing Facility, completing demolition at Oak Ridge’s East Tennessee Technology Park (making it the first site in the world to remove an entire uranium enrichment complex), and finishing demolition of Portsmouth’s X-326 uranium process building, a two-story structure covering 56 acres that was critical in the cleanup and transformation of the Gaseous Diffusion Plant.

During White’s tenure, DOE-EM developed and implemented its annual priorities scorecard summarizing achievements and engaged tribal nations, stakeholders, and communities to define a 10-year strategic vision outlining planned accomplishments over the next decade.

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