New Manager Named for Troubled Nuclear Weapons Plant
WASHINGTON (AP) _ The Energy Department said today it was installing a new manager at the Rocky Flats nuclear weapons plant in Colorado to replace Edward S. Goldberg, who was at the center of a controversy in July over a possible shutdown of the facility.
The department said David P. Simonson, a nuclear engineer with 16 years’ experience in the federal nuclear weapos program, would take over for Goldberg later this month.
Simonson, 46, has been acting deputy manager at Rocky Flats since July 12. Before that he was deputy director of the Energy Department’s Office of Nuclear Materials Production.
Goldberg has been acting manager of Rocky Flats, near Denver, since June. The department said Goldberg would be sent to its Hanford Operations Office in Washington state, which oversees operations at the Hanford nuclear weapons site.
The announcement did not say what position Goldberg would take at Hanford.
Energy Secretary James D. Watkins said in a statement he was pleased Simonson had accepted ″the tough assignment″ of managing the Rocky Flats site, which produces plutonium triggers used in nuclear warheads.
The department said last month that Goldberg in July had threatened to close Rocky Flats unless the managers there were granted immunity from prosecution for ongoing violations of environmental laws.
As a result of Goldberg’s concern about criminal liability, the department and the Environmental Protection Agency agreed they would find a solution to the continuing environmental violations by Sept. 15.
The Justice Department is conducting a criminal investigation of alleged violations of laws governing disposal and storage of hazardous and low-level radioactive wastes at the site. The probe has gone to a grand jury in Colorado, and no charges have resulted yet.