Jack Zimmerman

Jack Zimmerman

The manager of the Idaho Cleanup Project is moving on to a new job with the U.S. Department of Energy.

Jack Zimmerman, who has been in charge of overseeing nuclear waste cleanup at the DOE desert site west of Idaho Falls for the past five years, has been appointed director of the Environmental Management Consolidated Business Center in Cincinnati, DOE’s Office of Environmental Management announced on Friday. Connie Flohr, the Idaho Cleanup Project’s deputy manager, will take over as acting manager.

“Jack has proved to be an effective leader in tackling some of the greatest challenges of the (Environmental Management) mission in Idaho,” Under Secretary for Science Paul Dabbar said in a statement. “We are fortunate he has agreed to fill a critical need at EMCBC as EM moves forward on its end state contracting initiative that focuses on cleanup completion.”

Before getting the job in Idaho Zimmerman, who has more than 30 years’ experience in the nuclear field, worked for DOE in Ohio and Kentucky.

The change in leadership comes at what has been a somewhat busy time for the Idaho Cleanup Project. State and DOE officials reached a deal earlier this month saying that, if DOE meets some new cleanup targets, Idaho National Laboratory will be able to bring in small quantities of spent nuclear fuel for research. This is dependent on the Integrated Waste Treatment Unit, which started to perform test runs last year after years of delay, showing it can treat the 900,000 gallons of liquid radioactive waste being stored at the site in tanks above the East Snake Plain Aquifer. Also the Advanced Mixed Waste Treatment Project, one of the waste processing facilities at the site, has been winding down its work.

Reporter Nathan Brown can be reached at 208-542-6757. Follow him on Twitter: @NateBrownNews.