NEWS ALERT Phelps chairs cleanup endgame for CAB

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Calls for more diverse participation

By The Staff

Los Alamos County Councilor Ralph Phelps added another point of influence to his regional activities when he became chair of the Northern New Mexico Citizens Advisory Board (NNMCAB) in Oct. 2009.

Previously vice chair of the advisory group, Phelps succeeded J.D. Campbell, a civil engineer from Taos who remains on the board through April.

The board’s role under a formal federal charter is to serve as an intermediary between the public and people who make decisions at Los Alamos National Laboratory. The board covers a wide range of issues related to waste storage, the environment, court-ordered cleanup programs and long-term remediation.

Phelps’ spent most of his career in the nuclear power industry. His experience includes work at San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station where he helped bring two units from construction through reliable operation. A project engineer and project manager who approaches problems with a logical focus, Phelps has already defined some of the challenges ahead.

“We have a couple of major issues coming up, related to the corrective measures at MDA-G,” he said. Material Disposal Area-G is the laboratory’s major waste depository, and closing it out will be the final project in the ongoing comprehensive cleanup program at the laboratory.