Federal employee John Barnes was recently honored as the 2012 Department of Energy’s Facility Representative of the Year. The award recognized his sustained performance in identifying and resolving safety and operational issues in facility operations at the Savannah River Site.
Barnes provides oversight of nuclear and non-nuclear facilities at SRS that include the H-Canyon chemical processing facility and the HB-Line. These facilities perform several important missions that process plutonium and uranium. H-Canyon is the only chemical and nuclear processing facility operating in the United States. He also provides oversight of transuranic waste repackaging in the H-Canyon facility that prepares TRU waste for shipment to the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant in New Mexico.
In the nomination for the annual department-wide award, Barnes is cited for his exceptional effectiveness in analyzing all aspects of several nuclear operations processes, posing safety-related questions and assisting the contractor in developing solutions. His nomination credited significant improvements to the safety of operations in facilities and overall contributions to the FR program.
“I’m humbled to have been selected, given there are so many equally deserving of this recognition. I’m blessed to have a strong group of peers and management team to work with,” Barnes said.
A South Carolina native from Walterboro, Barnes is a graduate of the University of South Carolina, with a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering. He began his 29-year federal career in 1984, at the Charleston Naval Shipyard where he was part of an engineering team that oversaw design and start-up testing of the Trident Refit Facility, Kings Bay, Ga.
He also supported the overhaul and refueling of nuclear submarines at Charleston Naval Shipyard.
Barnes joined DOE at SRS in 1990.
He has served as a qualified FR supporting restart of the FB-Line facility, one of the first plutonium processing facilities to restart after extended curtailment of operations.
He has also been an FR at several facilities throughout SRS that include: HB-Line, Receiving Basin for Off-Site Fuel, F/H Labs and the Savannah River National Laboratory.
Barnes serves his community on the school board and performs volunteer work with a Christian youth organization. He also helps refurbish sub-standard homes for low-income families.
He enjoys farming, hunting and fishing with his five daughters and six grandchildren.
He is married to the former Robin Smith of Walterboro.
SRS is owned by DOE. Additional information on the Department of Energy’s Office of Environmental Management and the Savannah River Site can be found at www.em.doe.gov or www.srs.gov.
Barnes honored as DOE top official of 2012