Predrag ‘Mick’ Mastilovic Awarded TVA Engineer of the Year
November 15, 2012
CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. Predrag “Mick” Mastilovic, manager of the Tennessee Valley Authority’s Nuclear Fuel Supply program, has been honored as TVA’s Ike Zeringue Engineer of the Year.
Mastilovic was recognized by the TVA board of directors at its meeting Thursday in Rainsville, Ala. The award is TVA’s highest honor for an engineer and makes Mastilovic eligible for the national Federal Engineer of the Year award.
“The outstanding effort of Mick and the larger team to ensure an affordable and reliable long-term supply of uranium for our fleet of nuclear plants helps accomplish our vision of being one of the nation’s cleanest and low-cost energy providers,” said Jim Lemons, general manager for Reactor Engineering & Fuels, who nominated Mastilovic.
Mastilovic successfully led a TVA team in a complex, multi-party agreement to convert uranium enrichment tailings from a U.S. Department of Energy uranium enrichment facility in Paducah, Ky., into enriched uranium fuel for TVA’s nuclear reactors.
Mastilovic worked with DOE officials to determine their interest in establishing a uranium tails enrichment program, and he spearheaded TVA’s comprehensive proposal to DOE. This led to the TVA board approving a contract with DOE, United States Enrichment Corporation and Energy Northwest for enrichment of the leftover uranium tailings from DOE’s facility, which is operated by USEC.
Without this proposal, DOE would have decommissioned the facility and spent hundreds of millions of dollars disposing of the uranium tails, a low-level radioactive waste product. Instead, DOE expects to provide up to 15 years of fuel, saving more than 1,200 jobs.
The project also resulted in TVA entering into a power sales contract with USEC, its largest customer, helping to reduce the impact of lower TVA power sales in a year of unusually mild weather and a slow economy.
The nuclear fuel provided through this agreement will provide a significant savings to the 9 million people served by 155 local power companies receiving TVA electricity in the seven-state region.
Additionally, Mastilovic has been involved in TVA’s partnership with DOE to create tritium for national defense inside TVA’s Watts Bar Nuclear Unit 1 reactor. Unit 1 is the only location where tritium is produced for the government.
Mastilovic holds a Bachelor of Science in mechanical engineering from the University of Virginia, a Master of Science in mechanical engineering from Carnegie Mellon University and a Master of Business Administration from Cornell University. He is a member of the American Nuclear Society, the American Society of Mechanical Engineers and the National Society of Professional Engineers. In his free time, he participates in TVA’s Partners in Education Program at Nolan Elementary School at Signal Mountain, Tenn., where he teaches students about nuclear energy and also is active in the Cub Scouts.
The Engineer of the Year award is named for O.J. “Ike” Zeringue, a former president and chief operating officer and chief nuclear officer at TVA, who recently returned to TVA to work with the team completing Watts Bar Nuclear Unit 2.
The Tennessee Valley Authority, a corporation owned by the U.S. government, provides electricity for business customers and distribution utilities that serve 9 million people in parts of seven southeastern states at prices below the national average. TVA, which receives no taxpayer money and makes no profits, also provides flood control, navigation and land management for the Tennessee River system and assists utilities and state and local governments with economic development.
Ray Golden, Chattanooga, 423-751-8400
TVA Public Relations, Knoxville, (865) 632-6000