Jim Kopotic (1955-2015)


Jim Kopotic, left, is shown talking with then-Deputy Energy Secretary Dan Poneman at the Dec. 19, 2013 demolition ceremonies at K-25.

Upon returning to town following vacation, I was saddened to learn of the death of Jim Kopotic, a former Department of Energy project director who, among other accomplishments, oversaw the mammoth-sized demolition of the original K-25 uranium-enrichment facility in Oak Ridge.

Kopotic battled pancreatic cancer for the past couple of years and showed unusual resolve and a chin-up attitude. He had a positive spirit and made others feel good for having known him. Even as he endured the up-and-down cycles of cancer treatment, Kopotic energized the workforce at K-25 and was able to see the difficult demolition project to its completion.

He will be missed.

Here’s what Sue Cange, the Department of Energy’s environmental manager in Oak Ridge, had to say about Kopotic:

“We were deeply saddened to learn of Jim’s death on April 24. Jim was bigger than life, and his impact on the Oak Ridge Office of Environmental Management cannot be overstated. He was recognized across the EM complex for his professional acumen and his ability to successfully manage difficult projects, but his lasting legacy will be from the impact he made on people, his unique ability to make everyone feel special, and for the strength and resolve he showed during his courageous two-year fight against cancer. Our thoughts and prayers continue to be with his wife Bobbi, his children, and the rest of his family.”

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About Frank Munger

Senior Writer Frank Munger covers the Dept. of Energy's Oak Ridge facilities and many related topics — nuclear weapons, nuclear waste and other things nuclear, environmental cleanup and science of all sorts. Atomic City Underground is, first and foremost, a news blog, but there's room for analysis, opinion and random thoughts that have no place else to go.