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PIKETON, Ohio – Zak Lafontaine is a world-class gamer.

Recently returning from England, where his five-member team won $15,000 for taking second place in an international video-game competition, the 30-year-old facility representative for EM’s Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion Plant site in Ohio reflected on his team’s performance.

“We missed first place by just one point, or that would have been $30,000,” Lafontaine said.

In addition to his video-game skills, Lafontaine is also a pro at safety, engineering, and field oversight as a primary interface between field operations and EM management. He has been involved in the recent successes of the Portsmouth Depleted Uranium Hexafluoride (DUF6) conversion facility operated by Mid-America Conversion Services (MCS) under direction of EM’s Portsmouth/Paducah Project Office (PPPO).

Zak Lafontaine, facility representative for EM’s Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion Plant site.
Zak Lafontaine, facility representative for EM’s Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion Plant site.

“MCS recently exceeded their uptime goal over a nine-month period and during that period was also recommended for VPP Star status,” Lafontaine said of DOE’s Voluntary Protection Program. “They’ve really turned around their safety program and I’m proud of that.”

A 2011 electrical engineering graduate of Ohio University, Lafontaine interned for several PPPO contractors while in college. He joined PPPO in 2016 after working for several of its contractor companies.

So while his hobby involves going after bad guys in a virtual world, Lafontaine’s day job keeps people safe in the real world.

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