By Phoenix Business Journal

Arizona Public Service Co. has promoted two employees in charge of operations at the Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station.

The company announced this week that Bob Bement has been promoted to senior vice president for site operations and Dwight Mims has been promoted to senior vice president for regulatory and oversight. Also promoted was Maria Lacal, who will be the vice president of operations support.

The promotions are meant to bolster the team that runs Palo Verde, the largest nuclear reactor in the U.S. that sits about 30 miles from Phoenix.

Bement, who was the vice president of site operations, and Mims, who was vice president of regulatory affairs and plant improvement, were brought on staff by Randy Edington, the companyâ¿¿s executive vice president and chief nuclear office, about four years ago to bring Palo Verde up to par.

The plant had been on a U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission watch list because of safety issues but was removed from the watch list in 2009. This month, the plant received a safety evaluation report that puts it in line to have all three of its reactors granted 20-year license extensions.

Lacal, before her promotion, had been general manager of emergency services and support.

Edington said the leadership changes will help Palo Verde move forward as one of the Southwestâ¿¿s largest power generators.

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