ATLANTA, Feb. 22, 2011 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Perma-Fix Environmental Services, Inc. (Nasdaq:PESI) today announced that Mr. James A. Blankenhorn has been hired as Chief Operating Officer of the Company. It is anticipated that Mr. Blankenhorn will begin his employment with Perma-Fix in late May 2011. Dr. Louis F. Centofanti, Perma-Fix Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, commented, "Jim brings 24 years of experience in the nuclear industry supporting the Department of Energy's Environmental Management and National Nuclear Security Administration programs, and Department of Defense programs. In the past few years he has also authored and led technical and budget proposals that resulted in major contracts. His extensive background in all facets of operations and project management make him an exceptional addition to our team and we look forward to his contributions." Prior to joining Perma-Fix, Mr. Blankenhorn served in a variety of senior management positions at URS Corporation (NYSE:URS). Most recently, he served as the deputy project manager for the West Valley Environmental Services, LLC in western New York, where he directed a staff of 360 in the deactivation, decommissioning and clean up of facilities at West Valley. From 2008 to early 2010, Mr. Blankenhorn was program director with Los Alamos National Security, LLC, responsible for the Waste Disposition Project at the Los Alamos National Laboratory where he supervised 440 people and was responsible for improving performance and achieving cost savings while developing a long term strategy for legacy wastes. Mr. Blankenhorn spent 18 years at the Westinghouse Savannah River Company, where he held a number of senior positions. Since 1986, Mr. Blankenhorn has been an officer (Lieutenant Colonel (P)) in the U.S. Army and Army Reserves, serving in leadership positions within the U.S. Army Nuclear, Biological and Chemical program. Mr. Blankenhorn holds a Master of Science degree – Strategic Studies from the U.S. Army War College, a Master of Science degree – Environmental/Hazardous Waste Management from National Technology University and a Bachelor of Science degree – Chemistry from the Florida Institute of Technology.