US-based BWX Technologies on 6 April announced a contract extension from the Department of Energy (DOE), valued at up to $690 million including options, for environmental management work at Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion Plant. The agreement, which took effect on 29 March, includes a one-year extension with two additional six-month options. Clean-up work at the site has been conducted by joint venture Fluor-BWXT Portsmouth (FBP) since the contract was awarded in 2010.
FBP is responsible for decontamination and decommissioning (D&D) of the Portsmouth site. The scope of the project includes deactivation, demolition and disposal of selected site facilities, process equipment, related process buildings and other ancillary facilities. It also includes continued environmental remediation, uranium stewardship and community outreach programmes.
The Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion Plant in Pike County, Ohio, operated from 1954 to 2001. The site occupies about 3,700 acres. The plant was one of three large gaseous diffusion plants in the U.S. initially constructed to produce enriched uranium to support the nation’s nuclear weapons program and, in later years, enriched uranium used by commercial nuclear reactors. The DOE began its environmental clean-up programme at the site in 1989, and the effort continues today in cooperation with the US and Ohio Environmental Protection Agencies.