DOE awards contract for WIPP ventilation system

5 December 2018

US company Critical Applications Alliance (CAA), a venture comprising two Houston-based companies, Christensen Building Group and Kilgore Industries, has won a $135 million contract to build a new permanent ventilation system at US Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) near Carlsbad, New Mexico.

The contract award was announced on 20 November by DOE and its WIPP contractor, Nuclear Waste Partnership (NWP).

The Safety Significant Confinement Ventilation System is expected to increase airflow to the underground disposal site from 170,000 cubic feet per minute to 540,000 cubic feet per minute. This would enable WIPP to resume concurrent waste emplacement and salt mining operations, which have been on hold since February 2014 when a radiation release took the facility offline for three years.

The entire WIPP ventilation project is valued at about $288 million and is expected to be completed in 2021. DOE and its contractor have already awarded several smaller ventilation-related contracts, for industrial-size fans and a salt reduction facility.

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