US DOE awards clean-up contracts for Hanford site

18 December 2019

The US Department of Energy (DOE) has awarded a new Hanford environmental cleanup contract worth up to $10 billion over ten years. The winning bidder for the new Hanford Central Plateau Cleanup Contract is a the Central Plateau Cleanup Co comprising Aecom Management Services (Maryland), Fluor Federal Services (South Carolina) and Atkins Nuclear Secured (Tennessee).

The contracting team will do work similar to what is now being done at Hanford under a CH2M Hill Plateau Remediation Co contract that is set to expire by 30 September 2020, having already been extended for two years.

The central Hanford cleanup contract work includes digging up contaminated soil and debris; tearing down defunct buildings with radioactive or hazardous chemical contamination; operating large, lined landfills for radioactive and hazardous chemical waste; and cleaning up contaminated groundwater, Tri City Herald reported.

The federal government is spending about $2.5 billion a year for environmental cleanup at the Hanford site, with most work being done by private contracting teams. A 60-day transition period is planned for the new contract. Typically, most workers employed under the expiring contract will be hired by the new contractor management team.

Aecom currently holds the expiring tank waste contract at Hanford with Atkins, and it is the primary subcontractor to Bechtel National at the vitrification plant construction and startup project. Fluor has been Hanford’s main cleanup contractor from 1996 to 2008.

The new contract uses DOE Office of Environmental Management’s new end state contracting model, which is designed to assign discrete scopes of work to be completed, as needed. DOE has said it will provide "more realistic, reliable pricing and incentives" to help reduce DOE’s financial liability for cleanup. The specific tasks will be assigned to the new contractor under what DOE calls a master indefinite-delivery, indefinite quantity contract.

Earlier in December, DOE announced that it was awarding a 10-year, $4 billion contract to provide sitewide services at Hanford, keeping much of the current contract ownership in place. The contract went to Hanford Mission Integration Solutions of Richland, which is owned by Leidos Integrated Technology of Maryland, Centerra Group of Florida and Parsons Government Services of California. The current sitewide services contractor, Mission Support Alliance, is owned by Leidos and Centerra. Its 10-year contract was recently extended for up to six months to May, to allow time for the contract award and a transition period of four months.

Hanford also has accepted bids for a third of its four largest Hanford contracts, its tank farm contract. Washington River Protection Solutions is responsible for 56 million gallons of radioactive waste in underground tanks, including emptying leak-prone tanks and preparing some of the waste for treatment at the Hanford vitrification plant. Bechtel National has a contract to 2022 to complete commissioning of vitrification plant facilities for low level waste treatment and the completion of commissioning of the rest of the plant will be considered in a future contract modification, according to its contract.

Photo: Hanford site (Credit US DOE)

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