The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers last week issued a sources sought notice for contractors potentially interested in the contract to decommission the long-defunct SM-1 nuclear power reactor at Fort Belvoir, Va.
Ahead of issuing a request for proposals for the procurement, the Army Corps’ Baltimore District is asking prospective bidders via a survey to illustrate their background in nuclear reactor cleanup, specifically covering: decommissioning and disposal; cost controls for D&D projects; past performance in meeting cost control, quality, and schedule compliance expectations from government and commercial clients; permit acquisition; and a long list of other signs of experience.
Responses must be sent by 3 p.m. Eastern time on May 1 to Andrei.Tobias@usace.army.mil.
The SM-1 functioned from 1957 to 1973, used largely to train personal on operations of other reactors within the U.S. Army Engineer Reactors Group. The Army Corps expects to issue the request for proposals by next March, and to award a contract in May or June 2020. Details including the specific approach and cost estimate for the project are not yet known, but the decommissioning is anticipated to last five years.
In a presentation last month at the Waste Management Symposia in Phoenix, Ariz., Army Corps officials noted the particular challenges of this project, including the small footprint of the facility, the potential requirement for transporting radioactive waste past base housing, and the base’s location within 20 miles of Washington, D.C.
Once it receives the sources sought responses for this contract, the Army Corps will issue a corresponding notice for the upcoming contract for decommissioning the retired SM-1A reactor at Fort Greely, Alaska, Brenda Barber, project manager for the Baltimore District’s Environmental and Munitions Design Center, said by email on Thursday. That plant, operational from 1962 to 1972, primarily provided electricity and heating steam for base utilities.