Morning Briefing - September 25, 2018
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September 25, 2018

Bechtel Expects to Put New UPF Project Manager in Place Next Month

By ExchangeMonitor

Bechtel National will have a new project manager in place next month for the next-generation Uranium Processing Facility the company is building at the Y-12 National Security Complex in Oak Ridge, Tenn. However, it is not ready yet to identify the project chief.

Bechtel is moving current UPF project manager Valerie McCain across the country to Richland, Wash., where she will become project director for the Waste Treatment Plant being built to process millions of gallons of radioactive waste stored at the Department of Energy’s Hanford Site.

McCain’s replacement “will be the subject of a future announcement,” a Bechtel spokesperson said by email Monday. The new Y-12 project manager should be in place by mid-October, the spokesperson said.

The Uranium Processing Facility (UPF) will shape uranium into the shapes required for U.S. nuclear weapons and naval reactors. The facility will include three buildings that replace the Cold War-era Building 9212, which has processed uranium for defense programs since the 1950s.

The UPF fared well in the fiscal 2019 DOE budget bill President Donald Trump signed Friday. The facility, which Bechtel is building as a subcontractor to the Bechtel-led Y-12 prime Consolidated Nuclear Security, will receive a little more than $700 million for the fiscal year that begins Oct. 1: roughly 5 percent more than the 2018 budget, and in line with the White House’s request.

The Energy Department’s semiautonomous National Nuclear Security Administration officially greenlit the start to the bulk of UPF construction on March 21. The facility is expected to cost $6.5 billion to build by the end of 2025, the NNSA has said.

The construction budget is expected to peak at $750 million in fiscal 2021, according to a five-year spending projection included with DOE’s 2019 budget request.