Morning Briefing - January 03, 2019
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January 03, 2019

Energy Dept. Splits Up Hanford Tank Work, Moves Ahead Closure Solicitation

By ExchangeMonitor

The Energy Department’s Office of Environmental Management announced Monday it would split the previously single Tank Waste Cleanup Contract at the Hanford Site in Washington state into two solicitations.

Priority will be given to a contract emphasizing closure of radioactive-waste storage tanks and “feed delivery” to the Waste Treatment Plant that Bechtel is building at Hanford. The Energy Department plans to issue a solicitation in the first quarter of this year, according to a posting on FedBizOpps.gov.

The second procurement will cover operation and maintenance of the Waste Treatment Plant, which will convert millions of gallons of radioactive waste into a glass form for disposal. Bechtel is designing, building, and commissioning the plant. The Dec. 31 notice did not list a target time period for issuance of the RFP for the second tank management contract.

In the major procurement schedule posted online in November, DOE said the combined Hanford Tank Waste Cleanup request for proposals was expected sometime from April to June of this year, so the federal agency is moving up the tank closure solicitation by one quarter. The Energy Department had previously targeted award of the larger tank waste contract in mid-2020. The one-page notice this week does not say anything about when the tank closure contract would actually be issued.

AECOM-led Washington River Protection Solutions (WRPS) is currently charged with managing 56 million gallons of chemical and radioactive waste stored in 177 underground tanks at Hanford. In 2018, WRPS received a one-year extension, valued at about $629 million, to its 10-year, $6.3 billion contract at Hanford. The extension keeps WRPS on the job through September 2019.

The Energy Department said in the same notice Monday that it could issue in the first three months of 2019 final requests for proposals for contracts on Hanford Central Plateau Cleanup, operation of the Hanford 222-S Laboratory, Nevada Environmental Program Services, and paramilitary services for the Savannah River Site in South Carolina. The timeline for those solicitations is only one quarter later than what was outlined in the November schedule.