Tularosa Basin Range Services (TBRS) has been awarded a contract worth up to about USD3 billion by the US Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Environmental Management (EM) to manage and operate the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) transuranic waste disposal site in New Mexico. The contract replaces that held by Nuclear Waste Partnership, which expires at the end of September.

WIPP (Image: US DOE)

Reston, Virginia-based TBRS is a single purpose entity comprised of Bechtel subsidiary Bechtel National Inc. TBRS will utilise Los Alamos Technical Associates as a small business teaming subcontractor.

DOE said this is a "Cost-Plus-Award-Fee Management and Operating contract with Indefinite Delivery/Indefinite Quantity Contract Line Item Number". The contract, it said, will include a four-year base period and six one-year option periods.

EM received five proposals in response to the solicitation for the contract. DOE said TBRS's proposal was determined to be "the best value to the government".

TBRS will support EM's mission by managing, operating, and maintaining the WIPP site by performing work including: the centralised characterisation project; transportation activities; WIPP operations; projects (capital asset projects and non-capital asset projects); experimental and testing activities; and WIPP programme support. TBRS is also required to maintain and report on an annual community commitment plan.

DOE noted the new contract replaces the current WIPP management and operation contract held by Nuclear Waste Partnership, which expires on 30 September. That USD1.3 billion contract - awarded in April 2012 - was for the management and operation of WIPP for up to ten years. The five-year contract, which contained an option to extend for an additional five years, saw newly-formed Nuclear Waste Partnership take over the management of the site from 1 October 2012. Nuclear Waste Partnership was led by URS Corporation, partnered by Babcock & Wilcox Technical Services Group, with Areva Federal Services LLC as the major subcontractor.

Located in a 655-metre-deep geologic salt formation, WIPP is the final resting place for transuranic waste - material contaminated with man-made radioisotopes that are heavier than uranium - from the US defence sector. The facility is the world's first underground repository for the permanent disposal of transuranic radioactive waste, and has been in operation since 1999.

Researched and written by World Nuclear News

Date: Wednesday, 13 July 2022
Original article: world-nuclear-news.org/Articles/Bechtel-affiliate-awarded-WIPP-management-contract