The US Department of Energy (DOE) has issued a Notice to Proceed on a $10bn nuclear decommissioning contract for the historic Hanford Site near Richland, Washington State.
It signals the start of work for the Central Plateau Cleanup Company (CPC), a joint venture of Fluor, Atkins Nuclear Secured – a member of the SNC-Lavalin Group – and consortium leader Amentum, the nuclear and defence management services division sold this year by former parent, Aecom.
Established in 1943 as part of the wartime Manhattan Project, Hanford was a major nuclear production complex and the main repository for US nuclear waste.
Its 177 underground tanks contain 53 million gallons of radioactive sludge. Over the years, 67 of these have leaked a million gallons of radioactive waste and around 61 square miles have been contaminated.
The indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity (IDIQ) contract will be in effect over 10 years.
CPC, which was selected for the so-called "Central Plateau Cleanup Contract" in December last year, will deliver "end state" closure of facilities, waste burial sites, and groundwater remediation on the Columbia River.
"This contract demonstrates the strength of SNC-Lavalin’s expertise in developing and carrying out decontamination and decommissioning plans of federal nuclear assets," said Sandy Taylor, SNC-Lavalin’s president of nuclear.
Image: Nuclear reactors line the Clombia River at the Hanford Site, Washington State, in January 1960. The historic B Reactor, the world’s first plutonium production reactor, is visible in the distance (US Department of Energy/Public domain)