Carr addresses D&D priorities

By Frank Lewis -

Employees of Fluor BWXT (FBP) at the Decontamination and Decommissioning (D&D) project at Piketon received good news concerning the future of their jobs, Tuesday with the announcement that the Department of Energy (DOE) had extended the project 30 additional months at a total cost of $750 million. The manager of the project added to the positive information coming out of Washington late Tuesday evening in correspondence to employees.

“I am very pleased to announce that DOE has extended the FBP contract an additional 30-months beyond the 5-year base period that ended yesterday. The contract also provides for a second priced option that DOE could exercise at a later date that could extend the contract to March 28, 2021,” Dennis Carr, of Fluor BWXT, said. “The contract structure remains the same as the base period in that it is a Cost Plus Award Fee Contract. The contract extension places much more emphasis on delivering against bi-laterally agreed upon milestones. These milestones are established for each area of scope including deactivation, D&D, waste management, nuclear operation, environmental remediation, utility operations and maintenance services. The contract establishes an opportunity for DOE and FBP to collaboratively focus on achieving these unilaterally agree upon milestones to make best use of our expected funding over the upcoming years.”

Carr said the job will most significantly we will focus on attaining cold and dark status in the X-326 by the end of June 2017; completing the disposition or transfer of legacy waste and accountable materials from the X-326 into other facilities by September 2017, in addition to the off-site shipment of a number of other legacy waste streams stored in the X-847 and the 744-G, and completing mobilization into the X-333 to support the start of deactivation activities.

Other priorities include completing all design activities for the On-site Waste Disposal Facility, the associated wastewater treatment system, and the planned haul road by June 2018; completing the necessary disassembly and nuclear material recovery efforts in the X-705 Annex and the off-site shipment of all remaining process gas equipment from the X-326 by September 2018 and completing installation, start up and operation of at least two cement stabilization facilities to support disposition of the remaining HEU inventories

Carr said with the addition of the second 30-month option to the contract the most significant objectives would be to substantially complete the deactivation of the X-333, complete construction and begin waste placement for three liners of the On-site Waste Disposal Facility, and complete demolition to slab of the X-326 building.

“This is a very challenging scope of work that can only be accomplished through the collective focus of our entire team. While we strive to balance the many priorities of the option period scope, we must maintain a clear and uncompromising commitment to the safe execution of work. This applies to every task, performance based incentive, or project we undertake,” Carr said. “As we enter the option period of our contract we are adding a new member to our team, CH2M. CH2M is an engineering, construction and operations company that supports many of the DOE sites. CH2M has extensive deactivation and D&D experience as a corporation and is presently engaged in the D&D of the DOE Oak Ridge gaseous diffusion facilities. Our partnering with Pro2Serve, InSolves and Wastren Advantage as subcontractors will continue through the option period.”

He went on to say some organizational changes will occur as a result of the new contract and the new team member, and that he will be issuing an organizational announcement later this week or early next week.

Carr cautioned the new contract should not be construed as a guarantee of future funding. He said the dependence on their team members in the X-344 to continue what he said was their excellent execution of the barter program will extend throughout both contract option periods. Each year’s allocation of federal appropriated funds will continue to be heavily dependent on the team’s performance.

“The best way to ensure the continued uninterrupted performance of our project is through excellent safety performance and meeting our milestone commitments,” Carr said. “We achieved a lot together during the first five years of the contract. It wasn’t always easy. Our safety and field performance improved up as we gelled as a team. This was recognized by DOE and it’s the reason we are here as a team on March 29. I hope you will continue to join me in making sure the client sees the wisdom in that decision each and every day. These next 30 months and hopefully 5 years will bring incredible transformation to this former uranium processing plant. It will be exciting and it will be rewarding. Because the next five will truly get us closer to our mission of Safely Cleaning up the DOE site for Our Community’s Future.”

By Frank Lewis

Reach Frank Lewis at 740-353-3101, ext. 1928, or on Twitter @franklewis.

Reach Frank Lewis at 740-353-3101, ext. 1928, or on Twitter @franklewis.