Search for new Hanford tank waste contractor begins

March 1, 2021, 7:00AMRadwaste Solutions

Workers retrieve waste from a single-shell tank at the Hanford Site earlier this year. Photo: DOE

The Department of Energy’s Office of Environmental Management (EM) has issued a draft request for proposals for the new Integrated Tank Disposition Contract at the Hanford Site near Richland, Wash. The 10-year, $26.5 billion contract will replace the Tank Operations Contract currently held by Washington River Protection Solutions, and the scope will be expanded to include the operation of the Waste Treatment and Immobilization Plant (WTP) after radiological, or “hot,” commissioning of the plant is completed.

The DOE had awarded a tank closure contract to a team led by BWX Technologies in May of last year, but later rescinded that decision after protests were raised by the two losing contract bidders.

About 56 million gallons of radioactive waste is contained in Hanford’s 177 aging underground tanks. The WTP, which is still under construction, will vitrify the waste after it has been separated into low- and high-activity waste streams.

The work: According to the DOE, work to be performed under the new indefinite delivery/indefinite quantity contract will include but not be limited to operation of Hanford tank farm facilities, including single-shell tank waste retrieval and closure; design, construction, and operation of waste receiving facilities and pretreatment capabilities; operation of the WTP; project management; security and emergency services; and business performance requirements.

Through the use of its end-state contracting model, the DOE said, it will work with the winning contractor to openly negotiate task orders that provide the most reduction of risk and financial liability and advance the Hanford Site cleanup mission as far as possible during the term of the contract.

More information: A dedicated EM Consolidated Business Center webpage has been established for the tank disposition contract, where all news and announcements, documents (including the draft and final RFPs), questions and answers, pre-solicitation conference information, and related links will be posted. The DOE intends to conduct a virtual pre-solicitation conference, scheduled for March 30–April 1, for the contract procurement, including a site tour and industry one-on-one sessions.

The draft and final RFPs will also be posted to the Fedconnect website.

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