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DOE extends contract for SRS liquid waste incumbent

June 2, 2018 GMT

The U.S. Department of Energy has announced a contract extension for Savannah River Remediation, the incumbent team handling the Savannah River Site’s liquid waste mission.

SRR, an AECOM-led team that includes Bechtel National, CH2M and BWXT, will be on the job for up to another 10 months, according to a DOE announcement pushed out May 31.

SRR’s contract was set to expire that day. The extension keeps SRR working through, potentially, March 2019.

The DOE flagged SRR for a contract extension – the team’s second – near the end of March.

A post to a federal contract website, Federal Business Opportunities, said the DOE intended to lengthen SRR’s agreement given current liquid waste mission circumstances.

SRR has been in charge of the liquid waste mission – processing and removing millions of gallons of radioactive waste at SRS and sealing liquid waste storage tanks – since 2008.

SRR duties during the contract extension also involve operating the Defense Waste Processing Facility and the Saltstone Processing Facility, according to the DOE announcement.

The contract add-on is the result of ongoing liquid waste negotiations, according to both the DOE announcement and statements made earlier this month by Thomas Johnson Jr., the associate deputy manager at DOE’s Savannah River Operations Office.

In October 2017, the DOE awarded Savannah River EcoManagement, a BWXT, Bechtel National and Honeywell International consortium, the 10-year, multi-billion-dollar liquid waste contract.

SREM’s bid came in at $4.7 billion, significantly less than previous government estimates, which some have said raised concern with SREM’s technique or labor practices.

SREM’s bidding competitors – an AECOM-CH2M team and a Fluor-Westinghouse team – immediately challenged the award. The U.S. Government Accountability Office eventually upheld the AECOM-CH2M protest, citing unfair evaluation, and encouraged the DOE to revisit the bidding process.

The GAO, an agency that monitors how the federal government spends its money, denied the relatively similar Flour-Westinghouse protest.

Johnson, earlier this month, said revised liquid waste bids are now in DOE hands and are being assessed.