CARLSBAD, N.M. – The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced today that Nuclear Waste Partnership LLC (members comprised of URS Energy & Construction, Inc., of Boise, Idaho, and Babcock & Wilcox Technical Services Group, Inc., of Lynchburg, Virginia, and Major Subcontractor, AREVA Federal Services LLC, of Bethesda, Maryland) has been awarded a $1.3 billion contract for management and operating (M&O) at DOE’s Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) in Carlsbad, New Mexico.
The five-year contract contains an option to extend for an additional five years. The M&O contractor manages the WIPP site and the Department’s National Transuranic (TRU) Waste program. After a transition period, the contractor will assume responsibility for M&O of the WIPP facility on October 1, 2012.
The mission of WIPP and the National TRU program is to protect human health and the environment by safe management, retrieval, characterization, transportation and disposal of approved wastes. TRU waste consists of materials contaminated with radioactive elements that have atomic numbers greater than uranium, including tools, rags, protective clothing, sludge and soil.
The Waste Isolation Pilot Plant is a DOE facility designed to safely isolate defense-generated TRU waste from people and the environment. Waste temporarily stored at sites around the country is shipped to WIPP and permanently disposed in rooms mined out of an ancient salt formation 2,150 feet below the surface. WIPP began waste disposal operations in 1999. The facility is located 26 miles outside of Carlsbad, N.M.