LEXINGTON, Ky. – Mid-America Conversion Services (MCS), which assumed operation of two depleted uranium hexafluoride (DUF6) conversion and storage facilities in southern Ohio and western Kentucky in February 2017, earned an award fee of $1,098,247 during its first annual performance evaluation by EM’s Portsmouth/Paducah Project Office (PPPO).
The award includes a “good” grade – 70 percent of available fee – for specified “subjective” measures under the new contract to process and manage DOE’s 700,000 metric tons of legacy depleted uranium material at DOE’s Piketon, Ohio and Paducah, Kentucky plants. The contractor earned approximately $468,000 of $676,000 in these subjective categories, including “very good” marks for management, and “good” overall ratings for quality of work and regulatory compliance, according to a recently released fee scorecard. MCS’s utilization of small-business subcontractors earned an “excellent” grade, while scheduling and cost-control were deemed “satisfactory.”
MCS partially met its “objective” Performance-Based Incentives, indexed largely to conversion output, during the period due to ongoing interrupted operations that preceded the contract. MCS earned approximately 40 percent of the $1.58 million available relative to these criteria, or approximately $630,000.
MCS is led by Atkins Global Nuclear Secured, with Westinghouse Government Services and Fluor Federal Services as partners.
PPPO Manager Robert Edwards noted that the contractor has undertaken considerable efforts to promote procedure-driven operations, an important safety objective.
“The contractor was successful in managing a significant culture change in Project maintenance and operations,” Edwards said. “We believe their focus on nurturing a robust nuclear safety culture at the two sites will result in safe, long-term production at the DUF6 facilities.”
Performance objectives are incorporated into the DUF6 Project’s Performance Evaluation and Measurement Plan. The DOE releases information relating to contractor performance and fee determinations to further transparency in its Environmental Management program. Scorecards summarizing the fees, along with performance criteria, can be accessed here.
Combined, the DUF6 conversion facilities at Portsmouth and Paducah have converted 61,696 metric tons of DUF6 since they began operations in 2010 and 2011, respectively. The conversion process results in the more stable compound of uranium oxide for reuse or disposal, and hydrofluoric acid for recycling to industrial use.