RICHLAND, Wash. EM’s Office of River Protection (ORP) has given Bechtel National (BNI), the contractor for the Hanford Waste Treatment and Immobilization Plant (WTP), a positive assessment for its performance in 2016, according to a recently released award fee scorecard.

   ORP rated BNI “very good” for its cost performance and “good” for its project management performance for 2016. As a result, BNI earned 71 percent of the available fee last year, or approximately $7.24 million out of an available $10.2 million. In comparison, BNI earned 66 percent of the available fee for 2015.

   Among the specific award fee objectives for 2016, BNI earned a rating of 97.4 percent for the “One System” objective; 90 percent for technical issue resolution; 85.8 percent for project performance; and 75 percent for environmental/safety/health and Safety Conscious Work Environment. 

   ORP outlined a number of “key positives” in BNI’s performance in 2016 in the award fee scorecard, including:

  • Facilitating accomplishment of key milestones related to the Direct Feed Low-Activity Waste (DFLAW) approach to beginning tank waste treatment as soon as 2022;
  • Positive performance in installing two melters for the WTP Low Activity Waste (LAW) Facility;
  • Significant progress in resolving remaining technical issues;
  • Having the “One System” concept recognized as a “best practice” by the DOE Office of Enterprise Assessments;
  • Continued improvement in nuclear safety and quality culture; and
  • Improved assessment programs. 

   The WTP is intended to process the radioactive waste stored in underground tanks at the Hanford Site through vitrification, which involves combining the tank waste with glass-forming materials and then heating the mixture to 2,100 degrees Fahrenheit. The material is then poured into stainless steel containers, where it cools to a solid glass form for long-term storage. The DFLAW approach to tank waste treatment will use the WTP LAW Facility, Analytical Laboratory and other ancillary support facilities. These sections of WTP are closer to completion than the two other main sections of WTP — the High-Level Waste and Pretreatment facilities.

   Each year, EM releases information relating to contractor fee payments — earned by completing the work called for in the contracts — to further transparency in its cleanup program.

   View BNI’s full 2016 award fee scorecard here.