AIKEN, S.C. – Savannah River Remediation (SRR) awarded more than $147 million in small business contracts in fiscal 2021, accounting for nearly 84% of all its subcontracts that year — the most since the liquid waste contractor began its contract at the Savannah River Site (SRS) in 2009.
SRR’s small business program beat EM’s goal of awarding 60% of all acquisitions for goods and services to small businesses in the fiscal year ending Sept. 30.
SRR also surpassed all six of its subcategory goals, including almost 28%, or $49 million, in awards to women-owned small businesses and 23%, or $41 million, in awards to small, disadvantaged businesses. Other categories include historically underutilized business zone, veteran-owned small business, and service-disabled veteran-owned small business.
DOE-Savannah River Site Assistant Manager for Waste Disposition Jim Folk highlighted SRR’s commitment to small businesses and noted that much of the liquid waste mission success is due to the diligence of SRR’s small business team making connections to secure specialized equipment and services needed.
“Highly technical projects performed at SRS require trained talent, safe work conditions, and proper equipment for achieving success,” Folk said. “At DOE, we establish performance standards we expect as a minimum for mission completion. SRR’s performance, with major contributions by their small business partners, helped move the mission forward in ways only innovative thinkers can.”
SRR awarded small business contracts in fiscal 2021 that supported its critical mission to empty waste tanks and acquire materials for disposing liquid waste.
Some significant small business awards provided fly ash, a material that makes up part of saltstone grout to dispose of decontaminated salt solution as saltstone in Saltstone Disposal Units and empty 10-foot-tall stainless steel canisters for disposing high-activity radionuclides into glass at the Defense Waste Processing Facility. Other critical components such as enhanced commercial submersible mixer pumps for dissolving salt cake in SRS waste tanks were procured through small business partners.
DOE and other government agencies set standards for its prime contractors to maximize acquisition offerings to small businesses for opportunities to provide goods and services to government contractors.
In fiscal 2021, SRR’s small business team participated in many virtual conferences and met with more than 40 potential suppliers to help identify and define the nature of SRR’s small business program, the quality expected, and safety requirements.
SRR Project Services and Support Director Sandra Fairchild said small businesses contribute to local communities and economic growth by providing employment opportunities, driving innovation, and increasing quality due to competitiveness. She encourages her staff to make the best use of opportunities for including small businesses in all aspects of SRR’s liquid waste mission.
“SRR’s highly technical and specialized work requires absolute adherence to requirements in requisitions released to suppliers,” Fairchild said. “Our business practices are robust because we have an important mission, and we appreciate the small business community’s contributions toward meeting our objectives. Nothing we do — like dispositioning radioactive waste or building mega-volume Saltstone Disposal Units — is routine.”
SRR mentors several small businesses through DOE’s Mentor Protégé Program. Small businesses benefit from the program by establishing relationships with prime contractors that can lead to joint ventures or teaming arrangements, receiving business development assistance, and gaining access to non-competitive federal subcontracts.
SRR plans to continue to engage with promising suppliers and maintain its commitment to partnering with the small business supplier base by expanding outreach and mentorship.
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