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A worker operates a continuous mining machine 2,150 feet underground at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant to create additional disposal rooms for transuranic waste. The rooms are carved out of 250-million-year-old bedded salt formation and measure 33 feet w
A worker operates a continuous mining machine 2,150 feet underground at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant to create additional disposal rooms for transuranic waste. The rooms are carved out of 250-million-year-old bedded salt formation and measure 33 feet.

CARLSBAD, N.M.EM’s Carlsbad Field Office (CBFO) recently released the fiscal 2019 fee determination for Nuclear Waste Partnership (NWP), the management-and-operations contractor for the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant. In total, NWP earned approximately $14.3 million, representing 83 percent of the total fee available in fiscal 2019. NWP’s fee determination included approximately $3.3 million in subjective award fee, or 76.1 percent of the available award fee. The contractor also earned approximately $11 million in fee tied to a set of performance-based incentives (PBIs), or 85.2 percent of the total available.

“I carefully considered the contractor’s performance in five areas of the fiscal year 2019 performance evaluation measurement plan in determining the fee award,” said Kirk Lachman, who served as the CBFO deputy manager and fee determination official.

The award fee determination for NWP’s performance in fiscal 2019 was based on the following five subjective criteria:

  • Mission performance
  • Regulatory compliance
  • Management performance
  • Safety and health performance
  • Cost control

Some of NWP’s accomplishments in fiscal 2019 were:

  • Implemented significant improvements to the transuranic (TRU) waste emplacement processes and procedures that allowed the contractor to maintain shipping rates at eight to 10 shipments per week in fiscal 2019.
  • Initiated the first use of a battery electric load haul dump truck in the underground, improving the underground air quality.
  • Developed and implemented a plan for recovery of a breached cesium source for another federal organization.

EM also noted several areas for improvement, including the need to address longstanding issues to prevent them from developing into more significant problems; compliance with nuclear safety requirements; untimely resolution of issues; and subcontractor oversight.

NWP also had the ability to earn fee tied to PBIs, which represented specific milestones or metrics. The PBIs available for NWP in fiscal 2019 included improved safety in underground operations; additional WIPP underground air supply ventilation flow rate; WIPP line item capital asset projects; general plant projects, infrastructure projects, and major maintenance activities; radiological protection improvements; and TRU waste emplacement.

More information on WIPP’s fiscal 2019 fee determination, including NWP’s fee scorecard, can be found here.

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