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U.S. Department of Energy and UK Department of Trade and Industry Conclude Contract Negotiations Associated with BNFL Inc's Work on the Advanced Mixed Waste Treatment Project in Idaho and East Tennessee Technology Park Cleanup Project in Tennessee

February 9, 2005 - 10:07am


WASHINGTON, DC – The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and the United Kingdom’s Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) announced today the execution of two contract modifications providing for DOE’s accelerated purchase of the Advanced Mixed Waste Treatment Project (AMWTP) located at the Idaho National Laboratory (INL) and the resolution of contract claims associated with work conducted by BNFL at the AMWTP site and the East Tennessee Technology Park (ETTP) in Tennessee.

BNFL, a commercial firm that is wholly-owned by the British government, constructed the AMWTP under a fixed-price contract awarded in 1996.  BNFL has been decontaminating and decommissioning three buildings at the ETTP under a fixed-price contract awarded in 1997.

The AMWTP is a set of facilities constructed by BNFL with capability to sort, segregate, volume reduce and repackage waste in order to facilitate its final disposal. Under the original AMWTP contract, DOE would have paid BNFL $568.3 million in a series of installments over a period of six to eight years to amortize the construction and start-up cost of the facilities, at which time title to the AMWTP facilities would have transferred to DOE. Additionally, under the original contract BNFL would have been paid on a unit rate basis to process waste through the AMWTP facilities. Under the AMWTP contract modification, DOE will pay $428 million for the AMWTP facilities and receive title to the facilities in early May of this year, after the facilities are fully operational and satisfactorily complete a certification audit, scheduled for late February of this year. 

DOE will also bring in another contractor to operate the facilities. The AMWTP contract modification also provides BNFL the opportunity to earn up to $75 million in operational and transition incentives until the time of transfer if it meets certain performance metrics aimed at readying and shipping waste to meet a key milestone under DOE’s Settlement Agreement with the state of Idaho. Following successful completion of the AMWTP certification, transition of the AMWTP facilities to another AMWTP contractor is expected to commence in early March, 2005, with transfer of the facilities effective sixty days thereafter in early May, 2005. The AMWTP will be used as the central facilities to expedite removal of TRU waste from Idaho.

The work at ETTP is expected to be completed in May, 2005, after which consideration may be given to making some of the cleaned up facilities available for reindustrialization activities. 

The total value of the two contract modifications, consisting of the purchase price for the AMWTP facilities, resolution of outstanding claims under both contracts, and incentive payments, will be between $500 million and $550 million (plus previously established remaining payments of approximately $16 million for the ETTP project completion).

“We are satisfied that the contract modifications are fair to both parties, give good value to U.S. taxpayers, and will facilitate the effective performance of our cleanup mission,” said Assistant Secretary David Garman.

Media contact:  Joe Davis, 202/586-4940