ATL gets Hanford contract extended for 1 year

By Annette Cary, Tri-City HeraldDecember 19, 2012 

The Department of Energy has extended the contract for Advanced Technologies and Laboratories through 2013 under an option in the original contract award.

ATL has provided analytical services and testing work at the Hanford 222-S Laboratory for almost eight years. The one year extension is valued at almost $14.3 million, according to DOE.

ATL's most recent contract award was for a five-year option with a two-year-base period and three, one-year extension options.

The extension announced Tuesday was for the second one-year option.

"DOE appreciates the technical and management capabilities demonstrated by the ATL work force," Ellen Mattlin, the DOE tank farm programs division director, said in a statement.

When ATL won its first five-year contract at Hanford it was valued at $59 million and the current one was originally valued at $48.6 million.

However, the current contract now is valued at $72.4 million over five years.

The value increased by about $10 million with American Recovery Act spending to stimulate the economy, said Jou Hwang, ATL president. The remainder covers increased readiness to provide service with more staff and more capabilities, he said.

ATL now employs 85 people in the equivalent of 74 full-time jobs. The 85 employees are down from about 100 employees when Hanford had $1.96 billion in Recovery Act work.

The lab performs analyses on some of Hanford's most dangerous radioactive waste.

Some work is related to reactors and the Plutonium Finishing Plant.

However, much of it is for DOE's program to retrieve and treat for disposal Hanford's 56 million gallons of high-level radioactive waste held in underground tanks.

The waste is left from the past production of plutonium for the nation's nuclear weapons program.

ATL analyzes the waste to determine the constituency of waste in different tanks and to maintain control of the chemistry of waste in the tanks.

ATL has been analyzing about 15,000 inorganic, organic and radiochemical samples annually. But Hwang anticipates that volume to double with better equipment and increased sampling capabilities for the Hanford tanks.

The 222-S complex includes a 70,000-square-foot laboratory and several support buildings in central Hanford. It has 11 hot cells for handling and analyzing radioactive samples.

DOE values ATL's performance and commitment to safety, Mattlin said,

In 2008, ATL received its first DOE Voluntary Protection Program Star award, which is the highest level of recognition available in DOE's safety program.

It was the first time a DOE small-business prime contractor has won the recognition.

ATL won the award a second time in 2011.

ATL received 98 percent of the award payment possible from DOE in 2011, with its 2012 review not yet complete.

ATL is based in Maryland, but started a non-Hanford business, an advanced chemistry laboratory, in Richland in 2011.

It's available for training and technology demonstration.

Tri-City Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service