DOE to seek bids for Hanford lab work

Annette Cary, Tri-City HeraldMarch 3, 2014 

The Department of Energy plans to request bids for a small business to provide analytical services and testing work for five years at the Hanford 222-S Laboratory.

The federal government is proposing that the type of contract be changed from cost reimbursement that is currently used for lab services to a hybrid contract. The proposed new contract will include a fixed price for services, and unexpected work would be covered through a reimbursement of costs.

An incentive fee would be available for certain line items in the contract.

The current contract, held by Advanced Technologies and Laboratories, or ATL, has been valued by DOE at $72.4 million for five years, which includes $10 million in American Recovery Act money.

ATL is on the final year of the current contract, with a new contract planned to start in 2015.

DOE has released a draft request for bids that proposes a base period of two years followed by up to three one-year contract extensions. The proposed new contract would cover an estimated 15,000 to 25,000 laboratory analyses each year.

The laboratory in central Hanford analyzes inorganic, organic and radiochemical samples, the majority of them drawn from the nuclear reservation's underground tanks holding 56 million gallons of radioactive waste.

ATL, which qualifies as a small business, has twice been awarded five-year contracts to provide service at the lab. Before that the work was handled by Hanford's tank farm contractor.

Last month, ATL celebrated working three years without a lost work day because of a work-related injury. In 2013, it received the DOE Voluntary Protection Program Star of Excellence and was named one of the 15 safest companies in the nation by EHS Today magazine.

Comments and questions on the draft will be accepted until March 28 at hanfordlab@ emcbc.doe.gov. DOE is interested in feedback on items such as potential restrictions to competition and what it should consider in selecting a contractor.

-- Annette Cary: 582-1533; acary@tricityherald.com; Twitter: @HanfordNews

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