The new contractor performing work at Hanford’s 222-S Laboratory has been awarded 88 percent of the possible incentive pay available for its first 10 months of work.
Wastren Advantage Inc. will receive $125,782 out of a possible $142,771 for its work in fiscal 2016, according to a scorecard released by the Department of Energy. No further information was made public.
Wastren was awarded a $44.6 million contract in 2015 for up to five years.
The contract had been held by Advanced Technologies and Laboratories since 2005, when DOE split the work out of the Hanford tank farm contract to create a small-business opportunity.
The 222-S Laboratory accepts samples of some of Hanford’s most radioactive and hazardous chemical waste to determine the content of dangerous substances down to parts per trillion. Work is done under fume hoods or in the lab’s 11 radiation hot cells, with operators outside the cells operating tools within the cells.
Most of the analyses are of high-level radioactive waste from Hanford’s underground waste tanks. Information is used to determine what wastes can be combined within tanks and to help plan how workers can be protected while working at specific tanks.
Workers were engaged and actively participated in identification and resolution of health and safety concerns without fear of retaliation.
Most of the incentive pay Wastren missed out on was due to shortcomings in routine checks to make sure lab results meet high accuracy standards. It failed to earn half of the $28,554 award possible in that category because of a 4 percent rate of unacceptable proficiency testing results, according to the scorecard.
Most of the information included on the scorecard was positive.
DOE said that Wastren maintained its schedule and adapted to shifting priorities. It also “skillfully managed a changing and dynamic workforce.”
It delivered high-quality data to customers and passed nine external audits and more than 80 internal assessments without serious findings, DOE said. It reduced the quantity of hazardous chemicals in the laboratory through rigorous inventory standards.
DOE also praised Wastren for building on Advanced Technologies and Laboratories’ safety record to to be named a DOE Voluntary Protection Program Legacy Star contractor when the lab maintained four consecutive years of Star of Excellence Awards.
“Workers were engaged and actively participated in identification and resolution of health and safety concerns without fear of retaliation,” DOE said.
However, DOE noted that there was “a concerning trend” of three instances in which improper use of personal protective equipment led to unnecessary chemical exposures. None of the incidents significantly impacted worker health and safety, DOE said.