Hanford

Atkins to buy EnergySolutions’ Hanford work

Construction work is done on a pipe module in 2014 at the EnergySolutions Washington State University Tri-Cities Engineering Laboratory in Richland.
Construction work is done on a pipe module in 2014 at the EnergySolutions Washington State University Tri-Cities Engineering Laboratory in Richland. Tri-City Herald file

WS Atkins has signed an agreement to purchase part of EnergySolutions, including its work at the Hanford tank farms.

Washington River Protection Solutions, which holds the Department of Energy contract for managing Hanford tanks holding 56 million gallons of radioactive waste, is a limited liability corporation owned by AECOM and EnergySolutions.

WS Atkins is purchasing EnergySolutions’ projects, products and technology segment for $318 million. The division reported an adjusted operating profit of $30.7 million in 2014 and as of the end of September had assets of $171.3 million.

Atkins will hire about 650 EnergySolutions workers as part of the agreement to acquire EnergySolutions’ North American government, Europe and Asia businesses. It includes the projects associated with EnergySolutions’ Richland office and its work at Hanford.

The Richland office has been involved with technology used at Fukushima, Japan, to remove a range of radionuclides from contaminated water.

EnergySolutions built the EnergySolutions Engineering Laboratory in north Richland and donated it to Washington State University Tri-Cities in August 2012, with a plan to lease it back until testing is completed related to keeping radioactive waste well mixed at the Hanford vitrification plant.

Atkins said in a statement that the 650 EnergySolutions employees it will hire are professionals in great demand, and the EnergySolutions management team will help grow Atkins’ nuclear business.

“This acquisition accelerates our nuclear strategy and creates a global platform,” said Uwe Krueger, Atkins chief executive, in a statement Tuesday.

Atkins,which is listed on the London Stock Exchange, employs about 18,600 people in the United Kingdom, North America, the Middle East, Asia Pacific and Europe. It offers design, engineering and project management services. In the Northwest it has offices in Portland and the Seattle area.

EnergySolutions’ remaining business lines will focus on transportation, logisitics, processing and disposal, including decommissioning of commercial nuclear power plants. It will continue to work with DOE on waste disposal, including at its Bear Creek, Tenn., radioactive waste processing facility.

The sale is expected to close in early 2016.

Annette Cary: 509-582-1533, @HanfordNews

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