AIKEN, S.C. (July 16) -- The National Nuclear Security Administration today announced that a team led by Baker Concrete Construction, Inc., of Monroe, Ohio has been awarded a $91.5 million contract for the construction of NNSA's Waste Solidification Building (WSB) at the Savannah River Site, near Aiken, S.C. The WSB will process waste streams from the NNSA's plutonium disposition efforts at SRS -- principally wastes from the Mixed Oxide Fuel Fabrication Facility and from weapons pit disassembly operations -- by converting them to a cementitious material for offsite disposal.
"This announcement is an important step forward for our plutonium disposition program," said Principal Assistant Deputy Administrator for Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation Ken Baker. "The Mixed Oxide Fuel Fabrication Facility and the supporting Waste Solidification Building are key elements in this important nonproliferation effort to eliminate surplus plutonium in a transparent and irreversible manner."
NNSA's MOX program, a critical part of NNSA's nuclear nonproliferation efforts, will take at least 34 metric tons of surplus weapon-grade plutonium -- enough material for approximately 8,500 nuclear weapons -- and use it to create mixed oxide (MOX) fuel for use in nuclear power plants to generate electricity and render the plutonium unusable for nuclear weapons.
Last week in Moscow, President Barack Obama and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev signed a joint statement on nuclear cooperation that reaffirmed their commitment to each dispose of 34 metric tons of weapon-grade plutonium.
This contract marks the second phase of construction for the WSB project, which began in December 2008, and includes the structural construction of the facility and installation of the process systems. The contract was awarded by Savannah River Nuclear Solutions, LLC, the primary contractor on the WSB project. This phase of construction will provide approximately 120 labor positions. The WSB has a total project cost of $345 million.
The Baker team includes Intermech of Winston-Salem, N.C., and Besco of Knoxville, Tenn.
Established by Congress in 2000, NNSA is a semi-autonomous agency within the U.S. Department of Energy responsible for enhancing national security through the military application of nuclear science in the nation's national security enterprise. NNSA maintains and enhances the safety, security, reliability, and performance of the U.S. nuclear weapons stockpile without nuclear testing; reduces the global danger from weapons of mass destruction; provides the U.S. Navy with safe and effective nuclear propulsion; and responds to nuclear and radiological emergencies in the U.S. and abroad. Visit www.nnsa.energy.gov  for more information.
*Please note: NNSA Principal Assistant Deputy Administrator Ken Baker has no affiliation with Baker Concrete Construction, Inc.
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