October 30, 2008

Yucca Mountain Contract is Awarded

The U.S. Department of Energy says it's awarded a five-year, $2.5 billion Yucca Mountain management and operating contract to USA Repository Services.

Officials said the company, a subsidiary of the URS Corp., will be supported by subcontractors Shaw Environmental and Infrastructure Inc. and AREVA Federal Services Inc.

The Yucca Mountain Project is an Energy Department nuclear reactor fuel and radioactive waste repository located within Yucca Mountain in Nevada, about 80 miles from Las Vegas.

"If we are to meet growing energy demand and slow the growth of greenhouse gas emissions, nuclear power must be a larger part of our energy mix; it is a mature technology with significant potential to supply large amounts of safe, reliable, emissions-free base load power," said Secretary of Energy Samuel Bodman.

"In order to ensure such an expansion can occur, the United States must have a permanent repository for the disposal of spent nuclear fuel and high-level radioactive waste," Bodman said. "This contract will enable our national repository program to move forward by securing the necessary management and operations expertise needed as we begin the Nuclear Regulatory Commission licensing proceedings."

The five-year contract has a potential five-year option period. If fully exercised, the contract would continue through March 31, 2019.