SRR, Tank Farm, Safety Gear (copy)

Savannah River Remediation employees wear personal protective equipment while conducting radiological work in a Savannah River Site tank farm.

The U.S. Department of Energy on Thursday said it intends to extend Savannah River Remediation's contract for one year, an announcement made as the department readies and works through another Savannah River Site liquid waste-related procurement.

The extension would keep Savannah River Remediation on the job through September 2021. Three four-month options are also available beyond that, the Energy Department said, potentially stretching the Amentum-led company's reach well into 2022.

The estimated value of the addendum is not immediately clear; one spokesperson at the Savannah River Site said the information was "procurement sensitive." A previous 10-month contract extension was valued at $450 million.

Savannah River Remediation has handled the liquid-waste mission at the Savannah River Site – dealing with and processing millions of gallons of nuclear waste; closing and sealing aging, underground waste storage tanks; and operating a behemoth waste glassification plant, among other things – for roughly a decade now.

The radioactive liquid waste at the site, south of Aiken and neighboring New Ellenton and Jackson, has been described as South Carolina's single greatest environmental threat.

An Energy Department notice said Savannah River Remediation was prepared and well-qualified to continue its work as "a new contract is being re-procured." A related message said the proposed extension would enable the continued "treatment and disposal of liquid waste at SRS while the follow-on competitive procurement is completed."

The DOE is currently working on the Integrated Mission Completion Contract, a multibillion-dollar, yearslong assignment that would intertwine the Savannah River Site liquid-waste mission with some management of nuclear materials – delegating the work of two current contractors to a future, singular one. More detail on the integrated contract was released Thursday. 

A final request for proposals for the Integrated Mission Completion Contract, the Energy Department said, is not expected before September of this year.

An inquiry made to Amentum was referred to Savannah River Remediation. Savannah River Remediation referred the inquiry to the Energy Department.

Colin Demarest covers the Savannah River Site, the U.S. Department of Energy, the National Nuclear Security Administration and government in general. Follow him on Twitter: @demarest_colin