The U.S. Department of Energy has granted the current Savannah River Site management and operations team another contract extension, this time valued at $1.5 billion.
The Energy Department late Thursday afternoon announced a 14-month contract addendum for Savannah River Nuclear Solutions. SRNS's contract was otherwise set to expire at the end of this month.
SRNS has been the lead SRS contractor for about a decade. The extension keeps SRNS on the job through September 2020. Two 12-month options are available beyond that – meaning the Fluor-led contractor could stay on through September 2022.
"This extension enables SRS to maintain (management and operations) services while DOE develops an acquisition strategy and subsequent contract competition for those services," the Energy Department's announcement reads.
The extension does not alter SRNS's responsibilities. The team will still oversee the site and administer environmental management, nuclear materials and landlord services, among other things.
SRNS's contract does not include site security or the liquid waste mission. That's Centerra-SRS and Savannah River Remediation, respectively.
The hefty contract extension – the news in general – doesn't come as a big surprise.
There are a lot of moving parts at the site right now, which adds extra value to steady management. And in April, SRS deputy manager Thomas Johnson Jr. strongly hinted at some more time for the contractor: "With no active solicitation on the street," he said, "you could probably make some assumptions as to what may happen with that contract."
The DOE in late 2018 halted its search for the next SRS management and operations contractor. The pause accounted for a joint study that reviewed the future of the site and the work done there.
SRNS's previous contract extension was valued at $1 billion.
Stuart MacVean, the SRNS president and CEO, on Thursday night said the extension was a vote of confidence from the Energy Department.
"I'm proud of the SRNS team," he continued, "and I'm optimistic about our future opportunities to serve our customers in our important work to make the world safer."