Stuart MacVean, Aiken Chamber of Commerce

Savannah River Nuclear Solutions President and CEO Stuart MacVean pictured here at the Greater Aiken Chamber of Commerce's annual awards gala.

Savannah River Nuclear Solutions executed its nuclear security and national-defense-oriented missions well in fiscal year 2019, according to a newly released evaluation handled by the National Nuclear Security Administration.

The Fluor-led Savannah River Site management and operations contractor earned an overall "very good" rating – and just shy of $18 million – for its NNSA-related work between Oct. 1, 2018, and Sept. 30, 2019.

Approximately $20.8 million was available.

The National Nuclear Security Administration commended the longtime contractor for its key roles in plutonium pit production preparations, at the proposed Savannah River Plutonium Processing Facility; the transition of the mothballed Mixed Oxide Fuel Fabrication Facility, which was terminated in October 2019; the removal of 1 metric ton of weapons-grade plutonium from South Carolina (half of it was quietly sent to Nevada); and the Surplus Plutonium Disposition project, which just hit a project milestone.

Three "very good" and four "excellent" descriptions are included in the NNSA's publicly available scorecard. The contractor was docked for its handling of smaller projects.

"The work that SRNS performs for NNSA is vitally important to the nation, supporting our nuclear deterrent and nonproliferation," Savannah River Nuclear Solutions President and CEO Stuart MacVean said in a statement Friday, acknowledging the positive ratings. "It's why the Savannah River Site was established 70 years ago."

Savannah River Nuclear Solutions oversees most of the work done at the Savannah River Site, 30 minutes south of Aiken, including that of environmental cleanup and weapons production. The U.S. Department of Energy's nuclear cleanup office, Environmental Management, late last year announced Savannah River Nuclear Solutions had earned $25.5 million for remediation-related work.

SRNS is also in charge of the Savannah River National Laboratory, one of 17 national labs across the country. Performance at the lab plays into the NNSA's calculations.

Savannah River Nuclear Solutions has been leading the site for about a decade now and could be for years to come. The Energy Department in July 2019 announced a 14-month contract extension for SRNS, valued at $1.5 billion.

Two 12-month options are available beyond that.

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