LANL Legacy Waste Cleanup Contractor N3B Los Alamos Earns 82 Percent Award Fee For FY2020

Legacy waste cleanup contractor N3B-Los Alamos earned an $8.4 million award fee for the fiscal year ending Sept. 30, 2020. Courtesy photo


Los Alamos National Laboratory legacy waste cleanup contractor Newport News Nuclear BWXT (N3B)-Los Alamos, LLC received $8.4 million of a possible $10.3 million Total Available Award Fee for the period Oct. 1, 2019 through Sept. 30, 2020.

The award fee for FY2020 is split with 30 percent going to the Subjective Award Fee and 70 percent to the Performance-Based Incentive Award Fee. The 82 percent award follows an almost 84 percent award for FY2019.

The fee award scorecard noted several areas of strength for N3B including:

  • Developed Operational Excellence Initiative (OEI) in response to COVID-19 partial stop work order. The OEI program brought all field workers together to re-set training on operation excellence. This kept workers in a ready state to return to full operations and prevented these workers from otherwise having to charge weather and safety leave/report pay
  • Cleanup Contractor responded promptly to the discovery of unexpected waste on Middle DP Road
  • Inaugurated shipments of Transition Material groundwater monitoring well purge water for offsite disposition
  • Regulatory compliance team was proactive on projects to ensure integration across field work planning and implementation
  • Quality and timeliness of Consent Order deliverables improved, notwithstanding the challenges brought by the COVID-19 pandemic

Opportunities for improvement were identified as:

  • Lack of understanding of risks involved with energized 480-volt sources and energized work processes reveals significant training and safety oversight deficiencies resulting in potential life-threatening consequences and repeated quality concerns with Safety Basis submittals

    Lack of effective integration and project management at the outset of the TA-21 cleanup resulted in subsequent inefficiencies and delays
  • Delay in the Earned Value Management System self‐certification made accurate cost reporting difficult, creating operational impacts across the enterprise
  • Waste management processes and field execution suffered multiple weaknesses, i.e., waste characterization, handling, shipment, inventory control, root cause analysis, timing
  • Delays in sampling, characterization, and resolution of drilling cost incurred issues led to unnecessary performance risk and lack of cost control, i.e., TA-21

The Subjective Award Fee Criteria fees were rated and awarded as follows:

  • Quality Assurance/Safety – Good – $688,416 of a possible $926,356
  • Schedule – Good – $371,342 of a possible $618,904
  • Cost Control – Good – $371,342 of a possible $618,904
  • Management – Very Good -$235,184 of a possible $309,452
  • Regularory Compliance – Excellent – $569,392 out of a possible $618,904

Total $2,215,677 out of possible $2,228,055 awarded

The Objective Award Fees were determined as follows:

  • Remediate or Repackage 15 m3 of Transuranic Waste – 100 percent of possible $216,616
  • Remediate or Repackage 45 m3 of Transuranic Waste – 100 percent of possible $1,083,082
  • Class III Permit Modification for Historic Properties Campaign SWMUs/AOCs with NMED Certificate of Completions – 100 percent of possible $433,233 received
  • Completion of Compliance Order on Consent Appendix B FY 2020 Milestones – 100 percent of possible $2,671,603 received
  • Corrugated Metal Pipes Initiation – $237,556 of a possible $505,438 received
  • Environmental Management Environmental Remediation Transition Waste Disposal – Removed due to COVID
  • DP West Waste Lines at TA 21 Excavated and Disposed – $72,205 of a possible $433,233 received
  • Mixed Low-Level Waste Shipped – 100 percent of possible $722,055 received
  • Startup of New Processes in TA-54 Area G – $236,834 of a possible $288,822 received
  • Clearing the Boneyard at TA-54 COVID-19 – Removed due to COVID
  • Aggregate Area Waste Disposition – 100 percent of possible $433,233 received
  • Complete Demolition of Building 257 – $72,205 of a possible $433,233 received

Total $6,178,623 of possible $7,220,548  awarded

N3B President Glenn Morgan noted last week the significant improvements in the four subjective areas which he said are the result of the N3B workforce.

“We must continue to strive for excellence in all areas of our work. We also must celebrate successes and always seek to improve our performance, attention to detail and operational discipline,” Morgan said. “We have a robust cleanup plan for FY21, and have already made significant progress in shipments to WIPP. We also completed the first campaign under the 2016 Consent Order and are gearing up for sampling on Middle DP Road.”