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W. Valley phaseout pact awarded

The U.S. Department of Energy has awarded a $333.4 million contract for the next phase of work at the West Valley Demonstration Project.

A business partnership called CH2M Hill-B&W West Valley was awarded a contract for phase one of decommissioning and facility disposition work. Phase two will complete the site's decommissioning.

The new contract will be a continuation of work currently being performed by a different primary contractor. A 60-day transition period will start Friday, the Energy Department said.

The current primary contractor, West Valley Environmental Services, is reducing its work force to about 266 employees as federal stimulus funds tied to specific projects come to an end. About 65 jobs were cut recently, through a combination of voluntary separations, attrition and layoffs.

Still to be announced is the size of the work force that the new primary contractor will use at the West Valley site. A CH2M Hill spokesman could not be reached to comment Wednesday.

CH2M Hill, based in Colorado, is a program management, construction management and design firm. B&W, its partner on the project, is a Charlotte, N.C.-based provider of clean energy and technology services.

West Valley, just south of Springville, was the site of the nation's only privately operated commercial nuclear fuel-processing facility.

The operation separated reusable uranium and plutonium from spent fuel, which came from both commercial and federal nuclear reactors.