Environmental Management Consolidated Business Center | Cincinnati, Ohio
United States Department of Energy
Requesting For Information


Solicitation Number: 89303320REM000074

Title:             Hanford Site – Direct Feed Low-Activity Waste Complex Operations

Date:             April 16, 2020


No solicitation is available. This RFI is released pursuant to FAR 15.201(e), “Exchanges with Industry Before Receipt of Proposals,” and is issued for the purpose of conducting market research.

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), Environmental Management Consolidated Business Center (EMCBC) is currently in the acquisition planning stage for operation of the Waste Treatment and Immobilization Plant (WTP) Direct-Feed Low-Activity Waste (DFLAW) facilities at the Hanford Site, located in Washington State. This RFI solicits input via capability statements from potential offerors that have specialized capabilities necessary to safely and efficiently operate the WTP DFLAW facilities at the Hanford Site in a manner that provides the best value to the U.S. taxpayer. Due to the chemical processing experience necessary to safely operate the WTP DFLAW facilities, DOE is particularly interested in capability statements from companies with experience operating complex chemical facilities, as well as our nuclear industry partners. DOE will use the results of this market research to identify interested and capable sources and develop its acquisition strategy. Key market research goals include identifying and minimizing barriers to competition, evaluating small-business capabilities, and identifying risks. The final contract type, period of performance, and small-business set-aside possibilities will be determined through the acquisition planning process.

Beginning in the 1940s with the Manhattan Project, Hanford played a pivotal role in the nation’s defense, producing approximately 67 metric tons of plutonium; nearly two-thirds of the United States’ supply. After irradiated fuel rods were taken from the nuclear reactors to the processing facilities, they were exposed to a series of chemical processes designed to dissolve the fuel rods, allowing retrieval of the plutonium. The radioactive chemical liquid waste generated during the plutonium extraction process was then put into underground storage tanks. There are 149 single-shell tanks and 28 double-shell tanks on the Hanford Site containing approximately 54 million gallons of waste.

In the DFLAW process, low-activity waste will be mixed with silica and other glass-forming materials. The mixture will then be fed into the WTP DFLAW process’ two melters and heated to 2,100 degrees Fahrenheit. The glass mixture will be poured into containers, which will be disposed of on the Hanford Site in a safe, permitted disposal site. The WTP DFLAW complex consists of three primary components: the Low-Activity Waste Facility, Analytical Laboratory, and infrastructure and supporting systems collectively known as the “Balance of Facilities.”

This RFI solicits input via capability statements from potential offerors that have specialized capabilities necessary to meet all of the major elements of scope for the upcoming competitive procurement. Within these capability statements, DOE is seeking feedback from contractors and other interested parties regarding possible options for approaches for the performance of the major elements of scope, as well as insight into potential contracting alternatives to maximize waste treatment without affecting safety while achieving steady-state production operations.

There are a number of critical regulatory requirements to consider in the execution of the WTP DFLAW approach. To achieve compliance with the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) for the Hanford tank waste, DOE, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and the Washington State Department of Ecology signed a comprehensive cleanup and compliance agreement on May 15, 1989, called the Hanford Federal Facility Agreement and Consent Order, also known as the Tri-Party Agreement (TPA). Another key requirement is the federal consent decree that establishes court-enforceable milestones for construction, commissioning and initial operations of the WTP, as well as waste retrieval completion milestones for specified single-shell tanks. The consent decree in Case No. 2:08-CV-5085-FVS is a negotiated settlement between the parties.  Subsequent disputes resulted in court issuance of the Amended Consent Decree and Second Amended Consent Decree in Case No. 2:08-CV-5085-RMP.

The DOE EMCBC has created a procurement website where additional information will be provided; it can be viewed at https://www.emcbc.doe.gov/seb/HanfordDOC. It will be updated as additional information becomes available; therefore, interested parties should continuously monitor the website. DOE will not respond to or post on the EMCBC website any verbal or written questions or comments pertaining to this RFI package. However, the comments will help inform what is ultimately included in DOE’s acquisition plan and any requests for proposal that may be issued for this requirement.

Due to the preliminary stage of this planning activity, a Performance Work Statement is not available at this time; however, the Major Elements of Scope have been identified in the Attachment.

DOE will determine if the full requirements can be performed by a small business, 8(a) small business, HUBZone small business, small disadvantaged business, woman-owned small business, service-disabled veteran-owned small business, or large business. Small businesses believing that they have the capability to perform all or a portion of the Major Elements of Scope, are welcome to demonstrate such capabilities by submitting a capability statement in accordance with the instructions below. Information provided in response to this RFI will also help shape small-business subcontracting incentives if a small-business set-aside is not feasible. The North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) code for this requirement is 562211, Hazardous Waste Treatment and Disposal, and the small-business size standard is $41.5 million in average annual receipts.


All interested parties are hereby invited to electronically submit a capability statement of no more than 15 pages, no smaller than 12-point font and no more than 20 megabytes in file size. The government will evaluate each capability statement based on the interested parties’ (and that of teaming partners when applicable) demonstrated qualifications, capabilities, expertise, and past performance in each of the Major Elements of Scope. More specifically, capability statements should include the following information as appropriate and as applicable:

  • Describe your ability and approach (including rationale) to performing the Major Elements of Scope identified in the Attachment. Identify no more than five (5) examples of DOE, other government, and/or other commercial work relevant to this RFI. Include contract number, role in the effort (i.e., prime contractor or subcontractor), period of performance, dollar value, scope, client, and contracting agency contact information, if applicable.
  • Identify any performance and/or technical challenges and risks in meeting the requirements discussed in Attachment. Identify how your organization would minimize any risks to maximize the probability of successful performance. DOE is interested in ways to further strengthen the production culture while accomplishing work safely.
  • Discuss your company and/or teaming arrangement’s relevant work managing and integrating the major elements of scope with other onsite contractors to ensure the most efficient overall approach to DFLAW operations. Also, describe your relevant work managing and integrating the work of subcontractors who would perform specialty functions.
  • Describe your experience operating hazardous, radiological, and/or complex chemical processing facilities in a multifaceted regulatory environment with respect to problem solving and working with various stakeholders and regulatory agencies at the state and federal levels.
  • If your experience is primarily in operating complex chemical processing facilities, please describe your approach to acquire the nuclear experience.
  • Identify any organizational conflicts of interest concerns and/or potential organizational conflicts of interest that you or your teaming partners may have pertaining to the work described in this RFI.
  • Although this is not an End State procurement, DOE is seeking solutions to creating an operations and production culture while accomplishing work safely. Provide input and rationale to DOE on the optimal period of performance and contracting approach for the prospective procurement, including preferred contract type, fee structure, optimal period of performance/timelines, key assumptions, and any risks and/or challenges that should be considered in the solicitation. Identify and describe any areas listed in the Attachment believed to be missing or in need of clarification. Identify potential areas, including rationale, within any element of scope that may be appropriate for a fixed-price or Indefinite Delivery Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) contract structure, along with any associated pricing challenges and risks associated with these contract types.

Interested parties are requested to provide the name of the firm, or firms if a teaming arrangement is being contemplated, point of contact, phone number, address of firm, DUNS number, and/or CAGE code used over the past five years for the prime and each contemplated teaming partner. Small-business teams or joint ventures shall identify the socio-economic status of each member and shall provide the capabilities of each member, as well as a description of the work that each member would perform under a contract, keeping in mind the requirements of FAR Clause 52.219-14, “Limitations on Subcontracting” (if any portion of the effort is to be set aside for small businesses). Identify as one or more of the following under NAICS code 562211, Hazardous Waste Treatment and Disposal: 1) small business; 2) 8(a) small business (including graduation date); 3) HUBZone small business; 4) small disadvantaged business; 5) woman-owned small business; 6) service-disabled, veteran-owned small business; or 7) large business.

DOE reserves the right to use any and all information submitted by, or obtained from, an interested party in any manner DOE determines is appropriate, including, but not limited to, the creation of a competitive solicitation. An interested party shall not include any classified, business confidential, and/or proprietary information in its response.

The government will not pay for any information that is provided in response to this announcement, nor will it compensate any respondents for the development of such information. All capability statements and questions pertaining to this announcement shall be submitted electronically to HanfordDOC@emcbc.doe.gov no later than 5:00 p.m. Eastern Time on May 11, 2020. DOE will not respond to or post on the EMCBC website any verbal or written questions or comments pertaining to this RFI. DOE personnel may contact firms responding to this announcement to clarify a responder’s capabilities and other matters as part of this market research process.

Point of Contact:
Clare Rexroad
Senior Contracting Officer DOE EMCBC
(513) 317-3594





Attachment – Major Elements of Scope

The scope of this contract includes the operations of the WTP DFLAW facilities required to produce vitrified-low-activity-waste containers from tank waste feed received directly from the Tank Closure Contractor. The Low-Activity Waste Facility (LAW) is a Hazard Category 3 nuclear facility.  However, the LAW facility has significant potential chemical hazards to the workforce that are comparable to typical commercial chemical industry facilities that are regulated by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and in some cases using OSHA’s Process Safety Management framework. The radiological component of the facility operation can be integrated into the overall safety management system used for hazardous and complex chemical/industrial operations with the appropriate level of quality and underlying safety culture. WTP DFLAW operations require integrated operations across multiple facilities, support facilities (most of which are industrial in nature) and with multiple site contractors including the feed delivery contractor, the Tank Closure Contractor, and the WTP Design, Construction and Commissioning Contractor. The scope includes the following:

  • Operate, manage and maintain the Low-Activity Waste Facility.
  • Operate, manage and maintain the Analytical Laboratory.
  • Operate, manage and maintain the following Balance of Facilities:
    • Effluent Management Facility
    • Glass Former Storage Facility
    • Anhydrous Ammonia Facility
    • Administrative Building
    • Warehouse
    • Non-Dangerous, Non-Radioactive Effluent Facility
    • Maintenance Shop
    • Simulator Facility
    • Fuel Oil Facility
    • Chiller Compressor Plant
    • Cooling Tower Facility
    • Fire Water Pump Houses
    • Steam Plant
    • Water Treatment Plant
    • Main Switchgear Building
    • Standby Diesel Generator
    • Balance of Facilities Switchgear Building
  • Transfer the vitrified waste to the Tank Closure Contractor for disposal in the Integrated Disposal Facility.
  • Receive feed from the Tank Closure Contractor in compliance with WTP DFLAW waste acceptance criteria.

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