Fluor opens office in Idaho Falls

Business leaders from Fluor, a multinational Fortune 500 engineering and construction firm, celebrated the opening of its Idaho Falls office Thursday and hinted at playing a greater role in U.S. Department of Energy projects at Idaho National Laboratory.

Gov. C.L. “Butch” Otter and executives from Fluor subsidiary NuScale Power also spoke during the event.

“We’ve been delivering on large complex nuclear projects since the Manhattan project … here in Idaho we’ve participated in some of the state’s most successful and enduring facilities, including the Materials Test Reactor … and Advanced Test Reactor,” said Bruce Stanski, president of Fluor Government Group. “That’s our proud history, but we are even more excited to be working with our colleagues in Idaho on a fantastic future.”

NuScale Power is in the planning and design phase of building its first commercial small modular nuclear power plant at INL. The project, slated for completion in 2024, is expected to provide power to the local electrical grid and serve as a template for future small modular plants.

“The expanded presence of Fluor and NuScale speaks volumes about the quality and importance of the class asset we have in eastern Idaho,” Otter said. “Fluor’s history with the state goes way back, but we also have a great future because of their return.”

Additionally, Fluor officials also hinted about exploring opportunities related to environmental cleanup projects in Idaho.

The two contracts for cleanup and management of radioactive waste at INL’s desert site expire in September 2015. The Department of Energy announced Wednesday that cleanup efforts would be split into four contracts and put forward for bids by major engineering and cleanup companies.

Fluor previously managed long-term environmental cleanup efforts at the largest portion of the Department of Energy’s 586-square-mile Hanford site near Richland, Wash.

“The role of this office is to be the leading edge for Fluor in supporting NuScale,” Stanski said. “It’s more than a sales office, it’s an operation center for us in Idaho so that as the operational demands come in, we have a hub to build on. We are starting rather small, but we will get much bigger over time.”