A Bechtel-led team is contesting the U.S. Department of Energy’s decision to award the Idaho Cleanup Project contract to the Jacobs Technology Inc. group Idaho Environmental Coalition, according to a Bechtel source who spoke on background.

The Bechtel subsidiary, Idaho Remediation Company lodged a protest with the DOE on June 15, according to the Government Accountability Office’s website. Idaho Remediation Company was formed in November 2015 according to Delaware’s Department of State: Division of Corporations website.

The U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Environmental Management has sent a letter of intent to extend Fluor’s contract with the Idaho Cleanup Project for up to 90 days, according to Ann Riedesel, Fluor’s director of communications. Fluor, which has held the contract since 2016, chose to not protest the DOE decision.

Idaho Environmental Coalition was supposed to take over the project from Fluor on Oct. 1.

Companies that bid on the project were debriefed and had 10 days to submit a bid protest with the DOE. The GAO must address the protest arguments within 30 days. The company then has 10 days to respond to the GAO or the protest will be dismissed. “GAO may request additional filings from the parties, conduct alternative dispute resolution, or hold a hearing,” according to the GAO website. Idaho Environmental Coalition has the right to participate in the protest as an intervenor.

A letter from Fred Hughes, Fluor Idaho President and Program Manager, provided to the Post Register by a source said: “The extension will allow the government time to address a protest received on the award of the new Idaho Cleanup Project contract. … Our focus needs to be on finishing strong and successfully delivering on our current contract.”

When a company protests, DOE has 30 days to respond to the Government Accountability Office. Once it responds, the GAO has up to 100 days from the day the protest was lodged to either deny or sustain it. The protest is denied if the GAO finds no merit to the protest, or is sustained if the GAO agrees with the protest arguments.

“DOE does not comment on procurement matters,” a DOE spokesperson said in an email.

Idaho Environmental Coalition was awarded the approximately $6.4 billion over a 10-year period contract on May 27, beating out Fluor.

Once the official extension is sent, Fluor and the DOE contract teams will begin to negotiate a new financial agreement to continue work until Dec. 31.{/div}{div class=”OutlineElement Ltr BCX0 SCXW186190884”}{p class=”Paragraph SCXW186190884 BCX0” lang=”EN-US” xml:lang=”EN-US”}Another Bechtel-led team was chosen to enter negotiations to design, engineer, and build the U.S. Versatile Test Reactor at Idaho National Laboratory in August 2020. “The VTR project will provide leading edge capability for accelerated testing of advanced nuclear fuels, materials, instrumentation, and sensors,” a DOE press release said.{/div}{/div}

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