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Fluor-B&W Portsmouth Leads Next Phase for Piketon Plant

PIKETON, Ohio – March 29, 2011 -- Fluor-B&W Portsmouth LLC today assumed leadership of the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion Plant in Pike County, Ohio.  The company, led by Fluor Corporation (NYSE: FLR) and includes nuclear operations leader The Babcock & Wilcox Company (B&W) (NYSE: BWC), began the operational phase of its five-year contract with DOE, which has renewal options for up to five additional years.

The DOE awarded Fluor-B&W Portsmouth an approximately $2.1 billion contract to undertake cleanup and demolition, termed decontamination and decommissioning (D&D), of the buildings and facilities associated with the former uranium enrichment process. The buildings and facilities are being returned to the DOE from its lease with the United States Enrichment Corporation (USEC).

“Over the last few months we’ve worked closely with DOE, LATA/Parallax Portsmouth (LPP), and USEC to complete thousands of transition activities,” said Jamie Jameson, Fluor-B&W Portsmouth program manager. “Our team is ready to engage the workforce and partner with DOE, regulators, and the community to begin this important job.”

Fluor-B&W Portsmouth will hire approximately 1,600 employees, who will come primarily from the existing site personnel from LPP and USEC, to perform the D&D.

Partnering with the community to achieve a sustainable economic future will be at the forefront of the Fluor-B&W Portsmouth mission.  The company outlines its approach in a Community Commitment Plan, which can be found at www.fbportsmouth.com.

Challenges and Solutions

The Piketon Plant is similar to many other DOE sites across the country.  It has both the technical challenges of a former nuclear facility undergoing D&D and environmental remediation, and poses economic challenges to the surrounding area as a result of changing site missions.

The technical challenges include:

  • safely de-energizing and dismantling more than 300 facilities, including the former gaseous diffusion process buildings;
  • cleaning up any underlying contaminated soil;
  • addressing groundwater contamination and site landfills; and
  • processing inventoried wastes into forms suitable for off-site disposal.

During the D&D process, Fluor-B&W Portsmouth will work with regulators and the public to clearly define the 3,700-acre site’s end state.  An immediate focus of the Fluor-B&W Portsmouth team will be to work with the DOE and regulators to complete any necessary cleanup in the areas outside the former main gaseous diffusion processing area. This cleanup would provide DOE and the public the potential for releasing these areas for a new use.

“By focusing early on areas that have not been impacted by site operations, we believe that more than half of the site footprint could be available sooner for beneficial reuse,” Jameson said.

Fluor-B&W Portsmouth describes its D&D strategy as a “rolling-wave” of specialized work teams that will move from facility to facility, removing process equipment prior to mechanical demolition of above-grade structures.

“These teams will include skilled craftsmen and long-term employees of the site who have historical process knowledge,” Jameson said.  “We used a similar field approach at Fernald (another legacy nuclear cleanup site near Cincinnati) and had an outstanding success and and an exceptional safety record.”

Following demolition of the buildings, Fluor-B&W Portsmouth will begin at- or below-grade structure removal, including utilities and storage pads, and soil excavation to meet regulatory cleanup limits.

About Fluor-B&W Portsmouth LLC

Fluor Corporation (NYSE: FLR) and The Babcock & Wilcox Company (B&W) (NYSE: BWC), two world-class companies with significant Ohio experience, formed Fluor-B&W Portsmouth LLC (FBP) to address the decontamination and decommissioning (D&D) needs at the Department of Energy's (DOE) Portsmouth Site in Pike County, Ohio. The team, which includes two local mentor/protégé companies, InSolves and Wastren Advantage, Inc., and a small business, Pro2Serve, brings unparalleled experience, insights, and lessons learned from across the DOE complex. The Fluor-B&W Portsmouth mandate is to clean up the Portsmouth Site safely and compliantly, provide strong uranium stewardship and partner with local communities to achieve a sustainable economic future. For more information, visit www.fbportsmouth.com.

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