Savannah River Nuclear Solutions earned most of its 2011 performance fees, according to the U.S. Energy Department and the National Nuclear Security Administration.
The management contractor for Savannah River Site, which employs 4,978 workers, was eligible for $49.75 million in “performance-based incentives,” and was awarded $44,329,841 from the Energy Department, according to a letter from site manager David C. Moody.
The company’s accomplishments included safely managing nuclear waste and training a “premier nuclear workforce,” the letter said. Missions including “green” development strategies and conducting emergency radiological studies after the Japanese nuclear crisis were also successful.
However, Moody noted an incident in which a construction worker was injured in a fall last year.
“Issues such as this challenge us to encourage workers to have a questioning attitude and enjoy personal ownership of working safely,” Moody wrote.
In a separate evaluation from the National Nuclear Security Administration, an arm of the Energy Department that manages nuclear weapons programs, the company was praised for completing a long list of objectives related to the site’s plutonium disposition programs and moving quickly to adapt to changing missions.
Areas of concern included a corporate reorganization that the NNSA perceived as “blurring the lines of responsibility” with the plutonium program. A more focused approach, it said, would
increase efficiency and reduce the level of required management attention.
The company should also become more proactive to communicate the NNSA’s mission in South Carolina, the letter said..
“Recognizing that the NNSA missions at SRS are a major contributor to the site’s future, SRNS has not been proactive in identifying opportunities to support our communications and outreach efforts,” the letter said.
The company was given an overall score of 75 and a grade of “good to very good,” with an award of $600,000 out of a possible $800,000 assigned to that incentive.
The NNSA fees are part of the total 2011 performance fee, a company spokeswoman said.
The performance fee award letters were released last week by federal officials after an activist group, Nuclear Watch New Mexico, requested them under the Freedom of Information Act and later filed a lawsuit, said Tom Clements, of the Alliance for Nuclear Accountability.