Savannah River Site security contractor WSI-SRS earned praise and 97 percent of its performance-based incentive fees in fiscal 2012, even as its parent company’s contract at another nuclear site was terminated.
WSI-SRS, formerly known as Wackenhut, “demonstrated an exceptional level of performance” and met or exceeded its goals, U.S. Department of Energy site manager David Moody wrote in a letter to Randy Garver, the general manager of Wackenhut Services Inc.
The law-enforcement and security provider at SRS earned 97 percent of the incentive award fee of $2,602,047, Moody wrote, in part because WSI “took a proactive role in conducting a thorough review of the SRS security posture following the high-profile security breach at Y-12.”
The incident at the Y-12 facility in Oak Ridge, Tenn., occurred last July, when three protesters, including an 82-year-old nun, slipped past guards to vandalize a facility at the National Nuclear Security Administration plant, where warheads are serviced and bomb-grade uranium is stored.
That incident resulted in the termination of WSI-Oak Ridge, which had provided site security for about 10 years, and the awarding of a new contract this month to National Strategic Protective Services, which received a five-year contract valued at almost $182 million.
Security programs at all nuclear weapons sites came under heightened scrutiny after the Y-12 incident, but no breaches were reported at Savannah River Site.
All nuclear weapons in the U.S. arsenal have one thing in common: The reservoir of tritium, the hydrogen gas that increases its explosive power, is maintained at SRS, which is also the nation’s source of the material.
Because of its short half-life, tritium must periodically be replenished, or “recharged,” at the site’s secure facility.
The review of procedures at SRS resulted in increased patrols at the site, performance tests and the initiation of “mobile training teams to enhance awareness of addressing protestors/trespassers at SRS,” Moody’s letter said.
The contract for WSI-SRS will expire in September 2019.