Contract awarded to finish WIPP air system rebuild amid legal battles

A new subcontractor was hired to complete a rebuild of the ventilation system at the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant nuclear repository near Carlsbad after months of legal issues with the past subcontractor who was terminated last fall.

With the new subcontractor award, the project’s original completion date of 2021 was pushed back by four years and it was expected to cost at least $28 million more than the initial contract.

Critical Applications Alliance (CAA) received the initial $135 million contract in November 2018 to build the Safety Significant Confinement Ventilation System (SSCVS) intended to improve airflow in the underground where low-level transuranic (TRU) waste consisting of radiated clothing materials and equipment is permanently entombed in a subterranean salt deposit.

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