Army Corps awards $34 million contract to dismantle nuclear reactor barge

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The following is the text of a news release from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers:

(GALVESTON, Texas) — The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Baltimore District awarded a $34,663,325 contract to CB&I Federal Services LLC (CB&I) for the decommissioning, dismantling and disposal of the MH-1A nuclear reactor, which is installed on the Sturgis barge. The Sturgis will be relocated in September 2014 to Galveston, Texas, for decommissioning.

Before being shut down in 1976, the MH-1A nuclear reactor was used to generate electricity for military and civilian use. The reactor was de-fueled, decontaminated and sealed before being towed to the James River Reserve Fleet at Joint Base Langley Eustis, Va., where it is currently being stored and maintained.

After the contractor removes the residual radioactive waste materials, the remaining portions of the Sturgis barge will be transported to Brownsville, Texas, for disposal or recycling as scrap using standard shipbreaking methods. Wastes will be segregated in accordance with applicable federal, state and local laws and regulations. The entire process is anticipated to be completed in under four years.

The USACE will host a public meeting in Galveston this summer to provide more details and answer questions.

By Professional Mariner Staff