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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

DOE awards $208M contract for Hanford site in Eastern WA to out-of-state company

For the first time in more than 20 years, glass has been melted in the world’s largest radioactive waste melter at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation site near Richland, Wash.  (Spokesman-Review photo archives)
By Annette Cary Tri-City Herald

KENNEWICK – The Department of Energy has awarded a contract to provide occupational medical services valued at up to $208 million to a small business in Virginia.

A Tri-Cities company had been awarded the previous contract in 2012 and before that had been a subcontractor for health services at the nuclear reservation in Eastern Washington.

DOE announced Thursday that it had picked Inomedic Health Applications of Hampton, Virginia, for the contract, which was required to be awarded to a small business.

The current contract covers about 8,000 Hanford site workers, but the new contract will be expanded to include workers operating the vitrification plant as it starts glassifying low activity radioactive waste for disposal. The start of waste vitrification is expected in late 2024 or 2025.

“The award of this contract demonstrates another visible step toward the start of tank waste treatment at Hanford,” said Hanford Site Manager Brian Vance. “Having consistent round-the-clock occupational medical services available will support sustained operations.”

The 580-square-mile Hanford site was used in World War II and the Cold War to produce nearly two-thirds of the plutonium for the nation’s nuclear weapons program.

Effluvia left from producing plutonium includes 56 million gallons of radioactive waste stored in underground tanks, many of them prone to leaking. Much of the waste is planned to be treated at the vitrification plant.

The new contract has a base period of three years, including a 60-day contract transition period, and two option periods of two years for a total of seven years.

The contract now held by HPM Corp. of Kennewick, which was purchased earlier this year by WorkCare Inc. of California, expires at the end of December. It has a two-year option remaining on the contract starting in 2024, but it does not cover around-the-clock coverage of operations at the vitrification plant.

The HPMC contract was valued as of 2018 at $152 million for up to seven years.

HPMC under its previous owners was barred from bidding on federal contracts after its owners reached a $3 million agreement with the U.S. Attorney’s Office to settle accusations of COVID-19 loan fraud.

WorkCare said it planned to bid on the contract when it purchased HPMC.

DOE said Thursday that there were three bidders on the contract, but did not name them.

It said in a statement that it was a “healthy and rigorous competition” that led to the choice of Inomedic Health Applications as providing the best value to the government.

The Hanford occupational medicine contractor provides services ranging from basic first aid to exams to evaluate workers’ injuries and illnesses that may have been caused by work at the Hanford site.

Inomedic Health Applications is physician owned and has more than 25 years of experience, according to its website.

Its customers have included NASA centers, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, SpaceX, Boeing and the U.S. Special Operations Command, Space Force and Navy.