Our Nuclear, Security & Environmental business is focused on government and nuclear work, specifically national and global security, cleaning up Cold War-era waste, and delivering technology and innovations to power the world with clean nuclear energy. At a time of great change, we partner with customers to develop solutions that fit their needs and ensure that missions are completed in a timely and cost-effective manner.
Within our government and nuclear business, we execute projects through their entire life cycle—from research and development to decontamination and decommissioning. Many of our projects are mission critical to national security and the environment. So, at a time when funding is tight and schedule pressures tough, Bechtel is pioneering tools and processes to deliver continued excellence and value for our customers.
We successfully completed our work at Watts Bar Unit 2, the first new nuclear reactor to commence operations in the United States in more than 20 years. Bechtel supported a major milestone with the Chernobyl Shelter Implementation Plan, as the key structure was placed over the damaged reactor at Chernobyl—a pivotal step in the decades-long challenge.
Bechtel’s mission-critical work on multiple projects for the U.S. Departments of Defense and Energy is helping to make the world cleaner and safer. During the past year, our government business broadened its portfolio from working almost exclusively with the U.S. government to include the U.K. and Australian governments as well. As a trusted partner of these and other U.S.-allied countries, we handle challenging construction and cleanup efforts in the safest and most efficient manner.
Pueblo Chemical Agent-Destruction Pilot Plant
Following the completion of construction and testing, the Bechtel-led team at the Pueblo Chemical Agent-Destruction Pilot Plant (PCAPP) in Colorado achieved a significant milestone with the start of disassembly and destruction of chemical weapons. At full operation, PCAPP will bring the United States closer to meeting international treaty obligations to rid itself of its remaining stockpile of thousands of tons of chemical weapons. The plant will destroy more than 500 chemical-filled artillery shells per day until all 780,000 munitions are dealt with during a four-year timeframe.
Using an innovative design with uniquely configured robots, chemical agents stored at the depot are removed from their shells using superheated water. Byproducts are pumped into large reactors for treatment with microbes. The metal munitions bodies are then superheated to destroy any remaining chemicals before the metal is recycled. By making data-centric decisions, the Bechtel team ensures the safe and scheduled mission completion for the Department of Defense and the surrounding community in 2020.
Pueblo Chemical Agent-Destruction Pilot Plant | Colorado, USA
2016 Select New Projects and Milestones
Arnold Engineering Development Complex
In 2016, we expanded our work in the testing and range market by winning the test operations and sustainment contract for the Arnold Engineering Development Complex, located at a U.S. Air Force base in Tennessee and at two other sites. The complex houses the Air Force’s largest and most complex wind tunnels and engine test facilities, which have played a role in developing major aerospace systems, ranging from fighter jets to space satellites.
Bechtel continued to oversee an international consortium completing the massive containment arch over the Chernobyl damaged nuclear reactor. In November 2016, the team slid the arch—the largest movable structure on land—more than 1,000 feet (approximately 300 meters) to cover the plant’s damaged reactor building and to protect radioactive contaminants from being spread by wind, rain, and snow.
Cybersecurity lab in Northern Virginia
Recognizing that cybersecurity is key to protecting facilities such as power stations, government buildings, and process facilities, Bechtel unveiled its new cybersecurity lab in late 2016 near Washington, D.C. The lab allows for the real-world testing of critical industrial control systems in a safe environment, as well as for the creation of equipment more defensible from cyberattacks. In line with Bechtel’s emphasis to invest in the future workforce, the facility serves as a training center for students from nearby George Mason University.
Uranium Processing Facility at Y-12 National Security Complex
Bechtel began excavation to build the Uranium Processing Facility at the Y-12 National Security Complex in Tennessee. When completed, the $6.5 billion project will replace World War II-era facilities and help ensure the long-term viability, safety, and security of nuclear material as the U.S. draws down its nuclear weapons stockpile. At its peak, the project will add 2,400 construction jobs to the local economy.
Watts Bar Unit 2
Bechtel was prime contractor for the 1,150-megawatt Watts Bar Unit 2 nuclear reactor, which was successfully commissioned in 2016. With this historic milestone, Unit 2 became the first new U.S. reactor to commence operations this century. During Bechtel’s decade-long contract, we completed more than 33 million consecutive job hours without a day lost to injury, a remarkable achievement considering the complexity of the work.
Horizon Nuclear Energy
Together with joint-venture partners Hitachi Nuclear Energy Europe, Ltd. and Japan Gas Corporation, Bechtel was selected to begin front-end engineering and design development for a two-reactor nuclear power plant for Horizon Nuclear Power in Wales. Before full construction commences in 2020, Bechtel will develop cost and schedule estimates and delivery methodologies utilizing information developed during the FEED activities. The plant will provide carbon-free electricity for up to 5 million homes.
We needed partners who have been there and delivered. Having Bechtel as part of our team brings us experience on more than 150 nuclear plants and megaprojects across the globe. They are a key part of the team that will deliver a vital element of the U.K.’s low-carbon energy future.”
Chernobyl Shelter and Confinement | Ukraine
To Dream Big is to embrace a mindset of discovery and let it lead you to places you’ve never been. As a child, I recognized learning as opportunity, which led me to Bechtel. Throughout my journey at Bechtel, my desire to discover has taken me from learning financial fundamentals to understanding how operations leads to successful mission delivery.