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May 8, 2003

Bechtel protests $1B Hanford contract

RICHLAND (AP) -- Bechtel National is contesting the award of a nearly $1 billion contract for cleanup at Hanford nuclear reservation to Washington Closure Co.

Bechtel was one of three bidders for the contract, awarded April 25, and had been doing the Columbia River corridor cleanup for the last nine years.

The protest was filed Monday with the federal General Accounting Office, which has 100 days to review the matter and issue a decision.

One reason that Bechtel filed the protest is to find out how Washington Closure beat it for the contract, said Bechtel spokeswoman Sue Kuntz. Also, "we have a genuine interest in winning the contract," she said Tuesday.

The third bidding team was led by Tetra Tech FW.

Washington Closure -- which comprises Washington Group International, Fluor Federal Services and Earth Tech -- bid $974 million on the project with another $82 million fee if budget targets are met.

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