Under the extension, worth around $8.4 billion, the group will manage the facility until 30 September 2006.

Savannah River is involved in the management and disposal of nuclear waste, including nuclear legacy material and in tritium processing to support the US nuclear deterrent. It is the DOE site charged with converting excess plutonium into material that cannot be used in nuclear weapons. The facility has been managed by Westinghouse Savannah River Co, a Washington Group-led team that includes Bechtel, BWXT and BNFL Inc, since 1989.

The Washington Group was formed when Morrison Knudsen Corp acquired Raytheon Engineers and Constructors. The former had already acquired Westinghouse’s government services business from CBS. Two subsidiaries were subsequently formed, one jointly owned by BNFL Nuclear Services Inc to serve government, environmental and waste management markets and the second, wholly owned by the Washington Group to serve national defence needs.