Burns & McDonnell wants to become a bigger player in nuclear power.
The Kansas City-based engineering, architectural and construction company has performed consulting work at nuclear power plants for some time. But on Thursday, Burns & McDonnell said it had won its first big contract in the nuclear construction industry — a $12 million project to build a facility at the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico.
The building, which will be constructed over 18 months, will house two redundant, uninterruptible power supply systems for the laboratory, the company said.
Burns & McDonnell recently completed a federal certification process required to design and build commercial and government nuclear facilities in the United States.
Greg Graves, chairman and chief executive of Burns & McDonnell, called the Los Alamos contract “a game-changing win” for the company.
“This project will serve as Burns & McDonnell’s first nuclear construction project under our newly certified nuclear quality assurance program,” Graves said in a statement.
The Los Alamos complex, the birthplace of the atomic bomb, is operated by a team composed of Bechtel National, the University of California, Babcock & Wilcox Co. and URS Corp. for the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration.
Burns & McDonnell’s entry in the nuclear industry comes as the U.S. government begins ramping up spending for a new generation of nuclear arms. According to a federal study noted last fall by The New York Times, the price of the nuclear upgrade, including the necessary infrastructure, could hit about a trillion dollars over the next three decades.
The company isn’t the only local firm with an eye on nuclear business. Black & Veatch, an Overland Park-based engineering, construction and consulting company, has had a longtime presence in the nuclear industry.