A joint venture of a Shaw Group Inc unit and a small New Mexico-based firm has won a Dept. of Energy contract for environmental cleanup work at the department's gaseous diffusion plant in Paducah, Ky. The contract, whose award was announced on Dec. 27, is valued at $191.6 million and is to extend through Sept. 30, 2009.

The winning team, Paducah Remediation Services LLC, is composed of Portage Environmental Inc., Espanola, N.M., and Shaw Environmental Inc. It will take over after a transition period from Bechtel Jacobs Co. LLC, whose contract expires April 23, DOE said.

Portage is the managing partner of the team, DOE said. The firm is certified as a Small Business Administration 8(a) disadvantaged business enterprise. Its president, Michael J. Spry, is a member of the Minnesota Chippewa tribe, according to Portage's web site.

Work will include cleaning up contaminated groundwater and soil, removing waste and decontaminating and decommissioning facilities at the Paducah gaseous diffusion plant.

The facility, opened in 1952, initially made enriched uranium for nuclear weapons and military reactors and later for commercial nuclear reactors, according to U.S. Enrichment Corp., which runs the facility under a lease with DOE. The facility now supplies enriched uranium for commercial nuclear powerplants.