URS, a provider of engineering, construction and technical services, has said that a URS-led partnership has received a two-year contract extension to manage and operate the US Department of Energy’s (DOE) Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) near Carlsbad, New Mexico.

Under the terms of the extension, the partnership, Washington TRU Solutions, will manage and operate WIPP from October 1, 2010 through September 2012. The two-year contract has a maximum value of $428.5m to the partnership.

The contract includes performance goals to accelerate the cleanup of nuclear waste left over from the production of nuclear weapons and related research, including protective clothing, tools and other contaminated material.

WIPP is an underground repository certified for permanent disposal of transuranic radioactive waste, which is material contaminated with man-made radioisotopes that are heavier than uranium.

In addition to managing the repository, which is located in a 2,150ft-deep geologic salt formation, Washington TRU Solutions coordinates the transportation of materials to WIPP and classifies incoming waste.

Thomas Zarges, president of energy and construction, at URS, said: ”We are very pleased that the Department of Energy has reinforced its confidence in our performance by extending our contract through 2012.

”URS is a leader in the management of nuclear and hazardous waste facilities for the DOE, and we look forward to continuing to assist the agency in its important work at WIPP.”