Request for Proposals

Contract Services for Development of a Report Addressing Potential Impacts to the State of Nevada from the Proposed Yucca Mountain High-Level Radioactive Waste Repository Project

Background and Introduction

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) is considering a Yucca Mountain in southern Nevada as a potential location for the nation's first high-level nuclear waste repository. Under Public Law 97-425, the Nuclear Waste Policy Act of 1982 (NWPA), the State of Nevada is authorized to conduct independent evaluations of the proposed repository and prepare a report that identifies the socioeconomic impacts of the repository on the State and its residents.

The Department of Energy 's current schedule calls for the Secretary of Energy to make a determination of the suitability of Yucca Mountain's suitability as a repository site in 2001. If the Secretary finds the site suitable, DOE would formally recommend to the President that Yucca Mountain be developed as a HLW repository in July, 2001. The Nuclear Waste Policy Act provides for the State of Nevada to prepare and submit to DOE a report on the impacts of such a repository on the State. The Secretary must include this report with any recommendation to the President for going forward with Yucca Mountain as a repository.

Once the recommendation is made to the President, the President must formally recommend that Congress approve the selection of Yucca Mountain. If Congress approves and authorizes DOE to proceed, DOE must obtain a license to construct the repository from the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC). Current DOE schedules project opening of a repository by 2010. If new legislation being considered by Congress should become law, DOE could be authorized to begin accepting spent fuel for temporary, above ground storage at the Nevada site by 2007, as part of an "early storage" provision in the legislation.

Should the President proceed to recommend development of a nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain, the State of Nevada, under the provisions of Section 115 0f the Nucelar Waste Policy Act as amended, has the ability to issue a Notice of Disapproval of such recommendation. The Notice of Disapproval must be accompanied by a statement of reasons why the State objects to the designation of Yucca Mountain as a repository. Work provided for under this solicitation will also be used, in part, to inform the State's statement of reasons and Notice of Disapproval. Additional information regarding the federal high-level radioactive waste program and DOE project schedule can be found on DOE web sites at: and .

The Nevada Agency for Nuclear Projects (Agency) has been carrying out socioeconomic research and monitoring studies since 1987. These studies have covered the entire spectrum of possible economic and social/cultural impacts that might be associated with a repository and related activities (such as the transport of radioactive materials) as well as the potential vulnerabilities of Nevada and its communities to negative repository effects. The Agency's efforts have involved a multi-disciplinary research team that operated with advice from a Technical Review Committee made up of nationally regarded experts in various socioeconomic-related disciplines. (1) Information about the various studies that have been undertaken is contained in the attached review, "Socioeconomic Studies of High-Level Nuclear Waste." Additional information regarding the State of Nevada's oversight and impact assessment activities can be found on the State's nuclear waste web site at: .

Description of the Services Required

This solicitation seeks to identify firms or organizations to undertake the preparation of a report on the socioeconomic impacts that would be associated with the location and operation of a HLW repository at Yucca Mountain, including impacts from the transportation of spent nuclear fuel and HLW to such a facility. The solicitation also contemplates the possibility that some additional research may be necessary to fill gaps in existing data and information.

It is expected that the contractor selected to prepare the report will utilize data and findings from the Agency's extensive socioeconomic impact assessment research since 1987. It will be necessary for the contractor to thoroughly review this body of work and identify key impact areas/findings for inclusion in the Impact Report. The Agency is most interested to assure that impacts to Nevada's key economic sectors, especially the tourism and gaming sectors, are fully identified. These include the impacts associated with risk perception and stigma that have been documented through past Agency-sponsored research, as well as by independent researchers. The Agency is especially interested in innovative approaches for relating stigma impacts in terms of their manifestations in the State's visitor-gaming dependent economy.

It is expected that the Impact Report will be complied using existing data and information, primarily from research findings, data, and materials developed over the past 13 years under the State's impact assessment program. If data/information gaps are identified in developing the Report, the Agency may task the contractor to undertake issue-specific studies, with funding authorization for such activities to be negotiated at the time.

The contractor will also be required to consult with affected local governments and Native American tribes and communities that are interested in working cooperatively with the State in providing input into the State's Impact report. The contractor will, under direction from the Agency, meet with selected local governments and Native communities, identify data and research materials relevant to the State report, and incorporate local government and Native American information, issues, and interests to the extent possible.

Upon completion of the review of past research and consultations with affected local governments and tribes, the contractor will be expected to prepare an outline for a comprehensive summary report documenting impacts. The outline will address impacts to the State as a whole (i.e., impacts to key economic sectors, impacts on State revenues, impacts on State agencies, and any other areas that are relevant); impacts to affected local governments/communities (identified in conjunction with the Agency and those affected local jurisdictions); impacts to special populations within the State, especially Native Americans and any minority populations/communities affected by the repository program; impacts to the physical environment; and any other impacts the Contractor deems relevant and important for inclusion in the Impact Report.

Once the outline has been reviewed and approved by the Agency, the contractor will, in collaboration with the Agency, proceed to develop a draft Impact Report. A draft of the report will be presented to the Agency for review. The Agency will involve affected local governments and Native American communities in the review process. Upon receipt of comments on the draft report from the Agency, the contractor will complete a final report incorporating changes and recommendations of the Agency.

Should the contractor, in the course of the report development work, identify areas where additional research/data is needed to complete the Impact Report, the contractor will provide the Agency with a recommended work plan and budget for carrying out such research/data collection. The Agency and contractor would have to agree on the amount of additional work to be done and on the appropriate budget before any additional new research would be authorized under the contract. However, the successful contractor must have the ability and competence to identify social science/economic researchers and implement additional studies if that is necessary.

Required Qualifications

It is expected that firms or other organizations responding to this solicitation will have a demonstrable record of accomplishments in managing and carrying out similar projects of comparable complexity during the past five years. In addition, applicants should be able to demonstrate extensive knowledge of the federal high-level nuclear waste disposal program, the State of Nevada and surrounding region, and prior State and county socioeconomic activities. It would be exceedingly difficult for a company or other entity to carry out the work envisioned under this RFP without having had fairly extensive experience with the federal HLW program and socioeconomic impact assessment related to the State of Nevada and nuclear waste facilities. The contractor will be required to actively design, implement, manage, coordinate, and integrate report preparation and report implementation activities using the extensive body of literature and data that have been developed for the State of Nevada and several of the affected units of local government The work also requires sensitivity to and experience working with state, local, and tribal governments and an understanding of their interrelationships.

Specific qualifications include:

  • Extensive knowledge of the federal high-level radioactive waste management program and with federal nuclear waste activities in Nevada;

  • Extensive knowledge of and familiarity with the State of Nevada, especially southern Nevada (Clark County) and the communities likely to be impacted by the federal program.

  • Familiarity and experience with major socioeconomic impact assessment and monitoring programs, especially in the context of highly controversial facilities/programs where both "standard" and "special", or risk-induced, impacts were of concern;

  • An administrative system capable of effectively and efficiently managing the subcontracting, reporting and supervisory requirements of the project;

  • Professional staff with demonstrated experience in project management and implementation of multi-disciplinary studies or activities;

  • Demonstrated ability to work effectively with peer review panels or other oversight bodies; and,

  • An understanding of the national, state and local policy implications of studies related to the impacts of nuclear waste facilities.

Type of Contract

The Agency anticipates awarding a fixed fee contract for the development of the report described above. The Agency prefers to award one contract for the entire effort but may, at its discretion, award multiple contracts to different contractors in order to obtain the services required. It is anticipated that the duration of the initial contract(s) will be for one year, from October 1, 2000 through September 30, 2001, with provision for renewal for additional work should that be indicated. Funding for each year of the contract(s) will be subject to availability of State general fund revenues or appropriated federal Nuclear Waste funds.

Conflicts of Interest

Applicants are required to disclose, as part of their RFP submissions, any relationships (past or present) with any DOE departments or contractors. The Agency will review such relationships to determine if potential conflicts of interest exist. Applicants with current or past (i.e., the last 5 years) contractual or other ties to the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Civilian Radioactive Waste Management (OCRWM), DOE's Yucca Mountain Site Characterization Office (YMSCO), or any firm/organization that is presently doing work for OCRWM or YMSCO - or that has, in the past, done work for these organizations - may not be considered for this solicitation. Decisions as to whether or not conflicts of interest exist will be made solely by the Agency.

Supplemental Information

Additional information that may be useful in responding to this solicitation can be found on the State of Nevada Agency for Nuclear Projects' Internet web page at . Summary information regarding past State-sponsored research on socioeconomic impacts of the federal HLW program can be found at the following specific web pages:

Submission of Proposal Statements

Applicants must submit five (5) copies of a Proposal Statement that will include the following: (1) A description of the applicant's proposed approach for implementing the tasks identified above (sufficient to demonstrate an understanding of the tasks and the activities needed to implement them), together with a proposed cost for completing the tasks; (2) a statement of qualifications showing how the applicant's experience and expertise meet the requirements set forth above; and (3) a statement disclosing past DOE relationships, if applicable. The Proposal Statement should be accompanied by vitae of key personnel, should not exceed fifteen (15) double-spaced pages (excluding vitae), and must be submitted no later than 5:00 pm (Pacific Daylight Time), Friday, September 29, 2000.

Proposal Statements should be sent to:

Regular Mail

Nevada Agency for Nuclear Projects
Nuclear Waste Project Office
Capitol Complex
Carson City NV 89710

Overnight Delivery

1802 N. Carson Street, Suite 252
Carson City NV 89701

ATTENTION: Mr. Joseph C. Strolin
Administrator, Planning Division


Proposal Statements may also be sent via e-mail to: Statements should be sent as attached files in either MS Word or Word Perfect format.

Questions concerning this solicitation can be directed to Mr. Strolin or Mr. Robert Loux, Executive Director of the Agency, at (702) 687-3744 (Phone) or (702) 687-5277 (Fax).

Selection Process

The Agency will select one or more contractors based upon a review of the Proposal Statement submitted in response to this solicitation and the applicant's proposed billing rate/fees. Specific evaluation criteria are as follows:

Quality and adequacy of proposals for implementing tasks (understanding of the work and activities required to implement the tasks)

30 points

Proposed cost for implementing the tasks

20 points


Knowledge of the federal high-level radioactive waste management program and federal nuclear waste activities in Nevada

10 points

Familiarity with the State of Nevada, especially southern Nevada (Clark County) and the communities likely to be impacted by the federal program

10 points

Familiarity and experience with major socioeconomic impact assessment and monitoring programs, especially those involving "special" or risk-induced impacts

10 points

Administrative systems capable of effectively managingthe project

5 points

Experience of professional staff

5 points

Ability to work effectively with peer review panels and other oversight bodies

5 points

Understanding of the national, state and local policy implications of impacts related to the impacts of nuclear waste facilities

5 points

Should there be responding applicants with expertise and qualifications specific to individual areas discussed in this RFP, the Agency may, at its discretion, select more than one applicant and divide the work accordingly. However, the Agency prefers to select a single firm or organization capable of carrying out the work needed to develop both major reports.

1. The Technical Review Committee (TRC) is a group of 10 nationally-known experts in various socioeconomic-transportation fields which has provided peer review and technical oversight for the socioeconomic studies since 1987. The TRC had input into all of the State studies and reviewed all work products.