Our chemical weapons experts constructed and operated the Johnston Atoll Chemical Agent Disposal System (JACADS)—the prototype of modern demilitarization facilities—and our heritage continues today as the prime operating contractor at four active chemical weapons disposal facilities, all of which we also built. Through a comprehensive risk management program and rigorous program management, we keep these facilities on track to meet the United States’ obligations under the Chemical Weapons Convention.
Despite the pressure of meeting treaty requirements, all four active sites have earned the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) top safety honor—VPP Star Status. A strict conduct of operations has led to a safety record four times better than the industry standard. Twenty years of experience and over 2,500 personnel skilled in high-hazard operations enables URS to safely destroy and incinerate chemical weapons—90% of the U.S. stockpile and more than any other company in the world.
The periodic discovery of weapons—chemical and conventional—presents ongoing challenges and serious risks to life and property. We leverage our experience and technical capabilities to properly handle and dispose of weapons, whether they are Unexploded Ordnance (UXO) or recovered chemical weapons. We are a contract holder in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Worldwide Environmental Remediation Services (WERS) program to help deal with such hazards. Beyond proper destruction of weapons, URS supports training for first responders from the U.S. Army and civilian agencies to further minimize the threat posed by these dangers.
URS’ team of subject matter experts on biological weapons works to improve public health infrastructure, which helps mitigate the impact of a bio-weapon attack. We train health professionals to detect and report on disease outbreaks and potential epidemics—in both human and animal populations—around the world. We also help clients design, build, operate and maintain safe and secure laboratories, where we also develop and establish effective biosafety and biosecurity procedures. In recognition of this expertise, the Defense Threat Reduction Agency selected URS as one of five companies for its Biological Threat Reduction Program (BTRP).
In addition, URS designs solutions to prevent the spread of nuclear materials. Partnered with Randolph Construction Services and the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), the Company is engaged in the Second Line of Defense (SLD) program. The objective of SLD is to detect the movement of and intercept illegal nuclear materials. Radiation detection technologies will be installed in more than 30 countries around the world, including more than 100 seaports and more than 500 hundred transit sites. Similar projects are also in development at airports and seaports in the United States.
Since 1994, URS has managed several projects in the Former Soviet Union for the Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA). This includes the elimination of over 200 ICBMs under the START I treaty and the conversion of a plutonium enrichment facility to a conventional power plant in order to heat homes in part of Siberia. Despite the dangerous nature of our work, URS has accumulated more than 12 million hours of work without a single lost-time accident.