The National Nuclear Security Administration is due to award the next management and operations contract for the Los Alamos National Laboratory this week, according to the timetable the agency set in a request for proposals last year.
But with May about to fall off the calendar, there is hardly any time to get the new lab contractor on the job by the time incumbent Los Alamos National Security’s (LANS) contract runs out Sept. 30.
In an October 2017 solicitation, the NNSA estimated the transition to the next contract — a $20-billion-plus, 10-year deal, including options —would take four months. That would point to a Wednesday award, at the latest.
If the semiautonomous Energy Department agency does not award the follow-on management pact by then, LANS’ deal would seemingly have to be extended. The incumbent is led by longtime Los Alamos manager the University of California with senior industry partner Bechtel, and industry teammates AECOM and BWX Technologies.
Known bidders on the next Los Alamos management are:
- The University of Texas and an unidentified industry partner or partners.
- Texas A&M University, which is part of the University of California’s team, according to the Austin American-Statesman.
- Bechtel National and Purdue University.
- Jacobs and BWX Technologies.
AECOM is not bidding on the work.
“We are waiting, awaiting the decision of the government, which should occur shortly,” Kimberly Budil, vice president for national laboratories at the University of California, said last week during a Board of Regents meeting. “Other than that, we have no additional news on that front.”
The next Los Alamos National Laboratory manager will continue the lab’s work to study and verify the effectiveness of the U.S. nuclear stockpile without nuclear explosive tests. It will also manufacture new warhead cores called plutonium pits for the nuclear deterrent modernization and maintenance program set in place in 2016 by the Barack Obama administration.