Issue Date: May 14, 2007
DOE Names Contractor for Livermore Lab
The Department of Energy selected a consortium last week to run Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. The chosen team, which includes Bechtel National, the University of California, BWX Technologies, and Washington Group International, is the one selected last year to manage Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico. Therefore, the team will now operate two of three U.S. nuclear weapons labs; Sandia is the third. Battelle Memorial Institute, Texas A&M University, and several smaller contractors are also part of the LLNL consortium, which will receive $45.5 million annually to manage the Livermore lab. UC had operated both Los Alamos and Lawrence Livermore labs since their inception, but pressure to open the contracts to competitive bidding began a few years ago due to congressional displeasure over security breaches and operational problems at the labs. The result, however, was that UC has retained its leadership role, although supplemented by a new corporate team. DOE officials stressed in a press briefing that LLNL will profit from the consortium members' ability to "reach back" and gain knowledge and support from their corporate "parents." The new LLNL contract begins on Oct. 1.
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