University of California consortium holds onto Lawrence-Livermore work

The Energy Department chose a University of California-led team to continue operating the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California for the next seven years, winning over a competing bid from a team led by Northrop Grumman Corp.

The Livermore lab management and operating contract, valued at $319 million over seven years, was awarded to Lawrence Livermore National Security LLC, a limited liability corporation composed of the University of California, Bechtel National Inc., BWX Technologies Inc., Washington Group International Inc., Battelle Memorial Institute, and Texas A&M University.

The University of California had managed Livermore on its own since 1952, and recently added Bechtel and others as partners.

Livermore is one of several nuclear weapons facilities operated by the U. of California. The Bush Administration in 2004 decided to put up for bid the operation of Livermore and of Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico, both managed by the university, after reports of lax security, mismanagement and poor safety records at Los Alamos.

However, the University of California managed to retain both contracts. In December 2005, a team led by the university and Bechtel beat out a challenge from a team led by Lockheed Martin Corp. and the University of Texas to win the Los Alamos contract.

Northrop Grumman, which submitted a bid for the Livermore contract, said that its team included AECOM Government Services Inc., CH2M Hill Constructors Inc., Wackenhut Services Inc. and Nuclear Fuel Services, Inc.

Observers of the competition said in the media that the University of California team submitted a lower-cost bid and had more substantial academic and basic research participation.

About the Author

Alice Lipowicz is a staff writer covering government 2.0, homeland security and other IT policies for Federal Computer Week.

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