UC Board of Regents approves LANL bid submission

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By Tris DeRoma

The University of California regents Thursday approved a plan for the 10-campus system to bid on the Los Alamos National Laboratory’s management and operations contract.
Board of Regents member and former U.S. Under Secretary for Arms Control and International Security Ellen Tauscher and UC Vice President for National Laboratories Kimberly Budil, submitted a joint statement on the board’s vote shortly after it was taken.
“Today’s action by the UC Board of Regents authorizing the University to submit a bid for the management and operating contract of Los Alamos National Laboratory is further evidence of UC’s ongoing commitment to the stewardship of this great scientific and technological enterprise,” they said.
UC has been involved in the managing the lab for 75 years. Since 2005, it’s latest role is being a partner with Bechtel, BWXT Government Group Inc., and URS.
The partnership is known as Los Alamos National Security LLC. In 2015, the Department of Energy decided not to extend LANS’ contract, citing several lapses in safety. UC has until Dec. 11 to submit a bid. LANS’ contract expires Sept. 30 of next year.
According to the National Nuclear Security Administration’s website, 39 other potential contractors may be interested in submitting a bid.
UC officials made sure to include UC’s management experience with the lab as a selling point in its bid.
“With 75 years of experience managing Los Alamos, the University of California is a driving force behind the national security mission of our nation,” Tauscher and Budil said in their statement. “UC has an exemplary record of excellence and public service in scientific and technological management of Los Alamos over the decades it has been involved in its stewardship, and we are confident that the University has the unmatched expertise that the lab needs to fulfill its mission in the years ahead.”