Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Texans Renew LANL Interest

Albuquerque Journal North
Tuesday, April 5, 2005

Texans Renew LANL Interest

By Adam Rankin
Journal Staff Writer

University of Texas System chancellor Mark Yudof is going to take a second look at his February recommendation to the school's Board of Regents to pull out of the competition to run Los Alamos National Laboratory.

Following that recommendation, the board voted unanimously that month to withdraw from the Department of Energy's contest to manage LANL, even after allocating $500,000 early in 2004 to prepare for the competition.

But now things have changed.

At the request of the Board of Regents chairman James R. Huffines, Yudof is going to review the Energy Department's competition for LANL now that Lockheed Martin has rejoined the process and the potential performance-based management fee has been doubled to $60 million a year.

Current LANL manager, the University of California, earns a maximum performance-based management fee of $8 million a year.

University of Texas System spokesman Michael Warden said Yudof is expected to report back to the regents by the end of April at a special open meeting of the board not yet scheduled.

Warden said no votes would be cast and any discussion on the topic would be just be for information.

University of Texas officials said last week that they were taken by surprise by Lockheed Martin's recent announcement that it was rejoining the competition for the LANL contract. The defense contracting giant pulled out of the competition in August when it appeared that the chance to run the nuclear weapons research facility did not make good business sense.

A company spokesman said last week that changes in the contract instituted by DOE in February made the competition more fair, provoking Lockheed to reconsider.

In February, Lockheed and the University of Texas announced an expanded partnership at the Lockheed-run Sandia National Laboratories, in Albuquerque. The university will have an increased role in some unclassified research.

Prior to Lockheed's withdrawal from the LANL competition in August, the company had been in talks with LANL's current manager, the University of California, about partnering in a bid to manage LANL's new contract and had been rumored to be in talks with the University of Texas.

Comments: Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?