Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Today's the Day for LANL

By John Arnold
Journal Staff Writer

The wait is almost over for thousands of Los Alamos National Laboratory employees eager to learn who their next manager will be.

Department of Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman is scheduled to announce the winner of the seven-year contract— worth up to $79 million dollars— today in Washington, D.C. The current lab manager, the University of California, has teamed up with engineering firm Bechtel National and other industrial partners in its bid to continue operating the lab. That team is competing against another academic-industrial alliance, led by defense contractor Lockheed Martin and the University of Texas.

"Certainly the employees of the lab are anxious to know (the winner)," said UC/Bechtel spokesman Jeff Berger. "And it will be very good for them, I think, to have closure and to know how this process ends."

The process began in 2003 on the heels of a series of well-publicized security and management scandals. That's when former Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham announced that LANL's operating contract would be put up for bid for the first time in the lab's 63-year history.


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