Nov. 02--Ten months later, the National Nuclear Security Administration came to the same conclusion, again selecting Consolidated Nuclear Security LLC -- a partnership headed by Bechtel National and Lockheed Martin -- to manage the Y-12 and Pantex nuclear weapons plants.
The combined contract award is valued at more than $22 billion over 10 years, and Bruce Held, acting administrator of the NNSA, said the winning team offered the best value to the government. That was evident by the team's "superior technical and management approach" and its "lower evaluated cost," Held said in a statement.
Friday's announcement came after a series of protests filed by the losing bidders, Nuclear Production Partners (headed by Babcock & Wilcox) and Integrated Nuclear Solutions (a partnership that includes Jacobs Engineering and Fluor), and a follow-up review by the National Nuclear Security Administration. Before reaffirming its Jan. 8 selection of CNS as the winning contractor, the NNSA gathered more data on cost savings from the proposal teams in an attempt to resolve a protest concern validated by the Government Accountability Office.
It's not clear, however, if this latest decision will stick or whether additional protests will be filed in the days ahead. B&W Technical Services President George Dudich, in a statement posted on the company's website said the Nuclear Production Partners team was "disappointed" and emphasized that the team felt it had the strongest bid, based on comments from the board that evaluated the contract proposals. But he said the company would look closely at what the NNSA has to say during briefings before "determining our next steps."
There was no immediate comment from the Jacobs/Fluor team.
Bechtel spokesman Jason Bohne released a statement on behalf of the CNS team, which -- in addition to Bechtel and Lockheed Martin -- includes ATK Launch Systems Inc. and SOC LLC.
The team also plans to use Booz Allen Hamilton as subcontractor for "merger and transformation" activities and could add General Atomics to the team if the government decides to incorporate the tritium operations at the Savannah River site in South Carolina as part of the mega-sized contract.
"We fully appreciate the NNSA's reaffirmation that the CNS contract award provides the best value to the government for managing and operating the Pantex and Y-12 sites," Bohne said.
He said the team members provide a "highly credible solution" to managing the plants at Oak Ridge and Amarillo, Texas.
Bohne said Consolidated Nuclear Security has maintained a "high state of readiness" since the contract was originally awarded in January. Because of the protests, however, they were prohibited from doing any transition work at Y-12 or Pantex during the interim period.
It's still not clear when the transition will occur. That will depend, in part, on whether the award is challenged. The losing teams have up to 10 days to file additional appeals to the contract award.
Following the initial contract award in January, the NNSA said the CNS proposal promised to save the government more than $3 billion through efficiencies in managing the two plants in a combined manner.
In the statement released Friday, Held said, "This award puts NNSA in a position to improve mission delivery by focusing on the way we operate, saving taxpayer dollars, and aligning ourselves for the future."