I am very pleased that the Department of Energy has granted the University
of California the honor to continue managing the Lawrence Berkeley National
Laboratory. It is your hard work, under the leadership of Director Steve
Chu, which I believe the Department of Energy recognized in awarding UC
continued management of LBNL. Thank you for your commitment to the work
that E. O. Lawrence set us on a course to do some 60 years ago.
I am also writing to inform you of developments related to the contract
competition for the management of your sister lab, Los Alamos National
Today the University of California announced that it intends to partner
with Bechtel National, Inc. to prepare a bid for the competition for the
Los Alamos National Laboratory contract. Contingent on the University
of California Board of Regents deciding to compete, and the University
winning the contract, this agreement also calls for UC and Bechtel to
form a partnership to manage the lab on behalf of the Department of Energy.
I believe the formation of this strong partnership places the University
in the best possible position for a successful bid for continued management
of this great institution. A UC-Bechtel partnership allows the excellence
in science and technology to continue while management and operations
are enhanced and strengthened.
While this teaming agreement does not directly impact many of you, I
believe it is important for you to be aware of this management action.
The teaming agreement with Bechtel, I believe, is in the best interests
of the nation, the Department of Energy, Los Alamos and the University.
Throughout their history, the UC-managed laboratories have achieved stunning
scientific and technological successes, and I believe the University’s
presence plays a major role in fostering that tradition of superior science.
I also believe that bringing together the academic, scientific, and technological
expertise of the University with the project management, administration
and business operations expertise of Bechtel is in the best interest of
the nation and of the laboratory.
This partnership combines Bechtel’s world-class program and project
management, facilities management, safety and environmental management,
and robust government business systems with the University’s excellent
scientific and technological skills. As part of the team, we will be joined
by Washington Group International (WGI) and BWX Technologies, Inc. (BWXT).
WGI is a leading provider of integrated engineering, construction, and
management services to the Department of Energy. BWXT is the premier manager
of complex, high-consequence nuclear and national security operations.
As you are aware, the partnership also includes a consortium of New Mexico
institutions that will form the Advanced Studies Institute at LANL. These
institutions include the University of New Mexico, New Mexico State University
and New Mexico Institute for Mining and Technology. The agreement with
these institutions solidifies the role of New Mexico universities as part
of a bid to compete for the LANL contract.
For more than three decades, I have had a strong relationship with the
UC-managed national laboratories and I continue to be in awe of the scientific
and technological work being done at the labs. I, for one, would like
the University’s association with the laboratories to continue,
but I want to see the final request for proposals before an ultimate decision
is made. My primary concern is how we organize ourselves to maintain and
nurture the quality of science conducted at the lab, in a culture of strong
operations and management.
It is important to note that the University’s final decision to
compete for management of LANL will be made by the Board of Regents once
the final request for proposals has been disseminated by the Department
of Energy and has been thoroughly reviewed.
Robert C. Dynes
the UC press release.