A panoply of biddersengineer-contractors, R&D firms and universitiesare eyeing a potential multi-billion-dollar, 10-year contract to manage what the U.S. Dept. of Energy envisions as the premier federal facility for nuclear energy research and security at its former weapons complex near Idaho Falls.
Bids are due next month to manage what will be renamed the Idaho National Laboratory, which will include the Argonne National Laboratory-West and other units of the current Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory.
Rebidding the management contract could be worth at least $5 billion. Bechtel Group Inc. and BWX Technologies now run the site. But they have split for the next round. Bechtel is now teamed with Honeywell, Entergy Corp. and the Texas A&M University system. BWXT is teaming with Battelle, Washington Group International, the Electric Power Research Institute and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Also announcing a bid is a team including Kellogg Brown & Root, Teledyne FNS, Exelon and the University of Chicago. Another contender, not announced, is a team that so far includes Shaw Group and the University of Missouri, sources say.
DOE was to seek bids for a separate contract worth $2.6 billion to manage cleanup of the Idaho site. But a spokesman says procurement is delayed. We have to iron out issues in it, he says. Last month, DOEs Inspector General reported long delays at three major cleanup projects at the site because of poor agency oversight of contractors and problems with fixed-price privatization contracts. The delays could add $56 million to waste disposal costs there.