Northrop targets nuke lab

Northrop Grumman officials announced plans today to bid on a contract worth $2.2 billion per year to manage Los Alamos National Laboratory.

The pact will have a base period of seven years and options that could extend the contract to 20 years. University of California officials have managed the Energy Department lab since its inception in 1943. The university’s contract expires Sept. 30, 2005.

In pursuing the massive contract, Northrop Grumman officials said they will tap the company’s experience in managing large-scale operations such as the Joint Base Operations and Support Contract for the Cape Canaveral Space port, the U.S. Missile Defense Agency’s Joint National Integration Center and the Joint Forces Command’s Cyber Warfare Integration Network.

Northrop Grumman officials are looking for partners from the business and academic sectors, but they have not yet signed any agreements, according to a company spokeswoman.

Other likely bidders on the Los Alamos deal include Lockheed Martin, which runs the Sandia National Laboratories. In addition, University of California officials are preparing for the contract competition, according to the university system’s Web site.

The final request for proposals for the Los Alamos contract is expected soon. Officials at Energy's National Nuclear Security Administration issued a draft RFP late last year.

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