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Thursday, February 26, 2015
Battelle intrigued by NNSA possibilties
Interesting comments by Battelle - which is part of LLNS but not LANS, the key difference between the two LLCs.
If LANS looses the LANL rebid in a few years, would Battelle team with someone new like Lockeed Martin or Grumman to form an LLC to bid on LANL.
Or if LANS goes down, would UC see little value in continuing to team with Bechtel (and the other industrial partners) in LLNS and create a solely UC-Battelle owned LLC to bid and run LLNL.
Ron Townsend, Battelle’s executive vice president for global laboratory operations, was in Washington, D.C., last week for the 7th annual Nuclear Deterrence Summit, and it was very much a business trip. Townsend was there to better understand the challenges facing the NNSA and evaluate what roles Battelle might play in the nuclear weapons complex and what it might be able to contribute.
“We’re intrigued,” Townsend said in an interview. “We have a very strong science and energy portfolio. We manage three Science labs (Oak Ridge, Pacific Northwest and Brookhaven) and both Energy labs — Idaho and NREL. We don’t have a significant presence in the weapons area, the national nuclear security arena. But we’re intrigued by that.”
Currently, Battelle’s only work in the weapons complex is a subcontracting role at LLNL. “We’re responsible for work for others in the nonproliferation, counter-terrorism area. It’s a small role, but it’s an active role,” he said.
Townsend said it’s premature to say Battelle aspires to a greater role. “We’re assessing whether or not we ought to aspire,” he said.
But he said he thought that skills developed in managing five Department of Energy laboratories could prove valuable in the nuclear security enterprise.
“They translate directly,” Townsend said. “We believe that the best-practices principles that we’ve developed at the other laboratories translate directly, and it’s a question of is it something we really want to do.”
There’s a lot of talk swirling these days about changes in contractor governance and the introduction or re-introduction of in-the-public-interest contracting in the weapons complex. Townsend said that’s very much a Battelle thing.
“We love it,” he said. “Battelle embraced the public-service model before the public-serve model was even known. That’s who we are. I think it’s a great idea.”...
...Townsend didn’t specify any upcoming NNSA contracts of interest to Battelle, but he also didn’t seem to place any limits on possible roles.
“There’s a lot of churn in the NNSA complex in terms of potential management opportunities, whether it be the laboratory or (other)...I’m just curious.”
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