The National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) will continue to bundle management of the Y-12 National Security Complex in Tennessee and the Pantex Plant in Texas in the post Consolidated Nuclear Security era, according to a pre-procurement note posted online Friday.

The single contract would be worth up to $28 billion over 10 years, including a five-year base “with options for up to five additional years,” the semiautonomous Department of Energy weapons agency said. The NNSA plans to post a draft request for proposals in August, according to Friday’s note.

The NNSA announced in June that it would not pick up the Bechtel National-led incumbent’s option to manage the two plants, citing time-card fraud, safety lapses, and lack of confidence about recruiting, retention, and cybersecurity. Consolidated Nuclear Security will be off the job after Sept. 30, 2021. The new contract’s transition period would notionally begin in June 20, the presolicitation notice says.

The notice does not address one rumor that has been bouncing around since the NNSA announced it was parting ways with Consolidated Nuclear Security: that the government might keep the incumbent, or at least Bechtel, on the job to continue building the Uranium Processing Facility at Y-12. That facility, under construction now, is supposed to be finished by December 2025, after which it will become the manufacturing hub for the uranium-fueled secondary stages of nuclear weapons.

BWX Technologies [BWXT], the former Pantex and Y-12 manager, has already indicated interest in the follow-on combined-site contract, as has Amentum – the former AECOM Management Services [ACM]. Bechtel has said it is “deeply” disappointed with the NNSA’s decision to cut Consolidated Nuclear Security loose.

Meanwhile, the NNSA has created an online hub to keep track of documents and data related to the soon-to-start competition for the combined Y-12-Pantex contract. Links to the draft solicitation will appear there, among other places, the NNSA said Friday.