The National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), saying it needs more time to carry out a management consolidation at two of the Energy Department’s biggest nuclear weapons production sites, said Wednesday it is considering extending the management and operation contracts of its Pantex warhead dismantlement plant in Amarillo, Texas, and the Y-12 uranium processing and storage facility at Oak Ridge, Tenn.

In a notice of intent posted Tuesday, the semi-autonomous DoE weapons agency said it did not plan to take competitive bids for the extensions and instead would keep its existing Y-12 and Pantex contractors.

The contract extensions will run from Oct. 1, 2010, through Sept. 20, 2011. Each also includes two additional three-month options which may be exercised by the agency if needed.

NNSA said the extensions would allow it to “complete the competitive process leading to award of a follow-on contract for the combined management of the Y-12 National Security Complex and the Pantex Plant, with an option for the phase-in of tritium operations performed at the Savannah River Site.” NNSA said the consolidation plan, announced earlier this year, would boost efficiency, cost savings and integration of the weapons complex.

Y-12 is managed by Babcock and Wilcox (B&W) Technical Services Y-12 LLC, a consortium led by B&W Technical Services and Bechtel National Inc.

Pantex is managed by Babcock and Wilcox Technical Services Pantex LLC, which is led by B&W Technical Services, Bechtel National and Honeywell [HON].