The University of Texas on Friday approved an extra $7 million for the institution’s bid on the next Los Alamos National Laboratory management and operations contract with the Department of Energy.

The funding will help pay costs associated with taking over management of the nuclear weapons lab, if the university wins the competition. The University of Texas needs the $7 million “to provide bridge financing to support the successful transition of management for the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico,” according to the agenda for Friday’s Board of Regents meeting. The funding would come from the UT System Internal Lending Program.lanl

The Department of Energy is expected to award the Los Alamos National Laboratory management and operations contract this month. The pact is worth more than $20 billion over 10 years, including options, and the winner could earn as much as $50 million in annual lab management fees.

Known bidders for the contract are:

  • The University of Texas and an unidentified industry partner or partners.
  • The University of California, with a team encompassing Texas A&M University, according to the Austin American-Statesman.
  • Bechtel National and Purdue University.
  • Jacobs [JEC] and BWX Technologies [BWXT].

Incumbent prime Los Alamos National Security lost the lab management contract it took in 2006 after a series of nuclear safety lapses and management snafus. The deal could have run until 2026. Longtime Los Alamos manager University of California leads the incumbent, along with senior industry partner Bechtel National and corporate teammates AECOM and BWX Technologies.

AECOM [ACM] is not bidding on the follow-on contract.