WEST LAFAYETTE – Purdue University will not be managing the Los Alamos National Laboratory, after the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration on Friday awarded the contract to run the research facility in New Mexico to a team that included the University of California and Texas A&M.
Purdue had teamed with Bechtel, a San Francisco-based contractor, on a 10-year contract that would have been worth roughly $25 billion – not including the potential for tens of millions of dollars more in annual bonuses and millions more in possible research money – to run one of the nation’s top research and nuclear weapons facilities.
“While we are disappointed to have not been selected, it was a tremendous privilege to be among the strong group of finalists competing to manage Los Alamos National Laboratory,” Purdue President Mitch Daniels said Friday morning. “The management of Los Alamos is a solemn responsibility for U.S. national security and the protection of our citizens, and we wish the very best to those involved in that essential mission.”
BACKGROUND: Is Purdue ready to run Los Alamos?
Daniels, through a spokeswoman on campus, said he did not plan on Friday to elaborate further on Purdue’s bid. Beyond confirming the bid in April, Daniels and Purdue trustees have been mum about going after the contract, saying they were trying to respect the bidding process. Though he did say in April: “I do believe this is the sort of level Purdue should be playing at, let me put it that way.”
The Department of Energy did not publicly release the names of bidders, other than on Friday when it announced the winning team.