How can we properly acknowledge the rollout of another generation of nuclear weapons and delivery systems funded by one of the largest US programs in the federal budget? We will simply quote the Los Alamos Study Group’s email of December 6, 2022
The War Zone
Detailing the public reveal of the B-21
US Nuclear Weapons Complex Continues to Ramp Up
Media Release from Los Alamos Study Group
“The sudden, 5-year contract extensions of 3 major management contracts since August of this year signals a radical shift in NNSA contractor management.
“(Los Alamos National Lab) LANL’s no-bid, cost-plus contract is the largest to be extended so far. It is one of the largest contracts of the federal government. The anticipated ten years of work at LANL will likely cost taxpayers between $35 and $40 billion.
“There is very little accountability in the NNSA-contractor relationship. NNSA is even more privatized than DOE, which is the most privatized federal department. Nearly all of DOE’s and NNSA’s work is done by contractors.
“The present, inadequate performance evaluation system is being scrapped in favor of essentially no accountability at all. LANL is being given five more contract years, worth about $20 billion, prior to and independent of performance evaluations for future years.
“This is a recipe for disaster. NNSA’s internal reporting [item 3] reveals that contractor and federal officials do not believe NNSA can succeed in its missions under the present management structure. NNSA’s work is increasingly “exponentially,” it says. At least 3 production sites are working 24/7. Yet what NNSA is doing in response to this situation is the opposite of what needs to be done, which is to slow down.
“It be reliably predicted that what is going to happen are fiascos, accidents, shut-downs and fiscal waste. We don’t know where or how or when accidents and fiascos will occur, but this “hands-off” approach to NNSA’s big nuclear contractors will come to grief.
“Congress is going to wake up some day and ask, ‘Where did all that money we gave you go? Your costs are exploding, your schedules delayed, and your scope of work keeps expanding!’ Some senator may ask, ‘Who’s in charge here? A federal agency, or a contractor cartel?”
“Instead of breaking every contracting rule in the book, NNSA needs to slow down and add accountability, not take what little they have away. Congressional committees need to realize that the people of this country, not NNSA contractors, are where the real crisis lies. The people, not the bomb contractors, need attention and help.”
NNSA announces extension of terms for Los Alamos National Laboratory management and operating contract
WASHINGTON – The Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration announced today it has exercised Option Periods 1 through 5 of Triad National Security, LLC’s management and operating contract for Los Alamos National Laboratory. Triad is made up of three members: Battelle Memorial Institute, The Texas A&M University System and the University of California.
The exercise of Option Periods 1 through 5 extends the period of performance of Triad’s contract from November 1, 2023, through October 30, 2028. Exercising Option Periods 1 through 5 is the most advantageous method of fulfilling the mission needs of NNSA, considering current price, past performance, and most importantly, the immediate need for continuity of performance during Fiscal Years 2023 through 2028.
As a Federally Funded Research and Development Center, the Los Alamos National Laboratory aligns its strategic plan with priorities set by the Department’s National Nuclear Security Administration, and key national strategy guidance documents, such as the Administration’s Nuclear Posture Review, the National Security Strategy, and the Blueprint for a Secure Energy Future. As the senior laboratory in the DOE system, LANL executes work on all of DOE’s missions: national security, science, energy, and environmental management.
In addition, Los Alamos National Laboratory performs work for the Department of Defense, Intelligence Community, and Department of Homeland Security, among others. As a result, LANL strategy reflects U.S. priorities spanning nuclear security, intelligence, defense, emergency response, nonproliferation, counterterrorism, energy security, emerging threats, and environmental management.
- NNSA announces contract extension to Consolidated Nuclear Security for the management and operation of the Y-12 National Security Complex and the Pantex Plant (October 3, 2022)
- NNSA announces exercise of terms for Nevada National Security Site management and operating contract (August 17, 2022)
- NNSA: “Evolving the Nuclear Security Enterprise,” Sep 2022
- NNSA report calls for reform of management and ops contracts; says parents cos. of site management teams of little help, Exchange Monitor, Oct 28, 2022
- LANL Agenda, LA-UR-20658, Jan 2022 update and LANL Agenda, LA-UR-21-20301, Jan 13, 2021, received by FOIA; Los Alamos lab “agenda:” novel nuclear weapons and new ways to use them, hypersonic nuclear weapons, new nuclear waste disposal facility, additional production missions, biosecurity “leadership,” “proactive” counterintelligence, press release, Nov 23, 2022
- NNSA Management and Operating Contractor Performance Evaluation Plans & Reports (PEPs & PERs)
- Competition – or Collusion? Privatization and Crony Capitalism in the Nuclear Weapons Complex: Some Questions from New Mexico, May 30, 2006
- “Structural Features Making NNSA an Unusual Federal Agency,” memo for VP Biden, 2016
- “Management Challenges at the Department of Energy – Fiscal Year 2023,” DOE Inspector General, Nov. 22, 2022