Department of Energy to Compete Management and Operating Contracts for Three Office of Science Laboratories

WASHINGTON, DC - The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced today that it plans to begin competing the management and operating (M&O) contracts for three of its Office of Science national laboratories over the next 18 months. These competitions are part of DOE’s policy to compete M&O contracts for DOE National Laboratories to ensure the greatest possible benefit to the Department of Energy and the American taxpayers.

The laboratories to be competed and their current M&O contractors are Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL) operated by Brookhaven Science Associates, Long Island, NY; Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) operated by Princeton University, Princeton, NJ; and Stanford Linear Accelerator Center (SLAC) operated by Stanford University, Palo Alto, CA.

The contract for BNL expires January 4, 2008, and for SLAC September 30, 2007. The PPPL contract expires September 30, 2007, with provisions for up to 12 additional one-month extensions to September 30, 2008, if required for an orderly selection process. Additional information about the competitive processes for the contracts to manage and operate each of these Laboratories will be announced when available.

Excluding the three laboratory contracts announced today, competitions for four contracts have been completed, and two are in progress. The four completed contracts are those for Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Thomas Jefferson National Accelerator Facility, Argonne National Laboratory, and Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory. Contract competitions are underway for Ames Laboratory and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.

In announcing the new competitions, Under Secretary for Science Dr. Raymond L. Orbach said, “Our experience in the Office of Science is that competition always results in better contracts and improved operations of our world-leading research facilities. This is the reason for our decision to compete the contracts for these three laboratories."

Brookhaven National Laboratory is a multi-program laboratory, conducting research in nuclear and high-energy physics, physics and chemistry of materials, environmental and energy research, nonproliferation, neurosciences and medical imaging, and structural biology. Unique user research facilities include the Alternating Gradient Synchrotron, Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider and National Synchrotron Light Source, Center for Functional Nanomaterials, NASA Space Radiation Laboratory, Positron Emission Tomography (PET) Facility, and others.

Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory is a collaborative national center for plasma and fusion science. Part of the Laboratory’s mission is to provide the highest quality science education in fusion energy, plasma physics, and related technologies. Research facilities include the National Spherical Torus Experiment, National Compact Stellerator Experiment, and others. The Laboratory also plays an important role in U.S. participation in the international ITER experiment to construct a burning plasma fusion reactor in France.

Stanford Linear Accelerator Center’s mission is to design, construct and operate state-of-the-art electron accelerators and related experimental facilities for use in high-energy physics, synchrotron radiation and photon science research. Research facilities include its linear accelerator and associated detectors, Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Laboratory, and the Linac Coherent Light Source, under construction.

DOE's Office of Science is the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the nation and helps ensure U.S. world leadership across a broad range of scientific disciplines. The Office of Science supports a diverse portfolio of research at more than 300 colleges and universities nationwide, manages 10 world-class national laboratories with unmatched capabilities for solving complex interdisciplinary scientific problems, and builds and operates the world’s finest suite of scientific facilities and instruments used annually by more than 19,000 researchers to extend the frontiers of all areas of science.

Media contact(s):
Craig Stevens, (202) 586-4940