New Y-12 management firm starts in December under a $2.8 billion contract

Y-12 National Security Complex and its 6,200 employees will be under new management beginning in December.

The Department of Energy awarded an estimated $2.8 billion contract to Nuclear Production One LLC to manage and operate the Oak Ridge facility and Pantex Plant, located in Amarillo, Texas.

Many Y-12 employees will have the option to keep their jobs at the same pay, according to the Department of Energy.

Nuclear Production One's contract begins in December. Consolidated Nuclear Security will continue its management of Y-12, a manufacturing and storage site for nuclear weapons material, until its contract expires at the end of March.

The four-month transition period is intended to minimize the impact on workers, the Department of Energy office of National Nuclear Security Administration, which awarded the contract, said in a press release.

Nuclear Production One's contract is a five-year minimum with five one-year extension options.

The University of Tennessee System and the Texas A&M University System also submitted a bid to jointly manage and operate the facilities. 

The new contract requires Nuclear Production One to offer positions to all current employees "it deems necessary for completing the requirements of the contract" aside from some top managers, according to a DOE press release.

Nuclear Production One must offer the same pay to employees who stay in their current positions, according to a press release, and must sponsor existing retirement plans and permit employees to remain in those plans.

Nuclear Production One is an LLC created in 2020 by nuclear cleanup company Fluor Federal Services Inc., based in Texas, and construction management firm AECOM Energy & Construction, an Amentum company, based in California.

The National Nuclear Security Administration announced in June 2020 it would not extend Consolidated Nuclear Security's contract, which it had held since 2014.

Consolidated Nuclear Security will continue to directly employ more than 1,400 personnel on the Uranium Processing Facility construction project, which it will continue to manage following the transition of Y-12.

The Department of Energy noted it was looking for a new manager to improve organizational culture.

Y-12 was built as part of the Manhattan Project and the facility maintains the U.S. nuclear stockpile, secures nuclear materials and provides enriched uranium to the U.S. Navy.

Source: Knoxville News Sentinel, by Brenna McDermott

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Published December 9, 2021