NNSA Releases Final Request for Proposal for Consolidated Contract Competition for Nuclear Production Operations

Press Release
Dec 14, 2011

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) today issued a Request for Proposal (RFP) for the management and operation of the Y-12 National Security Complex in Oak Ridge, Tenn. and the Pantex Plant in Amarillo, Texas, with an option for phase in of Tritium Operations performed at the Savannah River Site in Aiken, S.C. The RFP also includes a separate severable line item for the project management of the Uranium Processing Facility (UPF) at the Y-12 National Security Complex.

The release of the RFP comes after more than two years of analysis and outside reviews, conversations with numerous interested parties, and an informative public comment period. NNSA released a draft version of the RFP in July, which received 27 responses from interested stakeholders.

“We’re continuously improving the way we do business, and this RFP is a big part of it,” said NNSA Administrator Thomas D’Agostino. “We’re looking at everything with an eye toward streamlining our operations so we can direct more resources to critical mission work. Our new approach ensures that we are effective stewards of limited tax dollars while operating as a single, integrated enterprise. This RFP is a piece of a larger commitment to getting better, operating more efficiently, and working as one NNSA.”

NNSA laid out four specific objectives as it worked to implement its vision of an interdependent nuclear security enterprise. The four objectives that will be met through this contract are:

  1. Improving performance in the completion of national security missions for nuclear production operations;

  2. Transitioning and merging operations at geographically-dispersed centers of excellence for: nuclear weapon assembly/disassembly; enriched uranium; high-explosive production; and tritium supply management under a single contract;

  3. Reducing the cost of performing work; and

  4. Requiring actions that support operation as an integrated Department of Energy/NNSA enterprise.

As part of this approach, NNSA previously announced a decision to create a single consolidated nuclear production federal site office. A single site manager will be responsible for overseeing operations at Pantex and Y-12. In addition, NNSA decided that Protective Force services for Y-12 and Pantex be procured through a consolidated separate prime contract vehicle rather than through a proprietary management & operating model, as originally presented in the draft RFP.

Other improvements made to the RFP after release of the draft version include:

  • Established clear expectations that the successful contractor will accept risk, cost and otherwise, for project performance related to UPF, an important part of improved project management and stewardship of critical taxpayer dollars;
  • Modified the evaluation criteria for the award to reflect balance between mission accomplishment, continuous improvement, and cost savings;

  • Raised the maximum amount of the performance fee, lifted the cap on the amount of Cost Savings Incentive Fee or share-in-savings the contractor can earn, and reduced the amount of time the contractor can receive a share of savings from the life of the contract to two years maximum. These changes also emphasize the desired balance between mission accomplishment, continuous improvement, and cost savings;

  • Continued recognition of small businesses as teaming partners and now allows a separate fee for small business teaming partners as an allowable cost to the contract, which creates a more favorable cash flow situation for small businesses; and

  • Added nuclear production integration activities for all of the NNSA enterprise to the work to be performed under this contract.

Information regarding the RFP and the NNSA contracting strategy can be found at the following website: http://www.doeal.gov/MOContracts/Default.aspx.

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Established by Congress in 2000, NNSA is a semi-autonomous agency within the U.S. Department of Energy responsible for enhancing national security through the military application of nuclear science. NNSA maintains and enhances the safety, security, reliability and performance of the U.S. nuclear weapons stockpile without nuclear testing; works to reduce global danger from weapons of mass destruction; provides the U.S. Navy with safe and effective nuclear propulsion; and responds to nuclear and radiological emergencies in the U.S. and abroad.