Thom Mason, former director of Oak Ridge National Laboratory, has been named president of Triad National Security LLC, which has been awarded a $25 billion contract to manage and operate the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico.
Mason, who is senior vice president for global laboratory operations at Battelle, will also serve as director designate of the lab during the transition period, according to a press release issued by Battelle in Columbus, Ohio.
Battelle and its partners on the Triad team announced Monday that they can officially begin the transition to operating Los Alamos National Laboratory, one of the nation’s premier scientific and nuclear research facilities.
In the press release, which is posted on its website, Battelle said Mason will work closely with the laboratory’s current director, Terry Wallace, to ensure a smooth changeover between operating teams.
“It is a tremendous honor to be selected as director-designate of one of the world’s leading scientific institutions, that is working at the forefront of science to solve complex nuclear security and energy challenges,” Mason said in the press release. “I look forward to working closely with NNSA, the current management team, laboratory staff, and community members to carry out a seamless transition that advances the laboratory’s long legacy of scientific excellence in service to the nation.”
The U.S. Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration announced June 8 that it had awarded the contract to Triad National Security. The company consists of Battelle, the University of California, and Texas A&M University. Other partners include Fluor Federal Services, Huntington Ingalls Industries/Stoller Newport News, Longenecker and Associates, TechSource, Strategic Management Solutions, and Merrick and Company.
The NNSA notified Triad on Thursday, July 5, that it could proceed with the launch of the official transition process. That was an important milestone, Battelle said.
The contract includes a five-year base with five one-year options, for a total of 10 years if all options are exercised, the press release said. The estimated value of the contract is $2.5 billion annually.
“We are honored by DOE’s decision to award the Los Alamos National Laboratory management and operations contract to our team,” said Battelle President and Chief Executive Officer Lou Von Thaer. “We have the lab management experience to make a difference, and I’m committing the resources of Battelle to help ensure the success of this contract.”
The press release said Los Alamos is one of the largest science and technology institutes in the world, and it conducts multidisciplinary research in fields such as national security, space exploration, renewable energy, medicine, nanotechnology, and supercomputing.
“We’re both honored and excited to have this opportunity,” said Ron Townsend, Battelle’s executive vice president for global laboratory operations and a former executive at ORAU in Oak Ridge. “We recognize the importance of the nuclear mission and understand the challenge and the opportunity. Our experience and proven track record in lab management, along with the experience of our partners, provide NNSA with a team that will drive appropriate culture change, improve safety, and execute the lab’s mission with distinction.”
The current contract, held by Los Alamos National Security, expires at the end of September. A four-month extension period will provide stability for the workforce and ensure efficient continuity of operations until Triad takes over full management and operations following transition, the press release said.
“In addition to ensuring the integrity of the laboratory’s scientific enterprise and its safe and secure operation, Triad is committed to building strong partnerships in Northern New Mexico by investing in educational and economic development programs as well as charitable organizations,” the release said.
Battelle currently has a management role at six DOE national labs including Pacific Northwest National Lab, Brookhaven National Lab, Oak Ridge National Lab, the National Renewable Energy Lab, Idaho National Lab, and Lawrence Livermore National Lab. It also operates the National Biodefense Analysis and Countermeasures Center for the Department of Homeland Security.
More information will be added as it becomes available.
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