University of California regents vote to bid for Los Alamos contract

The University of California system, as expected, wants to keep operating Los Alamos National Laboratory. The system’s Board of Regents voted Thursday to authorize a bid for the management and operating contract at the federal nuclear weapons lab in the mountains of New Mexico.

University of Texas System regents, meanwhile, are expected to vote on a Los Alamos bid Nov. 27, having postponed action on the matter last week.

The University of California was the lab’s sole operator for decades. It currently is part of a consortium running the lab. Federal officials signaled in late 2015 that the consortium would lose its contract, which expires Sept. 30 next year, because it failed to earn high enough performance reviews.

“We are committed to assembling a proposal that upholds Los Alamos’ long tradition of scientific and technological excellence and ensures the continued high quality and integrity of its critical national security missions,” UC Regent Ellen Tauscher, a former undersecretary of state for arms control and international security, and Kimberly Budil, UC vice president for national laboratories, said in a statement.

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