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Wednesday, January 17, 2007  
Green Company bids to Manage Lawrence Livermore Labs

By: Christina Aanestad
Published In: SF Bay Area Independent Media

Livermore Labs GREEN, a consortium of environmental and social justice groups filed a formal complaint with the National Nuclear Security Administration today, alleging the agency wrongfully rejected it?s bid to manage the Livermore National Laboratory. Livermore Labs GREEN claims its bid to manage the nuclear weapons research facility was rejected because of misinformation and its environmentally friendly vision for the labs.

Imagine the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratories as a hub for alternative energy and global warming research-a lab that plans to phase out plutonium and nuclear research. That?s what Livermore Labs GREEN LLC is proposing to do in its bid to manage the Lawrence Livermore Labs, one of the nations two nuclear research facilities. Marylia Kelly is executive director of Tri Valley Cares and a founder of Livermore Labs GREEN LLC.

?About 85% of the Livermore Labs budget goes to nuclear research and development. This means nuclear proliferation worldwide. This means nuclear and toxic pollution, here in our communities. We proposed to move all the plutonium and highly enriched uranium out of the labs within 4 years and to transition all of the classified nuclear weapons work out with in 5 years. We would also make Livermore labs a center for the development of alternative non-polluting energy and we?d make it a center for developing new clean- up technologies fort toxic and radio active waste.?

Last year the National Nuclear Security Administration or NNSA announced open bids to manage the Livermore National Labs. So, anti-nuclear proliferation and social justice groups formed a corporation called Livermore Lab?s GREEN, LLC, to bid on the labs? management. But the NNSA rejected its bid. Kelley believes the bid was rejected because it went against the Department of Energy?s nuclear policy. The NNSA maintains GREEN LLC?s bid was rejected because it did not contain all the necessary paperwork. Julieanne Smith spokesperson for the NNSA says the bids are confidential.

?This is a procurement issue. Which means that ah, there are certain privacy issues certain laws we need to follow. And that isn?t something that we could release. We can?t even talk about how many people have submitted bids and who they are and what was in their bids. That?s inappropriate and not something we would do.?

According to Kelly the two other contenders for the labs management are the UC-Bechtel partnership which manages the Los Alamos Labs and Northrup Grummond a military defense contractor. Livermore Labs GREEN LLC is challenging the NNSA?s rejection and asking the national nuclear agency to reinstate them as active bidders for the Livermore Labs management. Kelley says the NNSA?s allegations are false.

?The department of energy treated our bid very differently than it treated the bid from UC Bechtel and the bid from Northrup Grummond. For example, in their rejection document the Department of Energy claimed that there were things missing fro the bid package that simply weren?t missing. All you had to do was look and they were there.?

Livermore Labs GREEN consists of four groups, Tri Valley Cares, the Nuclear Watch of New Mexico, New College of California, and Wind Miller Energy, a green energy company. The management contracts last for 7 years. If denied the right to bid on this year?s contract, Kelley says they may bid again, but, this years bid is to show the viable alternatives to nuclear research and development. Kelly is challenging the winning bidder to follow suit.

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