UT and Texas A&n are joining forces in an attempt to take over management of Y-12 National Security Complex in Tennessee and the Pantex Plant in Texas.
According to a press release, top leaders of The Texas A&M University System and the University of Tennessee System have formed a strategic alliance to compete for the management-and-operations contract for the plants.
"Both university systems bring extensive experience in understanding the missions of these plants and experience in working with the U.S. Department of Energy and the National Nuclear Security Administration, which oversee Y-12 and Pantex. The Texas A&M System is part of Triad National Security, which has managed Los Alamos National Laboratory since 2018. The University of Tennessee System is a member of UT-Battelle — the management team of Oak Ridge National Laboratory since 2000," according to the release.
Y-12 and Pantex are both key nuclear production capabilities in the Nuclear Security Enterprise.
Pantex, near Amarillo, is responsible for maintaining the safety, security and effectiveness of the nation’s nuclear weapons stockpile. Y-12, in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, is the nation’s only source of enriched uranium nuclear weapons components and provides enriched uranium for the U.S. Navy.
“Partnering with Texas A&M to explore ways in which our university systems can further serve the U.S. Department of Energy at Y-12 and Pantex is a no-brainer,” UT System President Randy Boyd said. “Both institutions bring experience in M&O contracting, broad workforce and talent development programs, and a commitment to serve our students, states and the nation.”
“The drive to serve our nation and provide workforce training for the nation’s nuclear security enterprise are woven into our DNA at the Texas A&M System,” Chancellor John Sharp of the Texas A&M System said. “We are eager to work with the University of Tennessee System to serve these two important federal facilities.”
The press release says the university systems will bring a strong workforce development and training portfolio to a bid team.