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  • UChicago Inks $2.5B Deal to Retain Argonne Control
Aug 2006
WASHINGTON, Aug. 2, 2006 -- The University of Chicago, through its solely owned independent entity UChicago Argonne LLC, will retain its 60-year hold on the management of Argonne National Laboratory, the Department of Energy (DoE) announced this week.

The University of Chicago has managed Argonne since 1946, and the contract was opened to competitive bidding for the first time this year. UChicago Argonne's was the only bid received, the DoE said. The initial contract term will be Oct. 1, 2006, to September 2011. During the initial five-year contract term and the first five years of any award term extensions, UChicago Argonne could earn $5.3 million annually in performance incentives. The contract can be extended for up to 20 years.
Argonne physicist Kim Lister stands near the center of the Gammasphere, a 12-ton gamma-ray "microscope" that lets Argonne researchers probe the very edges of nuclear stability and serves as a $20 million national traveling physics instrument. (Photo: Argonne National Laboratory)

UChicago Argonne was supported in its proposal by the University of Illinois at Urbana/Champaign, the University of Illinois at Chicago, and Northwestern University, which all said they would make significant financial commitments to support scientific activities at the laboratory. UChicago Argonne also has industrial partners, Jacobs Engineering Group Inc. and BWXT Services Inc., who will play major management roles in business operations and nuclear operations, respectively. Under the new contract, these firms have also made commitments to contribute services and other support to the laboratory, the DoE said.

UChicago Argonne and its partners have committed to providing $15.5 million over the term of the five-year contract, primarily to support joint appointments and scientific institutes at the laboratory, the DoE said. The universities will also participate as members of a new Science Policy Council which will advise the laboratory science leadership and report to a board of governors reporting to UChicago Argonne. Jacobs and BWXT will also provide representatives to the board of governors.

The UChicago Argonne proposal to DoE contained four major management initiatives intended to retain and build scientific talent at the laboratory, strengthen and improve safety management, upgrade project management systems and capability and improve information technology to accelerate scientific discovery, reduce business costs and improve internal communications, the DoE said. UChicago Argonne also intends to achieve formal certifications in quality and business management excellence.

“This agreement contains provisions that will enhance the science opportunities at Argonne while providing strong management capability and commitments by the new contractor team,” said DoE Under Secretary for Science Raymond L. Orbach.

Argonne's funding for fiscal year 2007, projected to be $508 million, is provided by the Office of Science, other DoE programs, as well as other government agencies and private industry. For more information, visit:

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