The U.S. Department of Energy and U.S. Navy have chosen a San Francisco defense contractor to consolidate the management of their naval propulsion laboratories in the Capital Region and Pennsylvania, ending Lockheed Martin’s 13-year tenure at Knolls Atomic Power Laboratory.
Bechtel Marine Propulsion Corp. will begin serving Feb. 1 as manager and operator of Bettis Atomic Power Laboratory in West Mifflin, Pa., and Knolls in Niskayuna, the Energy Department’s National Nuclear Security Administration announced Thursday. The U.S. Department of Defense separately announced Bechtel Marine won a $9.7 billion contract for naval propulsion work that will be performed in Schenectady, Pittsburgh and Idaho Falls, Idaho.
The Energy Department in February started its search for a single contractor to run its Knolls and Bettis labs, where engineers mainly design nuclear naval reactors for the Navy’s submarine and aircraft carrier fleets. The Energy Department expects the consolidation to save the federal government $4.5 million annually, mostly from reduced fee payments to one contractor instead of two. Bechtel Bettis, a subsidiary of the Frederick, Md.-based Bechtel Marine Propulsion Corp. already manages the West Mifflin lab.
Bechtel Marine, another subsidiary of Bechtel Marine Propulsion Corp., is expected to maintain the 5,600 workers at the two labs. Bettis employs 3,000, while Knolls employs 2,100 in Niskayuna and 500 at its Kesselring nuclear training facility in West Milton.