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The Savannah River National Laboratory is at the Savannah River Site, about 30 minutes south of Aiken.

The final request for proposals for the standalone Savannah River National Laboratory management contract is expected in the near future.

The U.S. Department of Energy's nuclear cleanup office, Environmental Management, anticipates the final RFP – a consequential step in the procurement process – being issued sometime in June, according to a post on a government contracting website. Dates and timelines could change, though, in light of the novel coronavirus, one memo cautioned.

Environmental Management oversees the Savannah River Site, the south-of-Aiken nuclear reserve home to the national lab.

A draft request for proposals was published in early April, offering a look at the lab's prospective future.

The discrete management-and-operations contract is designed to let a new team take over (the lab is currently led by Savannah River Nuclear Solutions, the top contractor at the site) and strengthen the lab's research and development, long-term remediation, science and national security chops.

Under Secretary for Science Paul Dabbar earlier this year, speaking in North Augusta, said "what we're here to do" is "maximize" SRNL's potential. Exactly who secures the contract, then, is "incredibly important," Dabbar continued.

The potentially decade-long contract, 2021 through 2030, has an estimated value of $381 million per year. Billions are up for grabs.

The first public rumbles of a Savannah River National Laboratory standalone contract came in late 2019, when the Energy Department issued a request for information.

Colin Demarest covers the Savannah River Site, the U.S. Department of Energy, the National Nuclear Security Administration and government in general. Follow him on Twitter: @demarest_colin