Another bidder has filed a protest with the Government Accountability Office after the National Nuclear Security Administration awarded a Bechtel-Lockheed Martin consortium an extensive contract to manage security sites.

Earlier this month, the semi-autonomous agency within the Department of Energy awarded management of the Oak Ridge, Tenn., Y-12 site and the Amarillo, Texas, Pantex site to Consolidated Nuclear Security, passing over a consortium led by the facilities' current contractor, Babcock & Wilcox. B&W formally contested that decision soon after, and on Friday the third company bidding for the work filed its own challenge to the award, according to GAO.

The agency will have until May 6 to rule on the contention by Integrated Nuclear Production Solutions, which was created by Fluor, Jacobs and Pro2Serve. An NNSA spokesman told the Knoxville News Sentinel that the transition process was stopped until further notice after the first challenge.

The GAO's decision could have significant consequences for the bidding companies. The initial five-year contract, including an option to manage a tritium production facility at the Savannah River Site, was valued at upwards of $709 million, according to NNSA. Should the contract be extended and all options exercised, the News Sentinel reported that the total value of the work could exceed $22 billion over 10 years.