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The Latest: UNM interested in Los Alamos lab contract

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — The University of New Mexico is interested in the competition to manage Los Alamos National Laboratory. One of the university's senior advisers on national laboratory relations, Joseph Cecchi, said Thursday that school officials are evaluating the bidding process. The university also threw its hat into the ring when the contract for Sandia National Laboratories was up for bid. That award ended up going to National Technology and Engineering Solutions of Sandia, a subsidiary of Honeywell International. It was first announced in late 2015 that Los Alamos National Security LLC would be losing its contract to manage the northern New Mexico lab since it failed to earn high enough performance reviews. Federal officials released a draft request for proposals for the Los Alamos contract on Thursday. ___ 11:16 a.m. The U.S. agency responsible for overseeing the nation's nuclear weapons cache has released more details on the qualifications that will be required of the next manager of Los Alamos National Laboratory. The birthplace of the atomic bomb and still one of the nation's premier nuclear research facilities, Los Alamos has struggled in recent years with a string of safety lapses involving the handling of plutonium and radioactive waste. The lab's current multibillion-dollar management contract expires in 2018. The National Nuclear Security Administration released its draft request for proposals Thursday. It calls for the contractor to foster a "security conscious culture," something watchdog groups have said has been missing. The documents also are clear the mission at Los Alamos will still revolve around bolstering national security and deterring the international proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.