Secretary Perry alma mater says he didn’t tilt nuke lab bid

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Texas A&M University leaders say Energy Secretary Rick Perry wasn’t involved in a $2.5 billion nuclear weapons lab contract that partly went to his alma mater.

Texas A&M Chancellor John Sharp said Tuesday the National Nuclear Security Administration had favorably scored their proposal to manage Los Alamos National Laboratory near Santa Fe, New Mexico, before the former Texas governor signed off. Sharp and Perry were college friends at Texas A&M.

Texas A&M will help manage the birthplace of the atomic bomb along with the University of California and Ohio-based Battelle Memorial Institute. The NSSA awarded the contract last month and previously said Perry played no role in the evaluation or selection.

The contract is a big step as federal officials look to get the lab back on track after safety lapses and missed goals.

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This story has been corrected to say that Sharp and Perry were friends at Texas A&M, not roommates.

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