Lawsuit against NNSA contracting officer voluntarily dropped

October 3, 2018

A lawsuit lodged against a National Nuclear Security Administration contracting officer has been voluntarily dismissed, according to court documents filed at the end of September.

The now-null action – first filed by CB&I Areva MOX Services mid-June in civil court – alleged Lance Nyman, the contracting officer, abused his powers in relation to the Mixed Oxide Fuel Fabrication Facility at the Savannah River Site.

“From the outset, however, Nyman has displayed an irrational animosity towards MOX Services,” the complaint, available via Aiken County court records, reads. “Nyman’s actions and conduct towards MOX Services reflect not only his animosity, but also his intent to cause MOX Services to incur substantial costs and damages.”

MOX Services is the team behind the MOX project. MOX is an under-construction facility designed to turn weapons-grade plutonium into nuclear fuel. The project is more than a decade in the making.

The NNSA, a semiautonomous U.S. Department of Energy agency, oversees the project and administers the MOX development contract.

The crux of MOX Services’ lawsuit, according to the complaint, was Nyman’s alleged “abuse of process under South Carolina law.”

“Instead, this action focuses on Nyman’s abuse of the” Contract Disputes Act “process by improperly issuing a purported final decision with an ulterior purpose,” the complaint reads. “As a matter of law, Nyman acted outside the scope of his authority and office by issuing a purported final decision prior to MOX Services’ submission of a certified claim.”

MOX Services had, prior to dismissal, demanded a jury trial for the matter.

The voluntary dismissal was filed by MOX Services’ attorney, Derek Shoemake, on Sept. 27. The dismissal was tendered without prejudice against Nyman.

As of Sept. 27, Nyman had not been served electronically, according to court records.

Nyman remains an NNSA employee, according to a NNSA spokesperson who responded to inquiries submitted by the Aiken Standard.

Update hourly