The Waste Report: Waste in the U.S. Government

May 11, 2015 – Nuclear Waste: Dep. of Energy’s $13K Treadmills

The National Nuclear Security Agency (NNSA) of the Department of Energy put out a Name-Brand solicitation in February for five Woodway treadmills, with upgrades.[1] Woodway is luxury manufacturer of treadmills; the 4Front model, which NNSA is seeking four of, retails for over $10,000, with upgrades (Personal Training Display Board, +10% incline and +2.5 mph top speed) adding $3,900 per-unit according to a Woodway pricing guide.[2]       

The solicitation states that NNSA planned to “utilize the treadmills to qualify Federal Agents on the running requirements established by the NNSA …” The Federal Agents here are Nuclear Materials Couriers, who according to an NNSA recruiting brochure must pass a minimum standard in the 1-mile and a 40-yard dash run, every six months.[3]  Perhaps the standard warranting such a high-end treadmill is the ability to outrun nuclear radiation in the event of an accident?  

The solicitation indicates these treadmills will service approximately 500 Agents.  By comparison reports that the average Gold’s Gym has approximately 5000 members. They also report Anytime Fitness typically uses LifeFitness 93 or 95ti treadmills which run (no pun intended) around $4,000.[4] 

The solicitation was automatically archived in March without being filled.  But the question remains, why does the Department of Energy need the Cadillac of treadmills?

[1] Posted February 12th, Updated February 18th, 2015.  Solicitation Number: DE-SOL-0008095

[2] Woodway USA, All Products Price List; Waukesha, WI; 2013. 

[3] Nuclear National Security Administration, Office of Secure Transportation; Federal Agent Brochure; 2015