Last Friday; federal government budget cuts went into effect and they’re expected to claim many security staff jobs at the Idaho National Laboratory.
“In particular Battelle Energy Alliance who is our contractor here at the Idaho National Laboratory, they’re going to have to absorb a cut of about $6.7 million in safeguards and security. Those are basically the people who protect the site, protect our people, protect our facilities and our special nuclear material” said Department of Energy Spokesman Brad Bugger.
Battelle has been asked to make a plan by the end of March explaining how they’re going to absorb that cut.
“We don’t have a lot of detail right now, we’re hoping as time goes on we’ll get a little more detail and a little more insight into what the impacts are going to be, but we know that the safeguards and security situation is the most prominent one that we have to deal with and we’re working that right now” continued Bugger.
The fiscal year started on October 1st of last fall and runs through September 30th of this year, what makes the budget cuts so difficult to manage is that half of the year has already passed.
“As you’re six months into the year, and you’re told to take a budget hit, it gives you much less flexibility to manage that, as opposed to starting the year knowing that you’re going to have less money, then you can spread those impacts out over a 12 month period” said Bugger.
Bugger says the future is difficult to define but could include more employee layoffs.
INL Director John Grossenbacher has released a statement saying:
"The lab has been informed that as a result of sequestration, our 2013 Safeguards and Security budget will be reduced by $7 million. A funding reduction of this magnitude could result in furloughs/layoffs affecting as many as 80 of our Safeguards and Security employees. We will evaluate this funding reduction thoroughly and propose options to DOE to minimize the impact on security."