SRS braces for 'government shutdown' over budget impasse

Monday, Sept. 30, 2013 6:27 PM
Last updated Tuesday, Oct. 1, 2013 1:46 AM
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The U.S. Energy Department advised its Savannah River Site workforce and related contractors Monday of potential impacts if Congress cannot agree on a fiscal 2014 plan to keep the federal dollars flowing.

“As a consequence of the lapse, certain planned procurements may be cancelled and certain existing contracts may be stopped, reduced in scope, terminated or partially terminated,” the department said, in a letter to contractors at SRS and other facilities.

The South Carolina site houses major nuclear waste cleanup programs, the construction site of the MOX nuclear fuel plant, the Savannah River National Laboratory and other facilities – all of which rely heavily on contractor workforces.

A continued failure to agree on a budget won’t necessarily halt operations immediately, but as the flow of dollars tapers off, impacts could be felt locally within a week.

“At most DOE facilities, all operations will cease once prior year balances have been exhausted,” the department said, in a memo posted on its Web site.

Exceptions include guns, guards and gates to insure physical protection of key facilities, along with activities necessary to safeguard nuclear materials.

As part of its plan to deal with any government shutdown, the Energy Department also prepared a list of its facilities, with the number of federal employees “excepted” from any budget related shutdown.

At SRS, the memo identified eight workers from Savannah River Operations office, and one worker from the National Nuclear Security Administration, which oversees the MOX program and the site’s tritium facility that supports nuclear warhead maintenance.

The site’s largest contractors have already been reducing their workforces over several months due to anticipated reductions in the fiscal 2014 budget – once it is adopted.

Savannah River Remediation, the site’s liquid waste contractor, laid off 465 workers in early September; and MOX contractor Shaw Areva MOX Services has said as many as 500 jobs could be eliminated to bring its workforce in line with the projected 2014 budget.

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Radwaste 10/01/13 - 04:55 am
Check CNN.

CNN has a partial list of what is being shut down. Prepare to be amazed at things like the Department of Agriculture having a Civil Rights division. The Department of Education has a SWAT team (!) - maybe they have to stay home.

Yes - your Congress, in not providing a budget, is not performing its Constitutional duty, and that does NOT depend on what party you favor.

Dixieman 10/01/13 - 06:36 am
Starve the beast

We all have to make sacrifices, but it's worth it to shut down the Federal government. Then people will see how really non-essential it is and maybe wake up, throw the rascals out, and lower our taxes. Not exactly giving up "our lives, our fortunes, our sacred honor" as our forefathers did, but it's a start.

Xertus 10/01/13 - 09:42 am

Obama blamed bush for being unpatriotic by running a 4 trillion dollar def., Yet Obama has made that look like a kids cash register with the debt he's racked up. Whats interesting, if everyone throws blame at republican congress, when they have sent 5 bills over, and all rejected with the same counter offer, no "negotiation". So who really is shutting down the government? Stiff neck dem. in the Senate. I'm actually glad this has occured, as our government is going downhill each passing day. I have many friends and family that work at SRS as well as I used to work out there. The shut down is going to effect some of them, and if it continues, all of them. But as of right now, most people are still working, and yet our senate has no desire to allow our congress to pass a fair adjustment to the people of america, so they don't feel the burden that businesses that pay obama's private pay check are getting. I'm actually kinda confused that a "democratic/socialistic/fair" approach the republicans are using to yield obamacare's cost to the people for 1 year, not the program, but just the "cost", is not at all good enough for democrats, this is worse than cat and mouse. The fact that america is totally ok with our broken government, and our liberal media even after being tossed under the bus by our own government, continues to support this crooked government thinking, and makes congress out to be bad, is really disgusting. I'm sure its hard for those in the house to continue to stay vigilant in this late hour, but I for one commend their patriotic actions!

KSL 10/01/13 - 05:38 pm
I am thoroughly disgusted

I am thoroughly disgusted with the Senate.

KSL 10/01/13 - 05:39 pm
And I am even more disgusted

And I am even more disgusted with the Liar in Chief.

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