DOE/NNSA Sequestration Impacts from House Appropriations Committee Democrats:
National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA)
...The report also noted concerns
that “constrained Federal funding had negatively impacted security controls at Y-12.”
Nonetheless, sequestration would require the Y-12 site to furlough 700-1,000 of 4,500
employees for a period of up to 6 months. Clearly, these layoffs will adversely impact
efforts to improve security. Other NNSA facilities will also face furloughs. The Pantex
Plant in Amarillo, Texas will furlough up to 2,500 employees for 3 weeks. Los Alamos
National Lab in New Mexico will furlough over 500 for about 2 weeks. And Sandia
National Labs will lay off up to 100 positions and forgo hiring staff to support the B61
bomb life extension program.
The NNSA plays a critical national security role in developing and maintaining the
Nation's nuclear deterrent. In the area of our nuclear weapons stockpile, efforts to
refurbish and extend the life of several weapons systems would be delayed, including
the B-61, leading to increased costs and impacts to deployment and readiness in the
future. Sequestration would erode the security posture at sites and facilities by layoffs,
workforce reassignments, and project deferrals. Sequestration would hamper the
internal oversight function of DOE nuclear facilities and reduce the depth and frequency
of audits and evaluations needed to ensure ongoing robust security operations.
Department of Energy Office of Science
The Office of Science is critical to maintaining U.S. leadership in scientific and
technological innovation by supporting basic research to advance energy technologies
and operating world-leading facilities to advance scientific discoveries.
Sequestration will result in hundreds of layoffs at national labs, universities, research
facilities, and private sector companies that rely on Office of Science grant funding for
energy research. It will reduce operations of major scientific facilities, meaning less
research and development in one of the highest priority research areas—designing
novel materials—which is critical to advancing energy technologies.
No new awards to advance high performance computing will be made to stay ahead of
Chinese competition and develop the next generation system, known as exascale,
before the U.S. reaches the limits of current technology.
Sequestration will stop almost all construction projects that are replacing aging
infrastructure at the national labs. This investment is necessary to support science
missions and attract the best scientists from around the country and the world. Several
major user facilities at national labs would be shut down including the Lujan Neutron
Scattering Center, Los Alamos National Laboratory; High Flux Isotope Reactor, Oak Ridge
Tennessee; Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider, Brookhaven National Laboratory. Other
facilities may be temporarily shuttered, delayed or less available to their extensive user
The safeguards and security of nuclear and radiological materials at the national labs
could be at higher risk with reductions in security officers and inability to fund new
security needs at Oak Ridge National Lab after an independent review found security
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Thursday, February 14, 2013
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