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New Mexico Telegram » Featured, National News, Science/Tech » Sandia Labs to shutdown Oct 21 if government shutdown continues (updated)

Sandia Labs to shutdown Oct 21 if government shutdown continues (updated)

Sandia Labs logoIf the federal government remains shuttered until October 21, the largest economic driver in Albuquerque will be shut down.

A letter from President and Director of Sandia National Laboratories Paul J. Hommert to employees, tweeted by Shaun Griswold, said that if the shutdown continues by October 21, the National Nuclear Security Administration said to prepare for the labs to shut down.

From the letter:

As a result of the continued federal budget impasse in Congress, the National Nuclear Security Administration has asked that we prepare for a safe, secure, and orderly shutdown of Sandia National Laboratories by close of business on Monday, Oct 21. This date coincides with federal financial consequences that would require a shift in Sandia’s operation level by necessity. If a shutdown is needed, programmatic work will not be conducted. Those functions that NNSA directs us to continue will be extremely limited. Programmatic organization or Labs management will notify those employees and subcontractors who will be working during a shutdown.

Employees of Sandia National Labs are contractors, as the labs are run by the Sandia Corp. Lockheed Martin oversees Sandia Corp.

Albuquerque Business First reported last week that Sandia National Laboratories had “about 30 days of ‘carryover funds,’ and will operate ‘without significant disruption to the workforce.'” The paper was quoting Sen. Tom Udall.

In all, about 800,000 federal workers were furloughed.

A good chunk of those will be brought back by the Defense Department. In all, there are more than 2.1 million civilian workers in the federal government, not counting postal employees.

Congressional leaders have been unable to come up with a solution; Republicans are insistent on asking for conditions for funding of the entire government and in the meantime are looking to fund portions of the government. Democrats and the White House have said you can’t pick or choose which portions of the government should get funded and which do not.

Update:

The news from Los Alamos National Labs, via Albuquerque Business First:

A LANL spokesman said Tuesday that on Monday the lab suspended its operations for processing and shipping transuranic waste, adding that nuclear material has been secured.
“LANL has now reached a point where we need to begin standing down certain operations where there is no longer funding available to maintain full operations. Protecting special nuclear material, national security information, workers, the public and the environment remains an essential function,” LANL said in an official statement.

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Matthew Reichbach has blogged about New Mexico politics since 2006. Matthew was a co-founder of New Mexico FBIHOP with his brother and part of the original hirings at the groundbreaking website the New Mexico Independent. Matthew has covered events such as the Democratic National Convention and Netroots Nation. In addition to politics, Matthew is an avid sports fan, especially of the Los Angeles Dodgers, and TV fan.

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