Albuquerque Business First reported on the memo sent to LANL employees.
LANL is a key economic driver in north-central New Mexico and is the main reason why Los Alamos County is among the wealthiest counties in the nation.
From Albuquerque Business First:
LANL director Charlie McMillan said the lab will “complete the transition to closure as of the end of business on Friday, October 18,” because of the partial federal shutdown.
Some personnel, however, will stay. LANL employs about 8,700 and spends $1.6 billion in New Mexico annually. Roughly another 1,600 contractors are employed at the federal U.S. Department of Energy lab.
LANL had already suspended shipments of transuranic waste, according to the Los Alamos Monitor.
Four shipments already loaded will be completed. Nuclear material has been secured and facilities are being put into a “safe standby” condition.
The laboratory directed approximately 200 subcontractors on the TRU project to stand down and report back to their companies. These are mostly EnergySolutions subcontractors. Certain other environmental monitoring operations, including those supporting the Santa Fe water utility and a chromium pump test, continue.
Yesterday,a similar memo said that Sandia National Labs would shut down on October 21 if the federal government shutdown lasts that long.
Employees of the two facilities are not federal employees, but are contract employees. This is why there was more leeway than the 800,000 federal workers that were furloughed when the shutdown began last week. A large chunk of those who are civilians in the Department of Defense have been brought back from furloughs.
LANL will hold an all-employees meeting tomorrow to discuss the impending shutdown.