Staff reductions feared at Los Almos

September 8, 2007

The head of Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico says proposed budget cuts will likely lead to layoffs.

While the budget for the next fiscal year has not yet been announced, even a flat budget for the coming year will result in some staff reductions, director Michael Anastasio said in an employee memo.

He said a worst case scenario is a $350 million cut that could result in 2,500 layoffs, the Santa Fe New Mexican reported Friday.

A budget passed earlier this year by the U.S. House would cut nearly $400 million from nuclear weapons programs at Los Alamos and Sandia National Laboratories. The Senate version of that federal spending bill basically restored those cuts but has yet to clear the full Senate.

U.S. Rep. Heather Wilson, R-N.M., said the budget cuts would impact the lab's ability to maintain the reliability of the nuclear weapons stockpile and could be devastating to national security. U.S. Rep. Tom Udall, D-N.M., has encouraged the lab to diversify from nuclear weapons work, the newspaper said.

Copyright 2007 by United Press International

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