Tuesday, November 25, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Lawrence Livermore lab faces closure under shutdown

By
From page A3 | October 13, 2013 |

By Carolyn Lochhead

WASHINGTON — Two national laboratories in the Bay Area will close Oct. 21 if the partial government shutdown continues, resulting in the furloughs of more than 7,000 employees, members of Congress said Friday.

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in Livermore, founded by the University of California, is the largest, with 6,500 workers. Roughly 1,000 more work at the Livermore campus of the Sandia National Laboratories.

Both sites test nuclear arms and maintain the nation’s weapon stockpiles. They also conduct research in alternative energy.

Rep. Eric Swalwell, D-Dublin, whose district includes Lawrence Livermore and Sandia, said the labs have been operating on funds from existing contracts that will run out in a week if the partial shutdown drags on.

The two nuclear labs “were told Oct. 21 is the last day they can use what they received from their government contract service agreements,” Swalwell said.

A spokesman for the Lawrence Livermore lab directed questions to the National Nuclear Security Administration in Washington, which seeks preparations for an “orderly” shutdown. Officials at the agency could not be reached.

The Bay Area is also home to the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, which employs 4,200 scientists, engineers and support staff, conducting scientific research across many disciplines. A spokesman there said the lab has no plans to shut down Oct. 21.

In Menlo Park, the Slac National Accelerator Laboratory employs more than 1,500 scientists and engineers conducting advanced scientific research. The lab intends to stay open beyond Oct. 21, a spokesman said.

All four Bay Area labs are owned by the government but operated by contractors, usually a consortium of universities and private companies. As a result, they’ve been able so far to avoid laying off employees, unlike government agencies that have furloughed 800,000 workers.

The federal government largely closed Oct. 1 when House Republicans refused to pass funding legislation unless it included provisions to dismantle or delay the Affordable Care Act. Negotiations continued Friday between the White House and House and Senate Republicans on a possible path forward.

The House has unanimously passed legislation to pay furloughed government workers. Although the Senate has not taken up the bill, the approval by House Republicans all but guarantees federal workers will eventually be paid for the two weeks and counting that they have been furloughed.

As contractors, however, workers at national laboratories would have no such guarantee. No legislation has been approved that covers contractors.

Swalwell said the Department of Energy, which runs the contracts for the labs, has authority to pay the workers once the labs reopen without requiring a separate act of Congress.

Swalwell drafted a letter to Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz asking that the department work with the labs to provide back pay to anyone furloughed. He has signatures from Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif.; Rep. Jeff Denham, R-Turlock; and several Bay Area Democrats including Reps. Zoe Lofgren of San Jose, Barbara Lee of Oakland and Anna Eshoo of Palo Alto. All have labs in their districts.

The four Bay Area labs are among seven nationwide that together employ about 30,000 workers, many of them research scientists and engineers. The others are the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico, the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee and the Argonne National Laboratory in Illinois.

— Reach Carolyn Lochhead at  clochhead@sfchronicle.com

Comments

comments

San Francisco Chronicle

.

News

UC students leave campuses in protest

By Wire and staff reports | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
As snow fades, California ski resorts are left high and very dry

By New York Times News Service | From Page: A1 | Gallery

Downtown lights up at annual holiday open house

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Adopt a family for the holidays

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A1

‘The Nutcracker’ magic returns to Vets’ Theater

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Candlelight vigil set tonight

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A2

 
Arraignment date set for ex-Woodland firefighter

By Lauren Keene | From Page: A2

Pets of the week

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A2 | Gallery

 
Pre-holiday market opens at noon

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A2

Ferguson businesses torched in overnight protests

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2 | Gallery

 
No hazardous waste collection after Thanksgiving

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

Enterprise observes holiday hours

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Give blood and get a free movie ticket

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

Learn how to accommodate low-vision readers

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

 
Lower American River expert speaks to local fly-fishers

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4 | Gallery

 
Wolks share their unique perspective on Davis

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

Are eggs safer from backyard chickens?

By Trina Wood | From Page: A5 | Gallery

 
Lohse’s ballet students present ‘The Nutcracker’

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A6

.

Forum

Wait, which one is Tom?

By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

 
This is getting expensive

By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

Tom Meyer cartoon

By Debbie Davis | From Page: A8

 
Tom Elias: Who needs a political party?

By Tom Elias | From Page: A8

Green beans aren’t the only ‘green’ this Thanksgiving

By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A8

 
Protect our migratory corridors

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A8

Sit back, watch the spectacle

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A8

 
Behavior reflects on coaches, parents

By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A8

.

Sports

Lots of Aggie basketball at The Pavilion this week

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
Season’s over, but UCD is still making news on the pitch

By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Wildhorse women’s group more than just golf

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1

 
Just like that, Classic turns Causeway Catastrophe

By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
.

Features

.

Arts

 
DHS Madrigals plan traditional English winter celebration

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

 
B Street Theatre presents ‘Spinning Into Light’

By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9 | Gallery

 
.

Business

.

Obituaries

.

Comics

Comics: Tuesday, November 25, 2014 (set 1)

By Creator | From Page: B5

 
Comics: Tuesday, November 25, 2014 (set 2)

By Creator | From Page: B7