Coverage of the stalemate in Congress that forced the U.S. government to a standstill

6,000 Livermore Lab Workers Face Possible Furlough

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    NEWSLETTERS

    The Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and other Bay  Area-based national research institutions face a nearly total closure this  week if the partial federal government shutdown continues.

    The shutdown that began Oct. 1 when Congress was unable to vote on  a budget is threatening to close the nuclear weapons and national security  research institute starting today, Lawrence Livermore lab spokeswoman Lynda  Seaver said.

    The effects of the fiscal fiasco, which immediately closed  national parks and dozens of other federal offices and programs, are starting  to reach Bay Area-based national research institutes.

    Seaver said there are more than 6,000 employees at the Livermore  lab, and that the furloughs will be "across the board."

    She said by next Monday there would only be safety and security  personnel remaining at the facility.

    Employees have been told to come in today to begin "shutdown  operations" and that closures will be mostly complete by the end of  Wednesday, Seaver said.

    The rest of the week will be a holiday, and many employees will be  using vacation days for remaining furlough days.

    The lab is sponsored by the National Nuclear Security  Administration and federally funded, in part, by the U.S. Department of  Energy.

    In total, there are 13,000 government contractors working there  and at Sandia National Laboratories in Livermore, the Lawrence Berkeley  National Laboratory in Berkeley and the SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory  in Menlo Park.

    Thousands of researchers, engineers, scientists and other  employees at these research centers are facing furloughs by the end of this  week as existing funds run out and may not be paid, according to statement  from Rep. Eric Swalwell, D-Dublin.