The end of the government shutdown last week brought relief to Oak Ridge, especially at the Y-12 National Security Complex, where up to about 3,600 workers were expected to be furloughed starting last Thursday unless a deal was reached.
Chuck Spencer, general manager of B&W Y-12, which manages and operates Y-12, told workers on Thursday that a shutdown to minimum staffing had been averted and the furloughs would no longer be necessary. There had been reports that only about 900 workers might have remained starting today.
Spencer said the nuclear weapons plant, which started an orderly shutdown two weeks ago on Monday, Oct. 7, will begin planning to resume normal operations.
Normal operations resumed at Oak Ridge National Laboratory on Thursday, Director Thom Mason said in a message to staff. ORNL had enough funding to continue operating through October and into November, but officials had started preparing for a possible temporary shutdown and unpaid furloughs in case the shutdown continued.
Oak Ridge residents remained frustrated even after Congress and the White House reached a last-minute, short-term spending agreement late Wednesday night that averted the shutdowns and furloughs, just hours before a deadline to raise the nation’s debt ceiling and after some local businesses had already reported that the shutdown had affected their operations. [Read more…]