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Wednesday, June 1, 2011 - 11:18am

More Layoffs Loom For SRS

Updated: 3 years ago.
The Savannah River Site near Augusta is facing millions of dollars in budget cuts for the rest of the fiscal year. Officials say the reductions could mean more layoffs at the former nuclear weapons facility.(Image courtesy DOE)

The Savannah River Site near Augusta is facing millions of dollars in budget cuts for the rest of the fiscal year.

SRS has operated for the past year on limited funds while Congress worked on passing a formal budget. But that never happened.

Instead lawmakers cut $50 million from the temporary budget.

SRS is one of the main Department of Energy sites responsible for cleaning up radioactive contamination left over from the production of nuclear weapons.

Another site in Washington state wasn’t cut nearly as much.

Spokesman Jim Giusti says it’s not yet clear why SRS bore a bigger share of his agency’s cuts.

But he says they will make it more difficult to meet clean-up goals:

"We’re going to try and meet all of our regulatory requirements but the reality of the current fiscal environment shows that with less than 6 months left in the fiscal year we’ve taken a major budget cut and we have to adjust for that."

Site officials already are planning 1600 layoffs this Summer because of previous cuts.

Giusti says there likely will be more jobs cut once the 2012 budget is released:

"There’s a lot of things that are up in the air until we see what our final budget is. We can plan a lot of things but until we get an actual budget or get an idea of where we’re going it’s hard to implement those plans."

Currently the site employs more than 12,000 people.