In an interview two weeks ago, Los Alamos Chamber of Commerce Member Services Coordinator Katy Korkos told the Los Alamos Monitor that the impact of a government shutdown at Los Alamos National Laboratory could hit subcontractors twice as hard as other entities.
“Lab subcontractors will never be able to recover the income that they’re losing currently,” Korkos said.
Subcontractors can only bill for work performed and their contracts are subject to firm end dates, so they are not able to receive an extension to complete the required work and recoup their losses.
Conversations with a couple of those contractors revealed just how extensive the losses from the government shutdown could be.
Energy Solutions is already feeling the impact. The company is one of approximately 20 subcontracted to process and ship transuranic (TRU) waste to the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant in Carlsbad. LANL shut down those operations Oct. 8, affecting an estimated 200 workers.
For Energy Solutions, that is only one of the dominos to fall.
“It’s affecting projects not only here but in Oakridge, Idaho and Hanford,” Vice President Miles Smith said.
“Everywhere we’re working is shut down. We only have two projects that are not affected by this.”