Hundreds avoid SRS furloughs

Hundreds of Savannah River Site employees will stay on the job now that Congress has approved additional funding for SRS.
On May 15, committees in both the House of Representatives and Senate approved a $79 million reprogramming request from the Department of Energy. The DOE can now take money from another project and immediately use it for SRS.
There was a May 22 deadline for funds to be made available in order to avoid furloughs for up to 900 employees at the nuclear site starting June 1.
More than 2,000 SRS employees are already on a 32-hour work schedule because of across-the-board cuts in federal funding since sequestration began in March. SRS lost $100 million after the automatic cuts went into effect.
In a statement released May 15, U.S. Rep. Joe Wilson, R-S.C., said, "The Congressional approval of SRS's reprogramming request is a tremendous victory for the people of Aiken County, Barnwell County, the Palmetto State, and our nation."
Wilson pushed hard for the funds to be made available. He sent two letters to the White House Office of Management and Budget urging action. He also held a town hall meeting in Aiken May 3 to discuss the issue. More than 300 people were at the meeting.
"I commend the House and Senate for taking action quickly to ensure that our nation's nuclear facilities are capable of completing vital missions with an appropriate workforce," Wilson said.