Fluor Idaho said Tuesday it intends in the next few months to shrink the current workforce at the Advanced Mixed Waste Treatment Project at the Idaho National Laboratory by 190 employees.
The contractor will first offer a voluntary separation package to reduce headcount as the facility nears the end of its mission. If the voluntary self-select separation fails to draw a sufficient response, some workers could be laid off before the current federal fiscal year ends on Sept. 30, the company said in a press release.
The move is not a surprise. The lab cleanup contractor informed local officials in January it expected to pare its 650-person workforce at AMWTP by about 200 people this summer.
The restructuring will occur in two phases “related to work completion and realignment activities,” Fluor said. Each stage will feature a voluntary separation, followed by layoffs if needed.
The company did not immediately provide details on when workers must sign up for voluntary separation, and when they would actually leave the company.
“Fluor Idaho is striving to retrain, reassign and help place affected employees in new positions where possible to minimize impacts,” the company said.
The Energy Department opened the facility in 2003 to retrieve, treat, and ship above-ground waste covered by a 1995 settlement between DOE, the state, and the U.S. Navy over nuclear waste storage in Idaho. The agency said Dec. 5 it plans to close the facility in mid-to-late 2019 after it finishes treating and shipping about 65,000 cubic meters of transuranic waste. The treated sludge waste goes to the Waste Isolation Pilot Plant (WIPP) in New Mexico. Less than 7,000 cubic meters apparently remain to be shipped.