Report says cuts could deeply affect Oak Ridge

Report says cuts could deeply affect Oak Ridge

February 15th, 2013 by Associated Press in Local - Breaking News

Aerial photograph of the Y-12 nuclear weapons plant in Oak Ridge.

Photo by The Knoxville News Sentinel /Times Free Press.

OAK RIDGE, Tenn. - A report by House committee members says if automatic federal spending cuts kick in, many workers at the Y-12 nuclear weapons plant could be furloughed.

The Knoxville News Sentinel reported the analysis by Democratic members of the House Appropriations Committee shows up to 1,000 workers at the Oak Ridge weapons plant could be out of work for six months.

The report cautioned that Y-12 is trying to shore up security after a breach last summer in which three protesters reached the plant's storage building for weapons-grade uranium.

The Democrats also say the automatic reductions - known as sequestration - could also idle the Oak Ridge National Laboratory's High Flux Isotope Reactor. The across the board cuts are scheduled to begin March 1.