Source: Knoxville News Sentinel | Brittany Crocker | August 8, 2017

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(Photo: Michael Patrick / News Sentinel)

The Department of Energy has approved a plan proposed by UT-Battelle that will reduce Oak Ridge National Laboratory’s workforce by as many as 350 positions by the end of the year, according to an email ORNL Director Thomas Zacharia sent to his staff Tuesday.

Zacharia wrote in the email that the reductions will be made primarily among staff who charge to indirect accounts: support staff and researchers who primarily charge work time to overhead accounts instead of to specific research programs.

Reductions will also be made among research staff who have been affected by fiscal year 2017 budget reductions, like those made to fusion energy and National Institutes of Health programs. The Oak Ridge office for the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor will also see cuts to its workforce.

“From time to time, sustaining our work effectively and efficiently requires the most difficult of decisions, which is to reduce our staff in certain areas of the Lab,” Zacharia wrote Tuesday.

ORNL will open a voluntary separation program on Monday, Aug. 14, which will allow employees to apply to terminate their employment by Dec. 31 in exchange for a severance package.

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