US Federal Government Shutdown: Laboratories Prepare for Furloughs

Customer Success Manager

The United States federal government entered a shutdown on October 1, 2013.  Nearly half a month later, the US federal government shutdown continues as the two chambers of Congress have yet to reach a solution.

The laundry list of government agencies and operations affected by the government shutdown includes the Department of Energy; Department of Health and Human Services - Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and National Institutes of Health (NIH); Environmental Protection Agency (EPA); and National Science Foundation (NSF).  Unfortunately, the longer the government shutdown persists the longer this list will grow. 

October 21st – Not All Labs are Shutting Down

If a solution is not reached before next week, several laboratories are scheduled to shut down by October 21, 2013.  Below is a glance at a few facilities to be affected next week.  On a positive note, there are several laboratories that have announced intentions to stay open beyond October 21, 2013 and into November, which includes Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley, CA), Argonne National Laboratory (Lemont, IL), and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory – NASA (Pasadena, CA).  Although the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (Richland, WA) had publicized continued operations until November 2013, limited furloughs are set to begin next week.

Labs Preparing for Furloughs*



# Affected Scientists

Estimated Furlough Date

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

Livermore, CA


October 21, 2013

Sandia National Laboratory

Albuquerque, NM


October 21, 2013

Idaho National

Idaho Falls, ID


October 21, 2013

Pacific Northwest
National Laboratory

Richland, WA


November 2013

Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Oak Ridge, TN


November 2013

*Please note the table above is not a comprehensive list. Dates and totals affected are subject to change as the shutdown lifetime continues.

Please leave your comments below on how the government shutdown has affected or will affect your laboratory operations.