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The Nation | IN BRIEF / NATIONWIDE

Staff Shortage Leads to Weapon Labs Problems

July 23, 2001|From Times Wire Reports

Staff shortages resulting from Energy Department budget cuts in the Clinton administration have contributed to problems at nuclear weapons laboratories, the agency's internal watchdog reports.

Budget cuts from 1995 to 1998 reduced staff by about one-quarter, leading to a critical shortage, Inspector General Gregory H. Friedman said in his recent report.

The staffing shortages have not jeopardized public safety, department spokesman Jeanne Lopatto said.

Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham is leading a campaign to recruit and retain workers, Lopatto said.

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