BY MAIRE O’NEILL
Los Alamos National Laboratory will implement a Plutonium Premium Pay (PPP) Retention Pilot Program for plutonium mission workers beginning June 15. Additional compensation will be given as a retention incentive in support of national security programs that occur within LANL plutonium facilities that are part of what is known as the Plutonium Center of Excellence.
“The Laboratory, with support from the National Nuclear Security Administration is pleased to offer this pilot program to employees who work in our plutonium facilities as a recognition of the urgent and mission-critical work they enable. Working in our plutonium facilities is always a challenge and we greatly appreciate their hard work and dedication,” said LANL spokesperson Laura Mullane.
The PPP, which is available for the remainder of 2023, was announced Monday by the Associate Laboratory Directorates of Weapons Production with the Deputy Directorate of Science, Technology and Engineering. It is extended to workers in Weapons, STE and Operations in several facilities and work areas including PF-4, PF-400, TA-55, the Transuranic Waste Facility (TWF), Chemistry and Metallurgy Research (CMR), Radioassay and Nondestructive Testing (RANT) and Radioactive Liquid Waste (RLW) who meet all of the following criteria:
• Employees who are in regular or term status and work in PF-4, PF-400, TA-55, TWF, CMR, RANT, PF-400 or RLW
• Employees who are assigned and have completed identified qualification curricula
• Employees who charge to a plutonium-related program
• Employees who are Q-cleared
• Employees who have accessed nuclear facilities within the last six months
• Employees who work on-site. Employees who are on telework, hybrid or remote status are not eligible to participate in the program
LANL says there are currently approximately 880 employees eligible for the PPP, however this number will change as people become eligible or lose eligibility.
Working at the home of the only fully capable plutonium facilities in the nation, LANL’s plutonium mission workers are key to accomplishing its national security missions. Recognizing the urgency of the work being done in the plutonium facilities, the rigorous trainings and certifications these workers undergo as well as the exacting safety and security requirements, LANL is hoping the PPP will give them the incentive to stay on board.