IDAHO FALLS, Idaho (AP) — Battelle Energy Alliance says 110 workers have volunteered to leave their jobs at the Idaho National Laboratory in southeastern Idaho ahead of job cuts. Battelle Energy Alliance spokeswoman Amy Lientz tells the Post Register that the last day for most of those workers was Thursday. Battelle Energy Alliance contracts with the U.S. Department of Energy to operate the nuclear facility. Company officials said increased daily costs and the need to remain competitive led to the decision to reduce the workforce.

Officials say they are looking to eliminate 300 jobs and could eventually eliminate 450 jobs. Lientz says those who volunteered to leave will receive severance pay for up to 16 weeks based on length of service and seniority. Lientz says there is no deadline for when additional employees will be told to leave.