IDAHO FALLS, Idaho (AP) — Idaho National Laboratory contractor Battelle Energy Alliance has received its lowest performance evaluation from the Department of Energy since 2005. The Post Register reports that after final adjustments for fiscal year 2012, Battelle earned about 86 percent of its total available contracting fee — about $16.2 million, compared to a potential of about $18.7 million.

Juan Alvarez, the lab's deputy director for management, said he was satisfied with the lower percentage because of the challenges the company has faced this year. Those challenges included the accidental exposure of 16 workers to plutonium and the shutdown of the Materials and Fuels Complex after a string of safety issues. Battelle took over the contract for the Idaho National Laboratory in 2005. The contract allows the payout to adjust based on performance.