IDAHO FALLS, Idaho (AP) — Officials at an eastern Idaho nuclear research lab want to eliminate 99 employees and hope they will take a voluntary separation agreement, they said in a notice to employees.

The Idaho National Laboratory is looking to free up "resources for investments in strategic scientific and technical capabilities at the laboratory," Director Mark Peters said in a notice sent to employees Thursday, the Post Register reported .

The move also "allows for a realignment of staff capabilities with (U.S. Department of Energy) mission priorities," Peters said in the statement.

The self-select voluntary separation allows employees to pursue other employment opportunities or retire, he said.

The buyout offer was sent to employees across the board and does not target any particular department, although officials are hoping employees in administrative or overhead roles will take the offer, said Mark Holubar, the lab's director of human resources and diversity.

The savings will be invested in improvements to the lab's infrastructure and supporting research and operations, Holubar said.

The lab plays a growing role in addressing the country's energy and security challenges, Peters said in the statement.

There won't be any layoffs if the target isn't met, Peters said.

Employees interested in the offer have until Sept. 4 to apply.

"If an employee's application is accepted, they will receive a severance package based on their years of service at the INL," Peters said in the statement.

About 4,300 people work at the lab.

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