Letter details security violations at Y-12 during breach

10:30 PM, Aug 14, 2012   |    comments
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Y-12 Highly Enriched Uranium Materials Facility (HEUMF)

We have received a letter from government officials that is addressed to the contractor overseeing the Y-12 complex. It details the security violations on the night three protestors broke into the complex.

Read the entire letter here. (pdf)

Y-12 is known for being one of the most secure federal facilities in the country, and for good reason. It stores highly enriched uranium and other dangerous materials.

The National Nuclear Security Administration is listing what it says were serious errors at the complex that allowed three protesters to break in last month and vandalize the outside of one building.

The letter dated August 10th is addressed to the then-president of B&W Y-12, Darrel Kohlhorst.

The letter points to a severe lapse of discipline and performance at Y-12.

Many security cameras were not working at the time of the breach, including a camera at the fence zone where the protesters broke in.

The letter also says the security force failed to react as the protesters cut through the fences, even though numerous alarms were received. And even after security guards responded, it took too long for the patrol to arrive on the scene.

Once on the scene, the NNSA says the guards failed to take appropriate steps to take control of the situation, and a supervisor had to intervene.

Those are just some of the problems listed in the letter. It goes on to say that since the break-in happened, more procedural problems have shown a serious breakdown in security operation.

The complex continues to be under a security stand down that has stopped all nuclear operations there indefinitely.

Meanwhile, the three suspects accused in the break-in, including a Catholic nun, are charged with felonies in the case.

Tuesday, Senator Bob Corker received a classified briefing at the facility. He says he is confident leaders there are taking the right actions to ensure a similar breach never happens again.

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