Holy Nuclear Cow: “Some of the Most Stringent Security in the World” Isn’t

In the early morning of July 28th three intruders broke through the security at the Y-12 nuclear facility at Oak Ridge, Tennessee.  The three, including 82 year-old Sister Meagan Rice, spent three hours inside the security perimeter before being nabbed by a Barney Fife guard.  Y-12 is, in its own words, responsible for, “the processing and storage of uranium and development of technologies associated with those activities.” In sum, regardless of your political stance on nuclear energy, a nun and two senior citizens armed with bolt cutters and flashlights, should not be able to evade what Y-12 describes as, “some of the most stringent security in the world.”

But the three amateurs did just that.  Now we learn through a Special Report, authored by the Inspector General of the Department of Energy, that Y-12’s “most stringent security in the world” is, in fact, a comedy of errors, contract mismanagement, and blatant incompetency

And perhaps much, much more according to Inspector General Gregory H. Friedman in his August 29 report titled “Special Report: Inquiry into the Security Breach at the National Nuclear Security Administration’s Y-12 National Security Complex”.

As the blame game heightens, we now learn that it was no accident that three amateurs could easily work their way past “some of the most stringent security in the world”.  But instead of focusing on the blame game at the level of the security guards, it makes much more sense to ask why and how this security system, meant to stop terrorists dead in their tracks, failed.  And fail it did.  Catastrophically.

More to follow.

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