published Saturday, August 4th, 2012

Huge security shakeup at Y-12; Energy Secretary Chu says 'no tolerance' for breaches

Aerial photograph of the Y-12 nuclear weapons plant in Oak Ridge.
Aerial photograph of the Y-12 nuclear weapons plant in Oak Ridge.
Photo by The Knoxville News Sentinel /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

A huge security shake-up is under way at the Y-12 nuclear weapons plant, underscored Friday evening with a statement from Energy Secretary Steven Chu regarding the "unacceptable and deeply troubling breach" that occurred last weekend when antiwar protesters infiltrated the Oak Ridge plant's high-security core.

Chu said security guards involved in the incident have been suspended and three members of the leadership team at the government's security contractor — WSI-Oak Ridge — have been removed from their positions, including General Manager Lee Brooks.

The statement provided to the News Sentinel also said a "relevant" federal official at the National Nuclear Security Administration's oversight office at Y-12 had been temporarily reassigned, pending outcome of an investigation launched by the department's health, safety and security chief Glenn Podonsky.

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