published Sunday, August 5th, 2012

Security highly visible but no protesters yet at Y-12

In this photo reportedly taken in the days leading up to the early Saturday, July 28, 2012 break-in at Y-12, the activists posed with their banners and protest symbols. From left are Michael R. Walli, 63, Washington, D.C.; Megan Rice, 82, Nevada; and Greg Boertje-Obed, 57, Duluth, Minnesota. A spokeswoman for the group said the Plowshares actions at high-security nuclear sites typically involve months, if not years, of planning. The three were arrested at about 4:30 a.m., and are now in federal custody. A Y-12 spokesman declined to discuss specifics of the event or provide a report of damages at the Oak Ridge facility.
In this photo reportedly taken in the days leading up to the early Saturday, July 28, 2012 break-in at Y-12, the activists posed with their banners and protest symbols. From left are Michael R. Walli, 63, Washington, D.C.; Megan Rice, 82, Nevada; and Greg Boertje-Obed, 57, Duluth, Minnesota. A spokeswoman for the group said the Plowshares actions at high-security nuclear sites typically involve months, if not years, of planning. The three were arrested at about 4:30 a.m., and are now in federal custody. A Y-12 spokesman declined to discuss specifics of the event or provide a report of damages at the Oak Ridge facility.
Photo by The Knoxville News Sentinel /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

OAK RIDGE — Security personnel, including heavily armed guards, are stationed this afternoon at multiple points in view of the entrance to Y-12 nuclear weapons plant, and barricades were in place on Bear Creek Road, which leads into the Oak Ridge nuclear facilities, in preparation for two days of peace events associated with the anniversary of the Aug. 6, 1945, atomic bombing of Hiroshima, Japan.

By midafternoon, there were no protesters in sight, but the security force was already highly visible near the plant's entrance.

The protective force is typically very much a visual presence at the annual protests and peace rallies, and that's sure to be the case again today, perhaps even more so in the wake of the stunning and embarrassing security breach a week ago. In the early morning hour of July 28, three protesters sneaked into the facility during the night and, using bolt cutters to cut through fences, penetrated to the highest-security area of the sprawling nuclear complex. Once there, they spray-painted messages, strung crime-scene tape, and placed peace banners on the exterior of the plant's storehouse for bomb-grade uranium before they were detained around 4:30 a.m.

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