Department of Energy Blames Security Failures for Incident at Y-12

Aug 31, 2012

The Department of Energy's inspector general is pointing to significant security failures for an unprecedented intrusion into the Y-12 nuclear weapons plant in Oak Ridge, Tennessee.  The report cites broken detection equipment, a poor response from guards, and insufficient federal oversight of private contractors running the complex.

The new report on the July 28th incident notes that three peace activisits, including an 82 year old Roman Catholic nun, gained access to a portion of the complex directly adjacent to "one of  the nation's most critically important and highly secured weapons-related facilities."

The report refers to "troubling displays of ineptitude in responding to alarms" by the contracted security force. It also cites a failure to repair security equipment, including cameras. The inspector general also criticized a lack of oversight by federal officials over the contractors at the site.