Guards Cheated on Nuclear Security Drills

January 30th, 2004 - by admin

by DefenseTech –

Security guards at the country’s leading nuclear storehouse have been cheating during antiterrorism drills — perhaps for as long as 20 years, according to a report released Monday by the Energy Department’s inspector general.

And now, watchdogs in Congress and beyond are questioning whether the tons of enriched uranium at the Y-12 National Security Complex in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, are really safe at all.

“First off, heads should roll,” said Rep. Christopher Shays (R- CT), who chairs the House Committee on Government Reform’s National Security, Emerging Threats and International Relations Subcommittee. “I can assure you, my committee will be following up in a very direct way.”

Y-12 is America’s main facility for processing enriched uranium. It stores nearly all of the country’s reserve of about 5,000 “secondaries,” the thermonuclear hearts of hydrogen bombs.

When a team of Y-12 rent-a-cops racked up a perfect score during an antiterror drill June 26, officials there were shocked.

How could the guards have performed so well, they wondered, when a computer model had predicted that the defenders would lose at least half of their confrontations?

The answer was simple: The guards cheated. They had seen the computer models of the strikes the day before they were launched, rendering the test “tainted and unreliable,” according to the report. And this wasn’t the first time it had happened…