Remember the stories about the incredible security breaches at Los Alamos National Laboratory? Investigators found the place was riddled with security violations, some that allowed an employee to secret out more than 1,000 classified documents.
Now comes a Time Magazine report about the vulnerabilities at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. It seems that a Red Team testing the lab's physical defenses found them wanting.
Can you say contract security forces, which is what the lab depends on?
"One night several weeks ago, according to TIME's sources, a commando team posing as terrorists attacked and penetrated the lab, quickly overpowering its defenses to reach its "objective" -- a mock payload of fissile material. The exercise highlighted a number of serious security shortcomings at Livermore, sources say, including the failure of a hydraulic system essential to operating an extremely lethal Gatling gun that protects the facility."
The Project On Government Oversight folks sent out an email drawing attention to the Time piece, in part because they have been beating the drum about the inadequency of nuclear facilities security for years.
"More than anywhere else in the nuclear weapons complex, it is essential to prevent terrorists from accessing the nuclear materials at Livermore. At Livermore, there are houses, schools and playing fields across the street, and 7 million people within a 50 mile radius," said POGO's Executive Director Danielle Brian. "Suicidal terrorists would not need to steal the materials, they simply could detonate them into an Improvised Nuclear Device on the spot."
Here's a new POGO report about the lab and its contractor and operation.
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