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Global Security Newswire

Daily News on Nuclear, Biological & Chemical Weapons, Terrorism and Related Issues

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Y-12 Protection Firm Received Positive Assessment Prior to Infiltration

The U.S. National Nuclear Security Administration awarded high achievement citations to the security provider at the Y-12 National Security Complex the month before peace activists completed a high-profile infiltration of the Tennessee nuclear arms facility, the Knoxville News Sentinel reported on Friday.

The members of the antinuclear group Transform Now Plowshares on July 28 infiltrated the Oak Ridge site's "Protected Area," where a facility holding large quantities of weapon-grade uranium is located. The three had enough time to allegedly pour out blood, put up signs and paint on the sides of buildings before they were discovered and apprehended.

WSI-Oak Ridge had an "exceeded level of high-quality performance" in eight respects, according to the NNSA analysis of company activities over a half-year period concluding at the end of March.

The firm's efforts gave government personnel "a high level of confidence that an effective security posture is maintained at the Y-12 National Security Complex," states the assessment provided to the company in June.

"Overall, the contractor fully met (the government's) expectations for performance during the evaluation period and addressed all … concerns adequately and immediately," it says.

The July break-in exposed security issues including nonfunctioning monitoring cameras and guards who were slow to respond to signs of trouble. In the wake of the incident the two leading officials with WSI-Oak Ridge have lost their jobs and the firm's contract was placed under the management of Y-12's operating contractor.

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