Skip to comments.Fake documents got workers into nuke plant
Posted on 06/20/2005 9:49:40 AM PDT by NormsRevenge
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Sixteen foreign-born construction workers with phony immigration documents were able to enter a nuclear weapons plant in eastern Tennessee because of lax security controls, a federal report said Monday.
Controls at the Y-12 weapons plant have since been tightened and there was no evidence the workers had access to any sensitive documents, said the National Nuclear Security Administration, which oversees nuclear weapons facilities for the Department of Energy.
However, the DOE inspector general's office said in the report issued Monday that its field agents found "official use only" documents "lying unprotected in a construction trailer which was accessed by the foreign construction workers" at the plant.
"Thus, these individuals were afforded opportunities to access ... (this) information," the inspector general wrote. "We concluded that this situation represented a potentially serious access control and security problem."
The report, initiated by a tip in 2004, said the workers had fake green cards that certified them to work in the United States. Their cases were turned over to the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency for deportation.
The Y-12 plant, created for the top-secret Manhattan Project that developed nuclear bombs in World War II, makes parts for nuclear warheads and is the country's principal storehouse for weapons-grade uranium. The plant in Oak Ridge, about 25 miles west of Knoxville, has been criticized for losing keys to sensitive areas and purported cheating on security drills, weaknesses that officials say have been corrected.
In response to the foreign workers intrusion at the plant, visitors now must provide passports or birth certificates along with other background information.
National Nuclear Security Administration spokesman Steve Wyatt said that agency and managers for Y-12 contractor BWXT became concerned earlier this year about the potential for uncleared workers entering a construction site within the Y-12 complex, mostly involving steel and concrete workers.
He said the case was turned over the IG after investigators confirmed that some undocumented workers had access to the area.
The inspector general said it was particularly concerned about allowing subcontractors to self-certify the citizenship of their employees, and that the Office of Counterintelligence didn't know foreign constructions workers were at the Y-12 site until it was notified by the inspector general's office.
I want to know what nationalities.
Am I wrong in asking: Just how the he!! can this happen at a nuclear facility in a post 9/11 world??
More than a little telling that that particular information isn't given in the article.
If not for the grace of God, this country would have been toast a LONG time ago.
Sooner or later, the gig's up.
I remember going thru clearance checks for the DOE, no minor deal, paperwork up the yang, the FBI checks put your home, youth, the works, etc.
Incredible and if this is a nuclear intermediary weapons transfer point..
Heads should roll, imo.
A stunning report.
I think they used to have the calutrons there that would take the partially-enriched material from the K-25 plant (the Oak Ridge GDP) and fully enrich it to weapons-grade material. When plutonium became the material of choice for weapons the calutrons were used for stable isotope enrichment, but those have been retired in favor of "cheaper foreign suppliers" (sound familiar?). So the Y-12 plant is essentially a decommissioned facility.
Yet another example of how this country has sold out it's technological soul.
If you ever had to deal with the traffic in and out of Y-12 during shift change, you'd say otherwise. Y-12 is still a busy facility, involved in the manufacture, decommission, and refurbishment of nuclear weapons. It's still a very active facility.
K-25 - the enrichment facility in the next valley over - that's been decommissioned, and is going through clean up and refurb for re-use.
not to worry.... rumor has it they are going to start feeling up every other white haired granny that enters the gates..... jut to be on the safe side donchaknow.
K-25 basically provided feedstock for Y-12, if I recall correctly. Since we made the deal with the Russkies I don't think this country is in the nuclear weapons materials manufacturing business anymore. If it came about that we needed a lot more plutonium than we have stock on hand, I don't know where we'd get it. Adapting power reactors for plut production, much less the separation and purification facilities, would be a challenge I doubt if this country is up to anymore.
Protect our borders and coastlines from all foreign invaders!
Be Ever Vigilant!
Minutemen Patriots ~ Bump!
You forgot neighbors........Had several neighbors wanting to know why the authorities were asking questions of every neighbor they could find for last 10 years. They visited friends as far back as high school for my clearance....
I'm sure they knew more about me than I know about myself...
The gig is up! Blackbird.
The gig is up! Blackbird.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.