Congressman: Pentagon should be in charge of security at nuclear complexes
WASHINGTON—The chairman of a House Armed Services subcommittee has drafted legislation that would put the Pentagon in charge of security for U.S. nuclear weapons sites in the wake of the July security breach by protesters, including an 82-year-old nun, at the Y-12 National Security Complex in Oak Ridge, Tenn., Reuters reported.
Rep. Mike Turner, R-Ohio, told the news service that the Department of Energy’s National Nuclear Security Administration, which is investigating the security breach, “is incapable of providing the level of security necessary for our nuclear weapons facilities.” The NNSA is responsible for overseeing the security contactors.
Turner serves on the House Arms Services Committee and is the ranking member of the Strategic Forces Subcommittee, which has jurisdiction over the nation’s nuclear arsenal.
The nun and two other protesters, ages 57 and 63, cut through perimeter fences and vandalized a building that stores highly enriched uranium on July 28.
Y-12’s security is contracted to WSI Oak Ridge, owned by G4S. Top officials at WSI were not available for comment when contacted by Security Director News. The contract is being reviewed and a number of security personnel have been fired, the news report said. One of those fired was the security guard who was first to encounter the protesters. He says he followed procedure.
Turner told Reuters that if the Pentagon was in charge at nuclear complexes, security would be increased and better technology would be in place, among other benefits.