Y12 Fence Cut by Plowshares Activists Still Open Months Later
Posted by tnplowshares ⋅ December 19, 2012 ⋅
Ongoing Security Vulnerability at Y12 Nuclear Weapons Complex Revealed
Four and a half months after Sister Megan Rice, Greg Boertje-Obed, and Michael Walli enter facility, hole in perimeter fence still not repaired
Actual entry point, photo by OREPA, December 17, 2012
Members of the Oak Ridge Environmental Peace Alliance today releases photos showing that, four and a half months after the July 28, 2012, incursion by the Transform Now Plowshares peace activists, the person-sized hole they made in the perimeter fence at the Y12 Nuclear Weapons Complex in Oak Ridge, TN, has not yet been repaired.
On Wednesday, December 19, 2012, OREPA’s coordinator met with counsel for the defense to compare notes and confirmed that 1) the point of access identified by the government was not, in fact, the entry point of the Plowshares activists; and 2) the entry point was not yet repaired and the breach in the fence remained.
Francis Lloyd, counsel for Sister Megan Rice, immediately drafted a letter to be delivered to the prosecution and the court to alert them to the ongoing vunerability.
“The existence of this breach is significant for two reasons,” said OREPA coordinator Ralph Hutchison. “First, of course, we should not have large holes in the fence that establishes the first line of defense for our nuclear weapons facilities. The breach was clearly evident from a distance of twenty yards or more; it says to me that with all the post July 28 security activity, and despite the assurances given to Congress and others, no one had taken the simple step of walking the entire perimeter fence to verify its integrity.”
“But a greater concern is what this says about the capacity of B&W Y12 and the National Nuclear Security Administration to do their job,” Hutchison continued. “Since July 28, the public has heard assurances from the Secretary of Energy on down that the Plowshares action was a wake-up call, that security lapses were intolerable, that attention to detail was paramount, that all steps were being taken to address the lessons learned—and yet the hole in the fence had not been discovered, nor had it been repaired. There is no excuse. None.