DOE having trouble finding copies of letters to Chu on Y-12 security investigation.
NNSA makes top banner post on POGO again.
November 2012, the Project On Government Oversight learned that former
Department of Energy (DOE) Secretary Steven Chu asked three former
senior government officials to review physical security at all U.S.
nuclear weapons facilities and individually write a letter with their
findings and recommendations for security improvements.
learning of this latest security commission, POGO filed a Freedom of
Information Act (FOIA) request to obtain the letters filled with
security recommendations from these experts.
reports, letters, or other correspondence between former Nuclear
Regulatory Commission Chairman Richard Meserve, retired Air Force Maj.
Gen. Donald Alston, and retired Lockheed martin CEO Norm Augustine to or
from Secretary Chu from January 2011 to the present. Specifically,
anything related to the break-in at the Y12 facility and DOE’s model for
protecting nuclear materials across the weapons complex."
January 18, a DOE response informed POGO that the request was assigned
to the Office of the Executive Secretariat who searched the Electronic
Document Online Correspondence and Concurrence System, which tracks all
formal correspondence. This search did not yield any results, but the
Executive Secretariat would continue to look for any documents.
seven days later, POGO heard from the DOE again: “A search of Secretary
Chu’s emails was conducted, for communications with the individuals
referenced in your request. That search produced no responsive
Although POGO was able to obtain the letters through
other avenues, it is rather remarkable that such a thorough search of
Secretary Chu’s correspondence did not result in a single mention of
this security commission or the reports that had been sent to him on
December 6, 2012.
As these letters so clearly highlight, we are
at a tipping point. Major changes must be made to the way the DOE and
the NNSA approach physical security of our nuclear weapons, as
demonstrated by the recent security failure at the Y-12 complex that
allowed three protestors within feet of 300-400 metric tons of highly
enriched uranium. It is POGO’s hope that the information in these
letters will ensure immediate steps are taken to improve the security of
the nuclear weapons complex.'
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