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Monday, February 11, 2013

DOE having trouble finding copies of letters to Chu on Y-12 security investigation.

DOE having trouble finding copies of letters to Chu on Y-12 security investigation.

NNSA makes top banner post on POGO again.


'In 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.

After 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.

POGO requested:

"All 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."

On 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.

Just 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 documents.”

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.'

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

As these letters so clearly highlight, we are at a tipping point.

February 10, 2013 at 1:37 PM

Right. Yawn. Yeah, "tipping point." The usual 20% or did I miss something? ANyone who thinks things are going to change significantly in the next 4 years is dreaming.

Anonymous said...

Norm Augustine, retired Lockheed martin CEO in his letter to Sec. Chu concludes that the best and most secure option for addressing the standardization and contractor issues is federalization of the guard force. Augustine states that federalization is “somewhat contrary to his confessed personal prejudices but that he believes it could fix many of the serious problems in the current system.

However, Augustine notes that if federalization of the guard force for any reason is not practicable to implement, the model used at PX & recently introduced at Y-12 should be workable. Having observed the “dumbing-down” of job qualifications for technical/analytical slots at PX & observing Fed/M&O security mgr.s changing performance test results from negative to positive makes me think Augustine might not be getting the full story about the PX model. As for federalization of the guard force – it needs more thought, imo.

Anonymous said...

He wiped his ass with them.

Best use of public input.

Anonymous said...

Imo, it doesn’t speak well of America & it’s workforce when it’s considered better to Federalize a workforce than use the the Free Enterprise System as the only real means to prevent a strike/work stoppage at critical CAT-1 facilities.

Anonymous said...

February 15, 2013 at 2:42 AM:

Just curious: why did you capitalize "free enterprise system"? It is not a title or a company or institutional name.

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