Author Topic: Obama Releases List of Nuclear Sites - These screw-ups happen - Deutch  (Read 2056 times)

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Offline TahoeBlue

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Fear! We need more Fear!
U.S. Releases Secret List of Nuclear Sites Accidentally
Published: June 2, 2009

The federal government mistakenly made public a 266-page report, its pages marked “highly confidential,” that gives detailed information about hundreds of the nation’s civilian nuclear sites and programs, including maps showing the precise locations of stockpiles of fuel for nuclear weapons.

The publication of the document was revealed Monday in an online newsletter devoted to issues of federal secrecy. That set off a debate among nuclear experts about what dangers, if any, the disclosures posed. It also prompted a flurry of investigations in Washington into why the document had been made public.

On Tuesday evening, after inquiries from The New York Times, the document was withdrawn from a Government Printing Office Web site.

Several nuclear experts argued that any dangers from the disclosure were minimal, given that the general outlines of the most sensitive information were already known publicly.

“These screw-ups happen,” said John M. Deutch, a former director of central intelligence and deputy secretary of defense who is now a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. “It’s going further than I would have gone but doesn’t look like a serious breach.”

But David Albright, president of the Institute for Science and International Security, a private group in Washington that tracks nuclear proliferation, said information that shows where nuclear fuels are stored “can provide thieves or terrorists inside information that can help them seize the material, which is why that kind of data is not given out.”

The information, considered confidential but not classified, was assembled for transmission later this year to the International Atomic Energy Agency as part of a process by which the United States is opening itself up to stricter inspections in hopes that foreign countries, especially Iran and others believed to be clandestinely developing nuclear arms, will do likewise.

President Obama sent the document to Congress on May 5 for Congressional review and possible revision, and the Government Printing Office subsequently posted the draft declaration on its Web site.

As of Tuesday evening, the reasons for that action remained a mystery. On its cover, the document referred to the Committee on Foreign Affairs and ordered to be printed. But Lynne Weil, the committee spokeswoman, said the committee had “neither published it nor had control over its publication.”

Gary Somerset, a spokesman for the printing office, said it had “produced” the document “under normal operating procedures” but had now removed it from its Web site pending further review.

The document contains no military information about the nation’s stockpile of nuclear arms, or about the facilities and programs that guard such weapons. Rather, it presents what appears to be an exhaustive listing of the sites that make up the nation’s civilian nuclear complex, which stretches coast to coast and includes nuclear reactors and highly confidential sites at weapon laboratories.

Steven Aftergood, a security expert at the Federation of American Scientists in Washington, revealed the existence of the document on Monday in Secrecy News, an electronic newsletter he publishes on the Web.

Mr. Aftergood expressed bafflement at its disclosure, calling it “a one-stop shop for information on U.S. nuclear programs.”

In his letter of transmittal to Congress, Mr. Obama characterized the information as “sensitive but unclassified” and said all the information that the United States gathered to comply with the advanced protocol “shall be exempt from disclosure” under the Freedom of Information Act.

The report details the locations of hundreds of nuclear sites and activities. Each page is marked across the top “Highly Confidential Safeguards Sensitive” in capital letters, with the exception of pages that detailed additional information like site maps. In his transmittal letter, Mr. Obama said the cautionary language was a classification category of the International Atomic Energy Agency’s inspectors.

The agency, in Vienna, is a unit of the United Nations whose mandate is to enforce a global treaty that tries to keep civilian nuclear programs from engaging in secret military work.

In recent years, it has sought to gain wide adherence to a set of strict inspection rules, known formally as the additional protocol. The rules give the agency powerful new rights to poke its nose beyond known nuclear sites into factories, storage areas, laboratories and anywhere else that a nation might be preparing to flex its nuclear muscle. The United States signed the agreement in 1998 but only recently moved forward with carrying it out.

The report lists many particulars about nuclear programs and facilities at the nation’s three nuclear weapons laboratories — Los Alamos, Livermore and Sandia — as well as dozens of other federal and private nuclear sites.

One of the most serious disclosures appears to center on the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee, which houses the Y-12 National Security Complex, a sprawling site ringed by barbed wire and armed guards. It calls itself the nation’s Fort Knox for highly enriched uranium, a main fuel of nuclear arms.

The report lists “Tube Vault 16, East Storage Array,” as a prospective site for nuclear inspection. It said the site, in Building 9720-5, contains highly enriched uranium for “long-term storage.”

An attached map shows the exact location of Tube Vault 16 along a hallway and its orientation in relation to geographic north, although not its location in the Y-12 complex.

Tube vaults are typically cylinders embedded in concrete that prevent the accidental formation of critical masses of highly enriched uranium that could undergo bursts of nuclear fission, known as a criticality incident. According to federal reports, a typical tube vault can hold up to 44 tons of highly enriched uranium in 200 tubes. Motion detectors and television cameras typically monitor each vault.

Thomas B. Cochran, a senior scientist in the nuclear program of the Natural Resources Defense Council, a private group in Washington that tracks atomic arsenals, called the document harmless. “It’s a better listing than anything I’ve seen” of the nation’s civilian nuclear complex, Mr. Cochran said. “But it’s no national-security breach. It confirms what’s already out there and adds a bit more information.”

This article has been revised to reflect the following correction:

Correction: June 4, 2009
An article on Wednesday about the mistaken release of a report detailing America’s civilian nuclear complex described incorrectly a statement on the document’s cover about its publication. The statement said the document had been “referred to the Committee on Foreign Affairs and ordered to be printed.” It did not directly attribute the report’s publication to the committee.
Behold, happy is the man whom God correcteth: therefore despise not thou the chastening of the Almighty: For he maketh sore, and bindeth up: he woundeth, and his hands make whole ; He shall deliver thee in six troubles: yea, in seven there shall no evil touch thee. - Job 5


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Check this out from a few years back (note: article is chock full of absolute lies, but note the nuke stuff mentioned):

Updated: February 27th, 2006 05:16 PM EDT
Government Defense Plan Assesses Possible Methods of Attack on Nuclear Plants
Defense plan indicates smaller force would attack nuclear plants than participated in 9/11

Associated Press WorldStream
via NewsEdge Corporation

WASHINGTON - A government defense plan for nuclear power plants assumes an attack would come from fewer than half the number of Sept. 11 hijackers, and they would not be armed with rocket-propelled grenades or other weapons often used by terrorists overseas.

Such assumptions, say critics of the largely classified security document, could make plants vulnerable to a terrorist takeover even though the industry has pumped more than $1.2 billion (?1 billion) into defenses at its 64 reactor sites in 31 states since the al-Qaida attacks in 2001.

Because of the sensitive nature of security, NRC officials refused in interviews to discuss details of the defense plan. They said the requirements, expected to be final later this year, will demand a level of security from a civilian guard force that is "reasonable."

"I'm not going to get into numbers," said Michael Weber, deputy director of the NRC's office of security and incident response> He has been involved closely in the development of the defense plan, known as the Design Basis Threat, or DBT.

Various sources, including congressional investigators, private watchdog groups and industry representatives with access to NRC officials, say the defense plan assumes an attack force of roughly double the number that had been used in government planning before the 9/11 attacks. Back then, plants were required to anticipate no more than four adversaries, including an "insider" accomplice.

Nineteen al-Qaida terrorists were involved the attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, against the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and an unknown third target. The third plane was brought down in a Pennsylvania field by a passenger revolt.

The NRC "should require defenses against attacks ... by groups at least as large as that involved in the 9/11 attacks," attorneys general from seven states wrote the agency last year, worried that the upgraded defense plan falls well short of that number.

Their states have 31 of the nation's 103 commercial power reactors.

"Instead of sizing the DBT on the actual threat, the NRC bases security standards on what the NRC, or perhaps the nuclear industry, believes a private guard force can be expected to handle," said Peter Stockton, a former security adviser at the Energy Department who now is with the Project on Government Oversight, a private watchdog group.

Stockton said he has learned the commission rejected staff recommendations to require guard forces at reactors to be capable of defending against an attack force armed with a variety of weapons including rocket propelled grenades, powerful "platter" explosive charges capable of penetrating six feet of concrete, homemade torpedoes and .50-caliber armor-piercing ammunition.

Those NRC decisions were confirmed by industry and congressional sources who are familiar with deliberations on the defense plan but spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitive nature of the details.

Stockton produced an unclassified Energy Department training film for security at its nuclear sites that says such weapons are readily available to terrorists and suggests ways to defend against them.

"I can't discuss it,"
NRC spokesman Eliot Brenner said Wednesday, which also was the deadline for public comment on the defense plan.


Weber, the NRC security official, said detailed information about the size of a potential attack force or its firepower could be exploited by terrorists and therefore could not be discussed publicly.


Weber acknowledged that the crafting of the DBT "takes into account not only what is the threat but what is reasonable for a private security force to protect against." The NRC assumes there could be a larger threat than outlined by the guard-force DBT, and the defense plan includes provisions to get police and military reinforcements to a plant.

"If a larger threat shows up, then the security force that's on site has to be able to hold that site long enough so the cavalry can respond," says Weber.

Government and industry officials have acknowledged, however, that in some cases it could be an hour or more before any substantial response force could be assembled and dispatched.

The defense plan takes into account the increased terrorist threat, the NRC says in outlining the declassified version of the plan. It requires a guard force to be prepared to defend against attacks from multiple directions including from water. It also assumes a possible suicide attack and larger truck bomb than envisioned in the pre-9/11 document. It does not require plants to guard against an attack from the air.

The nuclear industry says most of the requirements already have been implemented and that nuclear power plants are much more secure than other potential terrorist targets such as chemical plants.

"We feel pretty good on balance that we have the right level or protection," says Steven Floyd, vice president for regulatory affairs at the Nuclear Energy Institute, the industry lobbying group.

But, he said in an interview, "Where do you draw the limit of what's the responsibility of the private sector and what's the responsibility of the federal government?"

"To be able to do what (some critics) are asking us to do we'd need our own army, navy and air force," said Floyd. The industry has long argued that it's a government responsibility to protect against such threats as an air attack or a ground attack by a large, well armed force.

"If you could pull that off and could put that force together, they probably wouldn't attack a nuclear power plant because they could just as easily attack a chemical plant" with much less security, argues Floyd.

Offline TahoeBlue

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Yes this story made me think back to the Israeli "White Vans"

9/11 Memorandum Commission Select Committees 2004 - Israeli Surveillance
In May 2004, there were two incidents involving Israelis in moving vans in proximity to U.S. nuclear facilities.

One occurred in Tennessee near the Nuclear Fuel Services plant, which reprocesses nuclear waste from hospitals. The van was pursued by the local sheriff for three miles after refusing to pull over. The two fleeing Israelis, who threw a bottle containing an accelerant, had in their possession Israeli military ID’s and false U.S. documents.

In the second incident, two movers in a van tried to enter the Kings Bay Naval Submarine Base in Georgia, which is home to eight Trident nuclear submarines, but were arrested when dogs detected drugs inside their vehicle. The men had military ID’s and false documents. There was no follow-up by the FBI even though both incidents were reported to federal authorities.

Nuclear plants tighten security
FBI seeking 6 men seen in Midwest
[email protected] OCTOBER 3,2001

WASHINGTON -- As the nation stands on high alert, the FBI is searching for six men stopped by police in the Midwest last weekend but released -- even though they possessed photos and descriptions of a nuclear power plant in Florida and the Trans-Alaska pipeline, a senior law enforcement official said Tuesday.

The Federal Aviation Administration imposed new flight restrictions around nuclear plants nationwide Tuesday, and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission advised the nation's 103 nuclear plants late Monday to fortify security. On Tuesday, agency spokesmen said the FAA's flight restrictions and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission's security recommendations were based on Ashcroft's general alert rather than a specific threat. Ashcroft warned that Americans could be struck by another terrorist attack this week.

The incident in the Midwest apparently contributed to the new warning. The six men stopped by police were traveling in groups of three in two white sedans, said a senior law enforcement official, who requested anonymity.


In addition to the photographs and other suspicious material, they carried "box cutters and other equipment,'' the official said. They appeared to be from the Middle East and held Israeli passports. They were let go after the Immigration and Naturalization Service determined that the passports were valid and that the men had entered the United States legally, the official said.

The FBI declined to comment. An INS spokesman called the report unfounded. ``We have absolutely no information at this point in time to substantiate that story,'' said the agency's Russ Bergeron. It could not be learned in what state the six men were stopped or how they aroused suspicion. It was not known whether their true identities matched those on the passports, or why the FBI was not releasing their names or descriptions.

Investigators think the men almost certainly have changed cars by now and have fled to Canada or elsewhere. Ashcroft and FBI Director Robert Mueller were ``furious'' that the INS allowed the men to be released without consulting the FBI, the official said. Ashcroft and Mueller appeared Monday evening at a news conference to announce that the government had ``credible'' but vague information that another wave of terrorist attacks could strike Americans within a week.


Spokeswoman Rachel Scott said FPL's plants remained at the highest level of alert. ``We are in very close communication with all levels of law enforcement, including the FBI, to ensure we have the security measures in place to protect the plants,'' she said. Also Tuesday, the FAA restricted all flights below 18,000 feet and within 10 miles of 86 "sensitive nuclear sites'' , the agency said. Exceptions can be made for law enforcement, medical and firefighting flights. The 800-mile-long Trans-Alaska Pipeline runs from Prudhoe Bay on the Arctic Ocean to Valdez on the Pacific.
Behold, happy is the man whom God correcteth: therefore despise not thou the chastening of the Almighty: For he maketh sore, and bindeth up: he woundeth, and his hands make whole ; He shall deliver thee in six troubles: yea, in seven there shall no evil touch thee. - Job 5

Offline Monkeypox

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Secrets like that were always being released under Blow Job Billy Klinton.  I wonder how long it will take for nObama to start releasing military secrets to the Chinese.
War Is Peace - Freedom Is Slavery - Ignorance Is Strength

"Educate and inform the whole mass of the people... They are the only sure reliance for the preservation of our liberty."

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Secrets like that were always being released under Blow Job Billy Klinton.  I wonder how long it will take for nObama to start releasing military secrets to the Chinese.

Did someone say BJ?