About POGO

Peter Stockton, Sr. Investigator

Peter Stockton

Sr. Investigator


Areas of expertise: National Security, Nuclear Safety & Security, Nuclear Weapons Laboratory Safety and Security, Nuclear Power Plant Safety & Security

Peter Stockton, Senior Investigator, has thirty years of experience investigating waste and fraud throughout the federal government. From 1999 to 2001, Mr. Stockton served as Special Assistant to Department of Energy Secretary Bill Richardson as his personal troubleshooter on physical and cyber security in the nuclear weapons complex. Prior to that, for twenty-two years, Mr. Stockton was the senior investigator on the House Energy and Power and the House Oversight and Investigations Subcommittees of the Energy and Commerce Committee. During the 1970s, he investigated most of the major defense contractors and oil companies, the diversion of bomb-grade uranium to Israel, and the death of Karen Silkwood. In the 1980's and early 1990's, he investigated the security and effectiveness of the nuclear weapons production program and defense contractor fraud. His other investigations include the construction and operation of the Alaskan Pipeline, bribes made by U.S. corporate executives to foreign officials, and overcharging and Medicare fraud in the pharmaceutical industry. His investigations of mergers and acquisitions lead him to uncover insider trading and stock manipulation. Prior to his work in Congress, Mr. Stockton was a fiscal economist in the Bureau of the Budget in the Executive Office of the President during the Johnson Administration. He earned a Masters Degree in International Economics from Ohio State University.

Watchdogs Urge the Energy Department to Slash the Award Fee for the Contractor at the Sandia National Laboratory

December 19, 2014

This letter urges the Energy Department not to provide any of the performance incentive award fee to the contractor managing the Sandia National Lab due to Inspector General findings of federal law violations.

Watchdogs Urge the Energy Department to Slash the Award Fee for the Contractor at the Los Alamos National Laboratory.

December 3, 2014

In the interests of greater contractor accountability, this letter urges that seriously reduced performance award fees be awarded to Los Alamos National Security, LLC (LANS) for its management performance in FY 2014.

Uranium Processing Facility: When You're in a Hole, Just Stop Digging

September 25, 2013

The Uranium Processing Facility at the Y-12 Complex is a construction project that is vastly over budget, behind schedule, and facing serious questions about its ability to contribute to the mission of the National Nuclear Security Administration.

POGO Asks Secretary Hagel to Stop Funding B61 Nuclear Bomb Program in Europe

April 17, 2013

The cost of maintaining the B61 nuclear bomb program in Europe has increased yet again while questions regarding security and military efficacy remain unanswered.

Experts Recommend Federalizing Guard Forces at DOE Nuclear Weapons Facilities

January 14, 2013

Shortly after last year’s incredible breach at the Y-12 National Security Complex in Oak Ridge, Tenn. by the 82-year-old nun and her cohorts, Secretary of Energy Steven Chu asked three experts to review the physical security of the entire nuclear weapons complex.

U.S. Nuclear Weapons Complex: Energy Department Plans to Waste Billions of Dollars on Unneeded Los Alamos Lab Facility

January 18, 2012

The Chemistry and Metallurgy Research Replacement-Nuclear Facility is a proposed facility at the Los Alamos National Laboratory. The facility would enable the United States to dramatically increase its production of plutonium pits, which are primary components of nuclear weapons. This mission is in direct opposition to U.S. nuclear strategy, which calls for an ever-decreasing number of nuclear weapons in the future. What's more, during a decade of planning, the facility's estimated cost to taxpayers went from $375 million to almost $6 billion for just one building of that facility.

POGO Comments on the Site-Wide Environmental Impact Statement for the Y-12 National Security Complex and the Uranium Processing Facility (UPF)

January 29, 2010

POGO believes that this Y-12 Site-Wide Environmental Impact Statement (SWEIS) process is flawed and a bit presumptuous, because the National Nuclear Security Administration’s (NNSA) decision to take action on the Uranium Processing Facility (UPF) comes before the 2010 Nuclear Posture Review is complete.

POGO presentation to the "Committee on Risk-Based Approaches for Securing the DOE Nuclear Weapons Complex" at the National Academies of Science

March 26, 2009

Nuclear Security Concerns - Major concern: Too many sites with weapon-grade weapon-quantity (CAT 1) nuclear material

Peter Stockton's comments to the NRC's Regulatory Information Conference Seminar regarding the security officer community's perspectives on the NRC and industry reactions to managing guard fatigue issues at Peach Bottom in 2007

March 11, 2009

I'm happy to be here and share the security officer community's perspectives on the Nuclear Regulatory Commission and industry reactions to managing guard fatigue issues at Peach Bottom Nuclear Generating Station in 2007.

POGO letter to NRC's Lisamarie Jarriel regarding the revision and strengthening of the Interim Allegation Program Guidance

March 6, 2009

We appreciate the opportunity to contribute to the revision and strengthening of the Interim Allegation Program Guidance. In addition to our participation in the panel discussion on February 13, 2009, POGO is providing its recommendations for changes to the NRC's Management Directive (MD) 8.8.

POGO letter supporting the nomination of George Mulley from the NRC Office of Inspector General for the NRC’s Edward McGaffigan Jr. Public Service Award

September 29, 2008

The Project On Government Oversight (POGO) enthusiastically endorses Mr. George Mulley for the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s (NRC) Edward McGaffigan Jr. Public Service Award.

U.S. Nuclear Weapons Complex: Livermore Homes and Plutonium Make Bad Neighbors

March 17, 2008

Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (Livermore Lab), a nuclear weapons facility located in the greater metropolis of San Francisco, CA, poses the most significant security threat of any such facility in the U.S. Roughly seven million people live within a 50 mile radius of the Livermore Lab, which has approximately one ton of weapons-grade and weapons-quantity of plutonium and highly enriched uranium, DOE's most dangerous and expensive-to-guard special nuclear material (SNM). If terrorists gained access to this material, they could detonate them, devastating the San Francisco Bay Area and inland regions—the key agricultural areas of California . POGO has learned that the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) has given Livermore Lab a waiver so that it does not have to meet the current security requirements devised by the intelligence community. While NNSA pledges to remove the material from Livermore Lab by the end of 2012, POGO has determined that the material can safely be removed by early 2009, saving taxpayers a $160 million in security costs and eliminating a homeland security vulnerability that puts the surrounding population needlessly at risk.

POGO's Statement on NRC Investigation into Security Failures at Peach Bottom Nuclear Power Plant

October 10, 2007

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) released the findings of its investigation into allegations that on-duty guards were caught sleeping at the Peach Bottom nuclear power plant at a public meeting October 9, 2007. According to news media reports, the NRC confirmed that there were "multiple occasions" when security officers were inattentive to their duties.

U.S. Nuclear Weapons Complex: Y-12 and Oak Ridge National Laboratory at High Risk

October 16, 2006

Two Department of Energy nuclear weapons facilities in Eastern Tennessee are at high risk, and can not meet the government's security standards. If a terrorist attacks the Y-12 National Security Complex or the Oak Ridge National Labs, and detonates an improvised nuclear device with the more than 400 metric tons of highly-enriched uranium or the 1000 cans of U-233 stored at the sites, more than 60,000 people living in the area would die.

Testimony of POGO's Peter Stockton, Sr. Investigator before the House Armed Services Committee, Subcommittee on Strategic Forces Regarding Future Plans on the Nuclear Weapons Complex

April 5, 2006

A POGO investigation has found that disposing of excess nuclear materials and consolidating remaining materials in fewer and more easily-defended locations could save the government billions of dollars over three years while also better protecting the public from nuclear terrorism.

U.S. Nuclear Weapons Complex: Homeland Security Opportunities

May 19, 2005

As internal tests and analyses have shown, the Department of Energy cannot adequately protect America's voluminous stockpile of weapons grade nuclear material, which is housed at 13 locations throughout the country. In the post-9/11 era, we know that suicidal terrorists are capable of massive attacks – the worst possible scenario would be terrorists penetrating a nuclear facility and building an improvised nuclear bomb, which could have a similar force of the Hiroshima blast. In this report, POGO makes recommendations that will reduce the number of sites containing these nuclear materials from 13 down to seven.

Testimony of Peter D.H. Stockton POGO's Senior Investigator before the House Democratic Task Force on Homeland Security on Inadequate Security at Nuclear Power Plants and Nuclear Weapons Facilities

June 24, 2003

The Project On Government Oversight (POGO) has spent over two years investigating the adequacy of security at U.S. nuclear weapons facilities, as well as the security at U.S. nuclear power plants. POGO takes no position on nuclear power. The Task Force has asked me to address security vulnerabilities at both nuclear weapons facilities and power plants. There are serious problems with security at these facilities to which the Congress should be paying attention.

Nuclear Power Plant Security: Voices From Inside the Fences

September 12, 2002

Security guards at only one of four nuclear power plants are confident their plant could defeat a terrorist attack, according to interviews conducted by POGO for this report. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) regulates the utilities operating nuclear power plants. The utilities generally subcontract with private guard companies for security services. The security guards say morale is currently very low and that they are under-manned, under-equipped, under-trained, and underpaid. More than 20 security guards protecting 24 nuclear reactors (located at 13 plants) were interviewed during POGO's investigation into nuclear plant security. POGO offers 29 recommendations to toughen security at the nuclear power plants.

U.S. Nuclear Weapons Complex: Security At Risk

October 1, 2001

Few facts would do more to result in the launch of a nuclear strike than a terrorist detonation of a nuclear bomb on U.S. soil. Yet, POGO has found that the threat of nuclear terrorism occurring here in the United States is very serious. POGO is advocating for solutions to security problems at both the nuclear weapons complex and the nuclear power plants in order to end this vulnerability.

Now is the Time to Downblend Highly Enriched Uranium

April 6, 2015

Downblending highly enriched uranium will enable the Department of Energy to more easily consolidate the U.S. nuclear complex, saving money and increasing security.

Downblending Highly Enriched Uranium Just Makes Sense

March 19, 2015

The use of highly enriched uranium in some vessels of our Navy's fleet has been one of the biggest stumbling blocks in eliminating this dangerous material. But new reactor designs could mean the end of the Navy's reliance on highly enriched uranium.

No More Excuses for Failing to Downblend

August 25, 2014

If the government sped up dismantlement and highly enriched uranium downblending efforts, the United States and the world would be a safer place—and the government might make a few (million) dollars, too.

The Uranium Processing Fiasco

September 25, 2013

The Energy Department and National Nuclear Security Administration have birthed another boondoggle—a Uranium Processing Facility projected to run billions of dollars over budget and 20 years behind schedule. It’s long past time to see if there isn’t a better solution.

Dangerous Chemical in Texas Explosion Poorly Regulated

June 21, 2013

Ammonium nitrate fertilizer, the suspected culprit behind the April factory explosion in West, TX, has a deadly history well known to government agencies. Despite that, the Environmental Protection Agency has yet to add it to the list of Extremely Hazardous Materials.

Our Nuclear Insecurity Complex

November 14, 2012

The government has yet to address the lapses in bomb-grade uranium storage security that an 82-year-old nun and her accomplices revealed months ago.

Washington Post Series on U.S. Nuclear Arsenal Requires Closer Look

October 2, 2012

POGO provides needed context and clarification to the Washington Post's series on the U.S. nuclear arsenal.

Cheating on Security Tests at Y-12 is Nothing New

September 10, 2012

The DOE's Independent Oversight Program recently tested security at the Y-12 nuclear weapons facility, but a federal inspector found evidence of cheating--something the security contractor has a history of.

Guard Scapegoated in the Y-12 Security Debacle

August 28, 2012

After an 82-year-old nun and her companions broke into the Y-12 National Security Complex, who was held accountable for the security breach of the nuclear weapons facility?

IG Investigation Spurred by POGO Found Former NRC Commissioner Merrifield Violated Ethics Laws

October 29, 2009

After raising concerns more than two years ago, POGO has just received hundreds of pages of internal documents, which are a part of a Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) Inspector General investigation, that outline how recently departed Commissioner Jeffrey Merrifield disregarded advice from the NRC’s General Counsel and voted on two matters that “could have potentially” financially benefited three companies—Shaw Group, Westinghouse, and General Electric—during the time he was directly involved in employment negotiations with those companies.

Oak Ridge as Asteroid Magnet

October 16, 2006

December 9, 2014

In wake of missteps, Udall says LANL manager’s contract needs ‘hard look’

The New Mexican | By Staci Matlock

December 6, 2014

New Mexico issues fines of $54 million for nuclear waste mishaps

McClatchey National News | By Ralph Vartabedian

April 30, 2013

Trial Begins For Protesters Who Broke Into Nuclear Complex

National Public Radio - NPR; All Things Considered | By Matt Powell