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.
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.
The cost of maintaining the B61 nuclear bomb program in Europe has increased yet again while questions regarding security and military efficacy remain unanswered.
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.
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 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.
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
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.
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.
The Project On Government Oversight (POGO) enthusiastically endorses Mr. George Mulley for the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s (NRC) Edward McGaffigan Jr. Public Service Award.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
The Department of Energy Inspector General released a report revealing the security contractor for Y-12 National Security Complex cheated on a security performance test.
POGO provides needed context and clarification to the Washington Post's series on the U.S. nuclear arsenal.
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.
After an embarrassing security breach at Y-12 National Security Complex, POGO has learned the Department of Energy’s Office of Independent Oversight Program (IO) will conduct a full review of security at Y-12 before the end August 2012, including a force-on-force.
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?
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.