A Nun, a House Painter, and a Drifter Walk into a Nuclear ComplexTweet
April 30, 2013
It sounds like the start of an absurd joke, but last summer three peace activists broke into one of the most secure nuclear-weapons facilities in the U.S.. The Y-12 National Security Complex in Tennessee is often called the Fort Knox of Uranium, but the activists were able to walk in armed only with bolt cutters and flashlights.
In a new feature, The Washington Post gives an in-depth account of that night and the questions it raised about how the U.S. secures its most dangerous materials.
From the article:
With elbow grease and blind faith, they would make a symbolic incursion to defeat the site’s $150 million-a-year security operation. They would mortify the nation’s nuclear weapons programs, which since 1940 has cost at least $9.8 trillion in 2013 dollars — costlier than all other government expenditures except Social Security and non-nuclear defense programs, according to nuclear weapons policy analyst Stephen Schwartz’s recent update of his 1998 Brookings Institution audit.
In short: Nuclear weapons have been the United States’ third-highest national priority since World War II, in terms of dollars, and we spend a fortune every year to manage and secure them. Yet a crucial facility in this nuclear enterprise “wasn’t even nun-proofed, much less terrorist-proofed,” as a Tennessee congressman would put it in a February hearing on the break-in, which shut down Y-12 site operations for two weeks.
See the full article, including graphic-novel-style illustrations, at The Washington Post.
Andre Francisco is the Online Producer for the Project On Government Oversight.
Topics: National Security
Authors: Andre Francisco
- November 10, 2015
- October 7, 2015
- September 17, 2015
- September 11, 2015
- September 9, 2015
- August 24, 2015
- August 17, 2015
- May 18, 2015
Browse POGOBlog by Topic
POGO on Facebook
Podcast; Social Media, Internet Provides Opportunities, Challenges for Lawmakers
The Congressional Management Foundation offers the Gold Mouse Awards annually to members of Congress who make the most of the opportunity the digital world offers them. POGO spoke with members of Rep. Mike Honda's communications team about their award.