The future of a security contract at the Y-12 National Security Complex could be in question.
The US Department of Energy and the National Nuclear Security Administration issued a "show cause notice" to B&W Y-12 LLC on August 10th. That means the contractor has to explain why its contract should not be voided.
The DOE also confirms the Y-12 General Manager and Chief Operation Officer for the management and operating contractor have been removed from their positions.
The guards involved also have been suspended.
It's all part of the fallout after the arrest of three protestors who reached a building at the facility that contains weapons-grade enriched uranium.
A federal grand jury indicted each of them on two felony charges and one misdemeanor.
The investigation into what happened, and how to adjust security procedures, continues.
Statement from DOE Spokesman Damien LaVera
"Secretary Chu has made clear that the security of our nation's nuclear material is the Department's most important responsibility, and he has no tolerance for federal or contractor personnel who cannot or will not do their jobs. As the Secretary has made clear, the recent incident at Y-12 was a completely unacceptable breach of security, and an important wake up call for our entire complex. The severity of the failure of leadership at Y-12 demands swift, strong and decisive action by the Department.
"To ensure the highest level of security, the General Manager of the plant, his senior security managers, and the leadership of the guard force were removed, and the Department has taken initial steps to hold the management and operating contractor at Y-12 accountable. To manage this transition, we have brought some of the best security experts from our enterprise to Y-12 to quickly enhance security at the site, and are working to make the structural and cultural changes required to appropriately secure this facility.
"The Department is confident that these aggressive actions will restore and enhance security at Y-12, but we will leave no stone unturned to find out what went wrong and will take any step necessary to ensure security at this site and across our enterprise."