Y-12 Highly Enriched Uranium Materials Facility (HEUMF)
Nuclear operations at the Y-12 Security Complex are in motion once again after an unprecedented break-in by three protestors. The National Nuclear Security Administration said in a release that the re-start, which was announced late Wednesday afternoon, takes place that day.
The contractor, B&W, temporarily shut down the facility on August 1, 2012, a few days after the security breach happened on July 28. The protestors, who The trio supports the "Transform Now Plowshares" peace movement that opposes nuclear weapons.
They reached the highly enriched uranium materials building at the facility, spray painted messages on the building, splattered it with human blood, and held a peace ritual before a lone guard arrested them. The three suspects accused in the break-in, including a Catholic nun, are charged with federal vandalism felonies in the case.
Wednesday's re-start comes with more federal oversight from the NNSA, as well as security improvements. Officials report that all Y-12 personnel have had additional security training and reviewed site rules over the past two weeks. Y-12 guards have also had additional tactical and security training. Wackenhut Services Incorporated, the company that provides security for Y-12, has been moved to a new sub-contract under B&W. Officials say that move helps reduce levels of management, and to strengthen the relationship between both companies.
Officials said the re-start does not mean the investigation into the security breach is over. Additional security reviews are already happening, or are set to start later this month. The NNSA also released a "Show Cause Notification" to 10News on Tuesday, which gives B&W 30 days to explain to the government, in writing, why its contract should not be terminated. An NNSA spokesperson said there will be a review process once B&W answers the "Show Cause Notification."
B&W has been the contractor for the Y-12 facility since 2000. The current contract is set to expire on September 30, 2012 with an option to renew for two, three-month periods. WSI's contract ends on November 30, 2012. Officials said talks about renewing those will likely begin after the investigation in to the security breach has concluded.
One other note: 10News looked in to questions about why guards did not "shoot to kill" the trespassers at the time of the break-in. An NNSA spokesperson said that policy is authorized only if suspects show intent to kill. He said these suspects showed no physical threat to the guards, which is why the guards did not shoot.
The Y-12 National Security Complex has been given the all-clear to resume nuclear operations after a stand down following a security breach.
B&W Y-12 had ordered the stand down on August 1 after an internal review of security operations after three protesters, including a Catholic nun, managed to breach security on July 28.
The National Nuclear Security Administration says all Y-12 personnel have undergone additional security training during the stand down.
They say additional security reviews are underway, and others are scheduled to begin later this month.