By ERIK SCHELZIG
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- An 82-year-old nun who broke into the Y-12 nuclear weapons plant in Oak Ridge with two fellow peace activists in July has been both praised and criticized at a congressional hearing about the security breach.
Sister Megan Rice attended the Wednesday hearing in Washington by the House Energy and Commerce oversight and investigations subcommittee.
Rice and her co-defendants face federal charges carrying a maximum prison sentence of 16 years in prison for cutting through security fences and hanging signs and throwing blood on walls.
Rep. Joe Barton of Texas had Rice stand in the audience and thanked her for highlighting security problems at the facility.
Fellow Texas Republican Rep. Michael Burgess questioned why she was allowed to attend when charges were pending.