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(Mother Jones)   How secure is our weapons-grade uranium complex in Knoxville, Tennessee? So secure that it was broken into by 83-year-old antiwar activist and nun Sister Megan Rice   (motherjones.com) divider line 69
    More: Interesting, Knoxville, nuclear arms race, anti-war activists, states with nuclear weapons, National Nuclear Security Administration, uranium, Y-12 National Security Complex, Michael Walli  
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3978 clicks; posted to Main » on 15 Jan 2014 at 2:32 PM (36 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2014-01-15 03:12:41 PM

generallyso: MadMattressMack: Well, the only one I see regularly is at the planned parenthood up the street. Maybe they should break in and spray paint slogans on the women there to get more media coverage.

Comparing the security of a nuclear storage facility to planned Parenthood is apples and airplanes.


You can't hug an aborted baby with nuclear arms.
 
2014-01-15 03:14:23 PM
Send in the Nuns!!!
i1.ytimg.com
 
2014-01-15 03:18:24 PM

MadMattressMack: FTFA: "dared to engage in vital acts of civil disobedience "

And that's where the article lost me and I realized the article was picking sides. Civil disobedience doesn't involve breaking into extremely dangerous places where nuclear weapons research and fuel are stored. If they want to stand at the main gate with signs or block the entrances, fine. But what they did was beyond stupid.


Sorry, but this is neither nuclear research nor fuel. The correct term is "fissile material".
 
2014-01-15 03:24:23 PM
I just got a phone call from Tennessee and I don't know anybody from there.  Great, now I'll be on the NSA and all the other alphabet soup gangs' terror lists.  I'll be lucky to buy toilet paper again without getting arrested.

/farking nunsense
 
2014-01-15 03:26:22 PM
A fence, wow, big deal. It'd be impressive if they actually got to some uranium. Maybe a nun with superpowers would happen as a result, which may be a good thing.
Anyway, people can do the same thing at airports, power stations, military bases and so on. Someone out in CA cut some cables and shot up some transformers at a substation. Any nut could do the same thing. Take out power for a town or city. Can't secure everything. Lets just try to keep an eye on the wackos and try not to produce so many of them.
 
2014-01-15 03:26:40 PM

MassAsster: except Y-12 employs mostly Ex-military and ex- law enforcement.... not your standard street person put into a uniform and given a cell phone


Point, there.  I do not have much faith in the notion that LEO and jarheads are parsing the far end of the Bell curve, though, to be honest.
 
2014-01-15 03:29:37 PM

Ambitwistor: vpb: WTF do we have a weapons grade uranium stockpile?  Who makes bombs out of uranium these days?

Uranium is used in the secondary of thermonuclear weapons.


Y-12 also provides fuel to the U.S. naval reactor program. So all your subs and carriers get their fuel from there.
 
2014-01-15 03:29:46 PM
This happened a year and a half ago.  How come nobody's posted the old news is so exciting pic?
img.fark.net
 
2014-01-15 03:33:36 PM

PaLarkin: This happened a year and a half ago.  How come nobody's posted the old news is so exciting pic?
[img.fark.net image 193x261]



The news now is that their sentencing hearing is coming up.
 
2014-01-15 03:36:03 PM

MadMattressMack: FTFA: "dared to engage in vital acts of civil disobedience "

And that's where the article lost me and I realized the article was picking sides. Civil disobedience doesn't involve breaking into extremely dangerous places where nuclear weapons research and fuel are stored. If they want to stand at the main gate with signs or block the entrances, fine. But what they did was beyond stupid.


Its hard to protest effectively thee days when the free speech zones are located three miles away from the site, beside the bridge the sex offenders live under.

This kind of thing is more correctly called "direct action". It highlights a specific issue or problem, it is attention grabbing, it sidesteps the traditional political process and is often illegal.
 
2014-01-15 03:56:46 PM

electricjebus: Not really a story, they didn't make it into any of the buildings containing the enriched uranium, and the security wasn't set up to stop activists, it was set up to stop enough people with the equipment to move enough enriched uranium to become a problem.  Considering all that they were still caught within an hour of being on the grounds.

This kind of thing happens all the time, the outer fences they put up on places like that are just to keep people from wandering in, and so that they can shoot anybody past that point.



From what I understand (in the report that followed this incident), they didn't just breach the outer fences.  They cut their way through the inner fences and made it to the outer part of the building.  Personally, I find that pretty staggering and the report on the security is pretty crazy.  Yes, animals can set off fence, air, and ground sensors but a good security team will physically investigate each point of suspected entry point *immediately*...even if they saw a damn raccoon scramble over the fence.

That was a horrible and inexcusable failure on the part of their security.
 
2014-01-15 04:01:49 PM
Where are the nit pickin' Farkers?  Y-12 is Oak Ridge, not the "outskirts of Knoxville."  But back in the Secret City days, the address for Oak Ridge actually was a P.O. Box in Knoxville.  Also, it's been a while, but the reports at the time were that they only cut through the fence & never even made it close to any of the buildings.

Interesting, the "Fort Knox of uranium" label in the article.  The story is that they tapped into the precious metals at Fort Knox to build the winding for the centrifuges, as copper could not be spared at the time.
 
2014-01-15 04:14:43 PM

justanotherfarkinfarker: A fence, wow, big deal. It'd be impressive if they actually got to some uranium. Maybe a nun with superpowers would happen as a result, which may be a good thing.
Anyway, people can do the same thing at airports, power stations, military bases and so on. Someone out in CA cut some cables and shot up some transformers at a substation. Any nut could do the same thing. Take out power for a town or city. Can't secure everything. Lets just try to keep an eye on the wackos and try not to produce so many of them.



They breached the outer fence of the area which is usually patrolled, with gaps, and monitored by lookout tower and cameras.  Once past that, they most likely proceeded to the inner fence and breached that.  I haven't read the details but that is usually a three fence system (for the actual "inner" fence) with *no* monitor gaps from both camera and fixed personnel stations (usually towers with straight line of site to the next manned tower).  Fixed camera arrays cover the entire fenced area.  There are various air sensors and usually ground and fence sensors.  The three fences usually are topped with a variety of barbed and snag wire with one of them set up for electric (though I've never seen one actively on...you would fry a lot of squirrels that way).  Nonetheless, you would need brass balls to walk up to a fence that is obviously electrically insulated (heavily) and start snipping at it with bolt cutters.

The fact that they made it through these fences after tripping alarms (that the security people blew off) is utterly amazing.  The first guard on the scene should have drawn is weapon and made them eat gravel but instead, he sat there with his thumb up his ass.  And the fact that there wasn't a swarm of security on the location is another mind-blowing detail.  It was a screw-up on multiple levels to be sure.
 
2014-01-15 04:34:22 PM

Beemer_Vol: Where are the nit pickin' Farkers?  Y-12 is Oak Ridge, not the "outskirts of Knoxville."  But back in the Secret City days, the address for Oak Ridge actually was a P.O. Box in Knoxville.  Also, it's been a while, but the reports at the time were that they only cut through the fence & never even made it close to any of the buildings.

Interesting, the "Fort Knox of uranium" label in the article.  The story is that they tapped into the precious metals at Fort Knox to build the winding for the centrifuges, as copper could not be spared at the time.


To anyone living outside East Tennessee, Oak Ridge is the outskirts of Knoxville. Anderson County is pretty much nothing but a Knoxville suburb these days.
 
2014-01-15 04:40:23 PM

Headso: Is this old news or is she at it again? good for her btw...


Old news.  Years old, in fact.  Not sure why it's being trotted out again.
 
2014-01-15 05:13:52 PM

generallyso: Comparing the security of a nuclear storage facility to planned Parenthood is apples and airplanes.


Have you seen the nutjobs who show up for Planned Parenthood pickets? I think there is something more likely to happen there than at Y-12. But yes, the security needs are different. I was arguing the point of using these actions to gain media exposure being relevant, not the security needs of the facilities.

jshine: You can't hug an aborted baby with nuclear arms.


static2.fjcdn.com

Check please

nardman: Sorry, but this is neither nuclear research nor fuel. The correct term is "fissile material".


Yes it is. It's stockpile stewardship, Naval reactor support, and nuclear weapon parts production and maintenance for every uranium weapon. There is "fissile material" there as well as nuclear weapons storage, manufacturing, and support. Throw in R&D into parts for thermonuclear warheads (as all the original manufacturing notes were lost so they have to come up with the production methods again).

No Such Agency: MadMattressMack:

Its hard to protest effectively thee days when the free speech zones are located three miles away from the site, beside the bridge the sex offenders live under.

This kind of thing is more correctly called "direct action". It highlights a specific issue or problem, it is attention grabbing, it sidesteps the traditional political process and is often illegal.


While that may be true and most cases is not warranted to the point I'd side with your implied point, but in this case I will argue that it was wrong for the protesters to do this. This isn't someplace that random people should be wandering around on. It was illegal and rightfully so given the dangerous nature of the projects and materials there.

If they thought a single warhead would not be produced because of their actions then they were as much delusional as they were wrong. Given that point I can't condone this in any way. I'm not a fan of nuclear weaponry as anything other than a great big firework, but their actions were dangerous to themselves and others. They should be punished.
 
2014-01-15 07:18:20 PM
Wasn't this reported on like eons ago...Oh wait, Mother Jones....never mind...
 
2014-01-16 06:14:09 AM
Can we please stop giving those attention whores what they want?
 
2014-01-16 09:42:53 AM
Wow this place is like an hour and a half from me and I had no idea it was there. I mean oak ridge has been used for enrichment in the past but this place is news to me.
 
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