Thursday, August 1, 2013
AIKEN, S.C. (WRDW) -- A new report by the Project on Government Oversight, a government watchdog group, says security personnel at Savannah River Site failed at least one security drill in January. According to the report, in the drill, a "mock commando-type adversary team" breached the H-Canyon, where highly enriched Uranium and other dangerous materials are often stored.
"In at least one of the test scenarios the adversaries gained access to the simulated bomb material," the independent nonprofit group's article reports.
The report says another test was halted when a shift change increased the number of workers in the area of the drill.
"A real attack during the confusion of a shift change should be a concern and something our protective forces are trained to handle," the report reads.
POGO and watchdog group Friends of the Earth have sent Freedom of Information Act requests to the U.S. Department of Energy with limited results.
"Although POGO is sensitive to the issues surrounding the release of nuclear security tests, the results of these tests are vital to developing new and better ways of securing our nuclear sites," the report reads.
The report says funding for WSI-SRS, the security contractor for the site, was downgraded during the first half of 2013.
On April 25, 2013, Chief Deputy Dwayne Courtney of the Aiken County Sheriff's Office became the chief of law enforcement for WSI-SRS.
"DOE needs to be more forthcoming about what happened," adds Tom Clements, the Southeastern Nuclear Campaign Coordinator for Friends of the Earth.
Clements has forwarded News 12 an email where DOE told Clements there was no incident. The email says the drill simply ran longer than expected.