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Edited by Christian Lowe | Contact

FEDS ANSWER NUKE SECURITY CALLS

Whistleblowers and good government groups have been begging the Department of Energy for years to do something about the slipshod security at its nuclear weapons labs -- only to have those pleas ignored.

But something potentially revolutionary happened on Friday. Instead of giving the watchdogs the finger, Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham announced a series of defensive measures that were taken straight from the watchdogs' wish list.

Atomic storehouses, vulnerable to terrorist attack, will be emptied of their radioactive loads, Abraham promised in a speech at the Savannah River nuclear facility in Georgia. Classified data will be better locked down, on diskless computers. And the rent-a-cops that have been so laid-back in their protection the country's uranium supply – they might even be replaced with a federal force.

My Wired News article has details.

THERE'S MORE: Ian Hoffman, one of the deans of the nuclear security beat, isn't buying Abraham's tough talk.

"The Energy Department undergoes a major security overhaul on average every three years," he writes, "and the practical impact of Abraham's reforms -- how much more secure will nuclear weapons sites be -- was debatable."

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