Top management changes at WSI after Y-12 security breach

Two administrators at security contractor WSI Oak Ridge have been replaced after three anti-nuclear weapons activists penetrated the high-security Protected Area at the Y-12 National Security Complex on July 28, allegedly splashing blood and spraying paint on a uranium storage building.

Lee Brooks, former general manager at WSI Oak Ridge, has been replaced by Steve Hafner, who will serve as acting general manager, a press release said. Hafner is senior vice president and director of safety, security, and environment for Mission Support Alliance in Hanford, Wash.

Brooks and Gary Brandon, former director of the Y-12 Protective Force, are waiting to be reassigned by G4SGS, the WSI Oak Ridge press release said. WSI is a G4SGS company.

John Garrity

John Garrity

John Garrity has been named director of the Y-12 Protective Force. He previously served as director of training and emergency management.

Central Training Facility Manager Bryan Lambert will serve as acting director of training and emergency management, the press release said.

Courtney Russell Henry, WSI Oak Ridge public affairs manager, said three security police officers at Y-12 have also been suspended and placed in a restricted-duty status.

Bryan Lambert

Bryan Lambert

The three activists—Greg Boertje-Obed, Megan Rice, and Michael R. Walli—have been charged with misdemeanor trespassing charges and felony property destruction for their alleged intrusion, which they reportedly named “Transform Now Plowshares.” They have a court hearing scheduled at 9:30 a.m. Thursday in U.S. District Court in Knoxville.

Last week, U.S. Energy Secretary Steven Chu called the unprecedented security breach “unacceptable and deeply troubling.”

“The department has no tolerance for security breaches at any of our sites, and I am committed to ensuring that those responsible will be held accountable,” Chu said.

Nuclear operations at the 811-acre Y-12 plant have been temporarily halted, and all employees are undergoing more security training.

Y-12 was built during World War II to enrich uranium for atomic bombs, and it is the nation’s production facility for many nuclear weapons components.



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  • Peggy Tiner

    I hope the vandals are held accountable financially for taxpayers’ money that has been wasted because of their actions. Think how much good they could do in the world if they used their energy for something besides harrassment.

  • Susie Williams Taylor

    This unprecedented security breach rings of Sci-Fi….I still cannot wrap my brain around the facts as presented by the DOE! My hopes would be for the DOE to totally “clean house” of anyone involved with security at this mentioned location. Is WSI the “only” security contractor? What about the military? Maybe as an interim security force?! To me, this breach is unforgivable. In my mind, too many “what ifs” come into play!

  • John Huotari

    Peggy and Susie, we’ll post any additional information we receive on either of these two topics (financial assessments and security force changes).

  • Floyd Glenn


    Your post is the first I’ve seen that recognizes the ludicrous reports by DOE and their spokes people. In my opinion they are lying. First of all, They are saying they cut three fences and tripped alarms and that the Special Response Team did not get them until after they reached the HEUMF and vandalized the bldg. Secondly, no one has picked up on the fact that one of the intruders reports they were challenged by a Security Police Officer and he called for back up. They say The HEUMF is impenetrable. I watched a video on the internet about the HEUMF at Y-12 and see a vulnerability to gain entry into the HEUMF. A trained team would exploit this. A young, trained team would have reached the target in half the time of the intruders. They may not have got out, but they could have caused a criticality. The alarms DID NOT WORK! The cameras DID NOT WORK. Why were assessments of the PIDAS not done to prevent this. I reported many vulnerabilities to Col Clements and Gary Brandon, in my opinion, their only concern was to terminate my employment for going outside the chain of command. Y-12 security has a history of not complying with DOE policies and procedures. No one is ever held accountable for their incompetence. Employees who commit outrageous acts including theft are allowed to resign with out any accountability. These managers will be reassigned without any lose of income or position. Y-12 enrichment was shut down for over a year by the DNFSB for blatant wide spread non compliance. This is what they learned from that incident. Why were the intruders not detected by the towers on each corner? Were they sleeping? Were they manned? Why were the towers removed from the ridge as a line of defense?

  • Floyd Glenn


    If management properly used the millions of dollars they were provided to protect Special Nuclear Material the intruders would have never entered the Protected Area. Who wasted the tax payers money? I hope the managers whose gross negligence caused this incident are held accountable.

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