The plan to cut security staff at the Y-12 National Security Complex has been canceled, but the proposal to cut staff at the East Tennessee Technology Park has not, a spokeswoman said Wednesday.
Courtney Russell Henry, public affairs manager for security contractor WSI Oak Ridge, said 15 employees at ETTP have left the company, including 13 security police officers and one support staff member who accepted a voluntary separation. One officer left the company outside the voluntary separation program, or VSP, Henry said.
In July, WSI had called for cutting a total of up to 52 jobs at Y-12 and ETTP. Employees were to be offered voluntary separations, and Tuesday was supposed to be the last work day for those who were accepted.
The proposed cuts included the 15 jobs at ETTP (the former K-25 site), as well as up to 34 security police officer and three staff positions at Y-12. The proposed reductions followed reviews by the National Nuclear Security Administration, the U.S. Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge Office, and WSI.
While the ETTP security staff was reduced, the Y-12 staff was not. On Tuesday, federal spokesman Steven Wyatt said the plan to cut staff at Y-12 had been canceled because WSI no longer has the authority to restructure its staff. That’s because it is now a subcontractor reporting to B&W Y-12, rather than the National Nuclear Security Administration, following a July 28 security breach at the plant, the nation’s main production facility for many nuclear weapons components.
That unprecedented breach occurred when three anti-nuclear weapons activists allegedly sneaked into the plant, cut through fences, entered a high-security area, and spray-painted slogans and splashed human blood on the Highly Enriched Uranium Materials Facility, or HEUMF, where bomb-grade uranium is stored.