Note: This story was updated at 11:07 p.m.
After a four-week transition, B&W Y-12 has taken over the security guard force at the Y-12 National Security Complex and hired 560 WSI Oak Ridge employees.
The transition ends three months after an unprecedented security breach at Y-12 and one month after B&W Y-12 announced it would terminate its contract with WSI Oak Ridge. That company, also known as Wackenhut and G4S Government Solutions, had provided security guards at the nuclear weapons complex for about a dozen years.
“The transition from WSI Oak Ridge to B&W Y-12 has gone very smoothly, and we welcome these new employees to the company,” said retired Brig. Gen. Rod Johnson, deputy general manager for security. “We’ve already seen improvements in security performance following previously announced contracting changes, and we believe we’ll see additional successes with the protective force fully integrated into B&W Y-12.”
B&W Y-12 announced it would end the WSI Oak Ridge contract after a Sept. 28 recommendation from the National Nuclear Security Administration. B&W Y-12 manages and operates Y-12 for the NNSA.
The transition from WSI to B&W Y-12 began Oct. 1. B&W had said it would offer employment to active Y-12 security police officers and other active union WSI Oak Ridge employees at Y-12 and the Central Training Facility in Oak Ridge.
B&W Y-12 had also said it would evaluate non-union WSI Oak Ridge employees who supervise and support Y-12 guards.
WSI became a subcontractor to B&W Y-12 after the July 28 security breach. Before that highly publicized intrusion, WSI had operated under a separate contract with the NNSA.
The contracting change was among many made after three anti-nuclear weapons activists, including an 82-year-old nun, sneaked into Y-12 before dawn on July 28, cut through three fences with bolt cutters, and vandalized a building where bomb-grade uranium is stored. The breach also led to federal investigations and critical reports, congressional hearings, staff re-assignments and suspensions, and at least one firing.
B&W Y-12 said it has made many improvements in security in the past three months, significantly reducing false and nuisance alarms, successfully completing two intensive force-on-force exercises to test protective force readiness, and installing new security cameras.