Note: This story was last updated at 10:40 p.m.
A special federal report published Wednesday documents alleged failures that allowed three anti-nuclear weapons activists to sneak into the Y-12 National Security Complex on July 28, penetrate a high-security area, and spray-paint slogans and splash human blood on a building that stores bomb-grade uranium.
Among the findings: A critical security camera in an area penetrated by the protesters hadn’t worked for about six months, and guards assumed the trespassers were maintenance workers when they used hammers to beat on the walls of the uranium storage building, officially known as the Highly Enriched Uranium Materials Facility.
The failures in the $150 million security system at Y-12, which has “long enjoyed a reputation as one of the most secure facilities in the United States,” raised serious questions, said the 18-page report by the U.S. Department of Energy Office of Inspector General.
“We identified troubling displays of ineptitude in responding to alarms, failures to maintain critical security equipment, over-reliance on compensatory measures, misunderstanding of security protocols, poor communications, and weaknesses in contract and resource management,” said the report, signed by Inspector General Gregory H. Friedman.