Note: This story was updated at 9:10 a.m.
Monday was the deadline for B&W Y-12 to respond to an Aug. 10 “show cause” letter from the National Nuclear Security Administration. That letter, which followed a July 28 security breach, gave the company 30 days to explain why its contract should not be terminated.
B&W Y-12 did not immediately release its response Monday.
“B&W Y-12 is determining whether we’ll be able to release information contained in the response,” the company said in a statement. “Additionally, it’s only appropriate to allow NNSA some time to consider the document before any content is released to the public.”
B&W Y-12 operates and manages Y-12 for the NNSA.
The show cause letter was written after the July 28 security breach, which allowed three anti-nuclear weapons activists to sneak into a high-security area at the plant. They allegedly cut though three fences and spray-painted slogans and splashed human blood on the Highly Enriched Uranium Materials Facility, where bomb-grade uranium is stored.
The B&W Y-12 statement said the company’s response was originally due Sept. 9, but NNSA changed the due date to Sept. 10 since Sept. 9 was a Sunday.
In its response to the show cause notice, B&W Y-12 is expected to say what steps it will take to comply and fix problems.
The Aug. 10 show cause letter was written by NNSA Contracting Officer Jill Y. Albaugh. Among other things, it said security cameras weren’t working during the July 28 intrusion, and the Y-12 protective force failed to react to alarms and took too long to arrive at the scene.
It also said preliminary fact-finding revealed “an inappropriate Y-12 cultural mindset, as well as a severe lapse of discipline and performance in meeting conduct of operations expectations.” Albaugh’s letter assigned preliminary blame to both B&W Y-12 and G4S Government Solutions Inc., the plant’s security contractor that operates as WSI Oak Ridge.
WSI Oak Ridge is facing its own potential contract termination. B&W Y-12 notified WSI on Aug. 31 of the possible termination “for default” if WSI didn’t take action to address recent security concerns. WSI was given 16 days to respond.
Meanwhile, a Feb. 26 trial has been set for the three protesters, Greg Boertje-Obed, Megan Rice, and Michael R. Walli. They face federal charges of property destruction, property depredation, and trespassing.
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