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Local leaders, activists react to Y-12 security stand down | News

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Local leaders, activists react to Y-12 security stand down
Local leaders, activists react to Y-12 security stand down

A weekend break-in at Y-12 has prompted officials to shut down nuclear operations temporarily. As the investigation into that incident continues, both local leaders and the protesters' supporters share their reactions.

On Saturday, three demonstrators penetrated a secure area at the Y-12 National Security Complex in Oak Ridge.

The three protesters were arraigned Monday, and face charges for federal trespassing.

Wednesday, B&W Y-12 LLC, management and operating contractor for Y-12, ordered a temporary security stand down at the facility, while all security measures are reviewed.

Oak Ridge Mayor Tom Beehan says he is still puzzled as to how the security breach happened.

"If you've ever been out there, you know, that security is tight. I mean, it really is," he insisted.

"You wonder, and I'm sure everyone there did too, how did this happen?"

As Y-12 officials continue to search for answers, the security stand-down is now in effect. Beehan is not surprised by the move, and expresses his support.

"The response is what I'm interested in," he said. "Lessons learned - let's make sure that, if the bad guys show up out there, they cant pull this off... I'm sure that's whats going on right now."

Anti-nuclear activist Erik Johnson knows the protesters arrested last weekend, and says they are kindhearted and faithful people.

"They bring that hope, that vision and that dream," he said. "And I'm ever grateful for that because people are crying and hoping for a time when these menacing weapons... be stopped."

Johnson says the protesters owe more than luck to their successful break-in.

"They were led by the spirit to that place, it didn't happen by accident. It's a fulfillment of the Isiah prophecy that these weapons will be beaten into plowshares," he said.

Wackenhut Services Incorporated, which is the security contractor at Y-12, said last month it would eliminate 37 jobs there. The contractor said the move would not weaken security.

A spokesman for B&W Y-12 said no nuclear material was at risk during the break-in.


Oak Ridge - Anderson Businesses