Environment News Service

AmeriScan: April 27, 1999

NUCLEAR FACILITIES ADMIT PLUTONIUM MISSING

According to the Energy Department's own figures, the country's nuclear facilities have lost track of more than 5,000 pounds of plutonium. At the Rocky Flats weapons factory near Denver alone, officials told "Newsweek," some 2,400 pounds of plutonium is unaccounted for. Rocky Flats failed a sophisticated computer program designed to simulate terrorist attacks against each of the country's nuclear labs. Other facilities, including Los Alamos and Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, also fared poorly on security checks. The story, which appears in the May 3, 1999, issue of the national newsweekly (on newsstands Monday, April 26), details of the results of a sophisticated computer-modeling program, used by recently suspended Department of Energy chief security officer Edward McCallum, designed to simulate terrorist attacks against each of the country's nuclear labs.

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