Nuke pro­tes­tors knock on wall, se­cu­rity fails to notice


In a re­cent in­ci­dent in the US, nu­clear pro­tes­tors ham­mered on the wall of Amer­ica’s premier stor­age vault for nu­clear-weapons grade ura­nium in pitch-dark­ness, but se­cu­rity guards thought it was the work­men work­ing late night. Prior to that, a perime­ter cam­era had caught an im­age of in­trud­ers — not work­men — breach­ing an eight-foot-high se­cu­rity fence around the sen­si­tive fa­cil­ity out­side Knoxville, Ten­nessee. The guard oper­at­ing the cam­era missed it and an­other cam­era was out of or­der.

But what has wor­ried US se­cu­rity au­thor­i­ties is that any­one can get in and do dam­age to the high en­riched ura­nium ma­te­ri­als fa­cil­ity, a half-bil­lion-dol­lar vault that stores the mak­ings of more than 10,000 nu­clear bombs. In­stead, it was a group of three peace ac­tivists, in­clud­ing an 82-year-old nun, armed only with flash­lights, binoc­u­lars, bolt cut­ters, bread, flow­ers, a Bi­ble, and sev­eral ham­mers.

The ca­sual and rel­a­tively swift pen­e­tra­tion of the site’s de­fences on July 28 by the ac­tivists has pro­voked their felony in­dict­ment on fed­eral charges.

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