Head of National Nuclear Security Administration Ousted After Security Lapses

Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman on Thursday announced the dismissal of the head of the country's nuclear weapons program because of security breakdowns at weapons facilities including the Los Alamos laboratory in New Mexico.

Linton Brooks is to submit his resignation as chief of the National Nuclear Security Administration this month, the department said.

Bodman said the NNSA under Brooks, a former ambassador and arms control negotiator, had failed to adequately correct security problems, so "I have decided it is time for new leadership at the NNSA."

Brooks was reprimanded last June for failing to report to Bodman that computers at an NNSA facility in Albuquerque had been breached resulting in the theft of files containing Social Security numbers and other personal data from 1,500 workers.

Last fall, security at the Los Alamos National Laboratory again came into question when during a drug raid classified nuclear-related documents were found at the home of a former Los Alamos lab employee with top secret clearance.

A department inspector general said that security breach was especially troubling because tens of millions of dollars had been spent to upgrade cyber security at the Los Alamos facility, part of the nuclear weapons complex that NNSA oversees.