Published December 20, 2015
The organization responsible for securing America’s highly sensitive nuclear sites has been suffering from a “chaotic” and “dysfunctional” security policy that has endangered the country’s nuclear sites and left them vulnerable to attack, according to a new report by the government’s watchdog group.
The National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA), which is tasked with managing the nation’s nuclear stockpile and securing classified research sites, has “increased risks and reduced security” over the past several years in a bid to reduce overhead costs, according to a new Government Accountability Office (GAO) report.
Security vulnerabilities at these NNSA sites still persist two years after a major breach at one of its top facilities in Tennessee. The administration’s own officials have described the security policy as “chaotic” and “dysfunctional,” according to the report.
Further security reforms put in place since the 2012 breach at the Y-12 National Security Complex (Y-12) in Tennessee have not effectively mitigated risks posed to this facility and others across the nation, according to the report, which urged the NNSA to develop a clear security plan going forward.
The schizophrenic security procedures, which often vary from facility to facility, have not effectively been addressed by the NNSA, which still cannot “fully [resolve] long-standing security management and oversight problems,” according the report.