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NYT Crows: US Prints List Of Nuke Sites

From a forgiving New York Times:

U.S. Accidentally Releases List of Nuclear Sites

By WILLIAM J. BROAD

June 3, 2009

The federal government mistakenly made public a 266-page report, its pages marked “highly confidential,” that gives detailed information about hundreds of the nation’s civilian nuclear sites and programs, including maps showing the precise locations of stockpiles of fuel for nuclear weapons.

The publication of the document was revealed Monday in an online newsletter devoted to issues of federal secrecy. That set off a debate among nuclear experts about what dangers, if any, the disclosures posed. It also prompted a flurry of investigations in Washington into why the document had been made public.

On Tuesday evening, after inquiries from The New York Times, the document was withdrawn from a Government Printing Office Web site.

Several nuclear experts argued that any dangers from the disclosure were minimal, given that the general outlines of the most sensitive information were already known publicly.

“These screw-ups happen,” said John M. Deutch, a former director of central intelligence and deputy secretary of defense who is now a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. “It’s going further than I would have gone but doesn’t look like a serious breach.”

But David Albright, president of the Institute for Science and International Security, a private group in Washington that tracks nuclear proliferation, said information that shows where nuclear fuels are stored “can provide thieves or terrorists inside information that can help them seize the material, which is why that kind of data is not given out.”

The information, considered confidential but not classified, was assembled for transmission later this year to the International Atomic Energy Agency as part of a process by which the United States is opening itself up to stricter inspections in hopes that foreign countries, especially Iran and others believed to be clandestinely developing nuclear arms, will do likewise.

President Obama sent the document to Congress on May 5 for Congressional review and possible revision, and the Government Printing Office subsequently posted the draft declaration on its Web site.

As of Tuesday evening, the reasons for that action remained a mystery. On its cover, the document attributes its publication to the House Committee on Foreign Affairs. But Lynne Weil, the committee spokeswoman, said the committee had “neither published it nor had control over its publication.”

Gary Somerset, a spokesman for the printing office, said it had “produced” the document “under normal operating procedures” but had now removed it from its Web site pending further review.

The document contains no military information about the nation’s stockpile of nuclear arms, or about the facilities and programs that guard such weapons. Rather, it presents what appears to be an exhaustive listing of the sites that make up the nation’s civilian nuclear complex, which stretches coast to coast and includes nuclear reactors and highly confidential sites at weapon laboratories.

Steven Aftergood, a security expert at the Federation of American Scientists in Washington, revealed the existence of the document on Monday in Secrecy News, an electronic newsletter he publishes on the Web.

Mr. Aftergood expressed bafflement at its disclosure, calling it “a one-stop shop for information on U.S. nuclear programs.”

In his letter of transmittal to Congress, Mr. Obama characterized the information as “sensitive but unclassified” and said all the information that the United States gathered to comply with the advanced protocol “shall be exempt from disclosure” under the Freedom of Information Act…

The report lists many particulars about nuclear programs and facilities at the nation’s three nuclear weapons laboratories — Los Alamos, Livermore and Sandia — as well as dozens of other federal and private nuclear sites.

One of the most serious disclosures appears to center on the Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee, which houses the Y-12 National Security Complex, a sprawling site ringed by barbed wire and armed guards. It calls itself the nation’s Fort Knox for highly enriched uranium, a main fuel of nuclear arms.

The report lists “Tube Vault 16, East Storage Array,” as a prospective site for nuclear inspection. It said the site, in Building 9720-5, contains highly enriched uranium for “long-term storage.”

An attached map shows the exact location of Tube Vault 16 along a hallway and its orientation in relation to geographic north, although not its location in the Y-12 complex.

Tube vaults are typically cylinders embedded in concrete that prevent the accidental formation of critical masses of highly enriched uranium that could undergo bursts of nuclear fission, known as a criticality incident. According to federal reports, a typical tube vault can hold up to 44 tons of highly enriched uranium in 200 tubes. Motion detectors and television cameras typically monitor each vault.

Thomas B. Cochran, a senior scientist in the nuclear program of the Natural Resources Defense Council, a private group in Washington that tracks atomic arsenals, called the document harmless. “It’s a better listing than anything I’ve seen” of the nation’s civilian nuclear complex, Mr. Cochran said. “But it’s no national-security breach. It confirms what’s already out there and adds a bit more information.”

A version of this article appeared in print on June 3, 2009, on page A18 of the New York edition.

Of course the New York Times can’t affect to be too outraged by this. Since they would have gladly printed this classified information on their front page above the fold, if it had been leaked to them – and they were sure it would hurt our national security.

In any case, who doubts that The Times has already passed the important detail on to their terrorist allies?

But just imagine how our one party media would have reported this had it happened during the Bush administration.

Somehow it we don’t think it would have been buried on page 18 of the New York Times.

The information, considered confidential but not classified…

By the way, “Confidential” is most definitely a level of classification.

You would think the New York Times would know such things, given their proud history of leaking classified documents.

But of course Mr. Obama can be excused for not knowing better. All he knows is what he reads in The Times.

(Thanks to BillK for the heads up.)

This article was posted by Steve on Wednesday, June 3rd, 2009. Comments are currently closed.

12 Responses to “NYT Crows: US Prints List Of Nuke Sites”

  1. BillK says:

    The Treason Times sends al Qaeda rushing to their favorite Internet archive sites.

    U.S. Releases Secret Nuclear List by Accident

    A 266-page document that gives detailed information about civilian nuclear sites and programs, marked “highly confidential,” was accidentally made public by the federal government, the New York Times reported Tuesday…

    http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2009/06/02/report-accidentally-releases-list-nuclear-sites/

    It was stupid that it happened (on Obama’s watch no less), but leave it to the NYT to publicize it.

    • JohnMG says:

      ….”The Obama administration prepared the document to comply with a decade-old international agreement aimed at providing the International Atomic Energy Agency with a comprehensive picture of the country’s nuclear and nuclear-related activities. The U.S. made the agreement to encourage other countries to provide similar disclosure of their nuclear activities…..”

      Was it really an accident? With the Moron we’ll never really know, but this is just the type of thing that fits his modus operandi. And the MSM is one of his tools. I tend to believe it was a deliberate leak. And all this coming on the heels of Obama saying he believes Iran has legitimate needs for nuclear power. Can anyone think it mere coincidence? I don’t!

    • Liberals Demise says:

      I’m with you on that!!

  2. David says:

    It seems to me any mistake in the Bush admin was followed by immediate outrage and frothing-mouth demands that someone step down. Why does it appear that no one will be fired for violating national security so grossly. Could it be:
    1. The current administration simply doesn’t care about national security.
    2. That you can’t lawfully fire someone for doing what their boss told them to do.

  3. proreason says:

    It wasn’t an accident.

    It’s ludicrous to think so.

    • MinnesotaRush says:

      Pro .. you’re right!

      This wasn’t an “accident”. How many people had to review, or handle, that dispatch before it went out? And if an “accident”, why wasn’t it QUICKLY retracted? Accident .. BULLSHIT!!!

      If they want to try to sell this “accident crap”, then they better admit that there are DANGEROUSLY INCOMPETENT BOOBS throughout this administration and Congress! (and MSM)

      ““It’s a better listing than anything I’ve seen” of the nation’s civilian nuclear complex, Mr. Cochran said. “But it’s no national-security breach.”

      NO NATIONAL SECURITY BREACH!?!?!? WHATHA???

      What??? Ya’ gotta give GPS data before it’s a breach (???) .. ya’ dimwit Cochran!

      Good God!!! This is absolutely deplorable. How many folks have just been put at newer and real grave risk because of another o-blah-blah “blunder”??? Despicable!!!

    • TNpatriot says:

      “How many folks have just been put at newer and real grave risk…?”

      Since I live about 10 minutes away from The Oak Ridge National Labs Y-12 plant, I know I am one of them. At least I know how much material we have stored there now, and that if an attack occurs, I will certainly go quick.

    • Confucius says:

      I agree with proreason. This release of information coincides with Obama’s recent policy positions.

      Obama is helping Dubai go nuclear, giving the nod to Iran and doing nothing with North Korea. In contrast, he’s upset with the U.S. being nuclear.

      So why not help the terrorists with some intel?

  4. pdsand says:

    “The information, considered confidential but not classified, was assembled for transmission later this year to the International Atomic Energy Agency as part of a process by which the United States is opening itself up to stricter inspections in hopes that foreign countries, especially Iran and others believed to be clandestinely developing nuclear arms, will do likewise.”

    What a sad pitiful joke.

    And y’all are correct, it does seem that the CSAF had to go because of the B-52 that accidentally flew with a nuclear bomb on its wing, but I somehow don’t think Obama will be forced to resign over this incident.

  5. BigOil says:

    Most transparent administration ever. We have nothing left to hide.

  6. Reality Bytes says:

    Irrelevant! Obama’s gonna empty them out anyway.

  7. canary says:

    How come we don’t have nuke maps on other countries, if this is so petty. Obama probably gave the real secret stuff his homie Majesty the King of Saudi-Arabia birthplace of the Quran.


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