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Nuclear Weapons Guards Cheated on Terrorism Drills


Security guards who repelled four simulated terrorist attacks at a Tennessee nuclear weapons plant had been tipped in advance, undermining the encouraging results, the Energy Department’s watchdog office said Monday. The surprising successes by guards at the Y-12 nuclear weapons plant last summer in Oak Ridge, Tenn., spurred an internal investigation. It determined that at least two guards defending the mock attacks had been allowed to look at computer simulations one day before the attacks.

The Energy Department’s inspector general, Gregory H. Friedman, declared the exercises “tainted and unreliable.” He said each mock attack cost as much as $85,000 to stage, and he urged the department to consider his conclusions when awarding contracting fees for Wackenhut Corp., which employs guards at Oak Ridge. A spokesman for Wackenhut did not return telephone calls Monday to The Associated Press.

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