Thursday, Jun 4, 2015Thursday, Jun 4, 2015

Judge releases nun who broke into US nuclear bomb facility

Published on Aug 4, 2012 9:05 AM

KNOXVILLE (REUTERS) - A United States (US) magistrate judge on Friday ordered the release pending trial of an 82-year-old nun and another anti-nuclear activist charged with breaching security fences at one of the most sensitive US nuclear facilities, in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, where weapons-grade uranium is kept.

The security failure was an embarrassment for the National Nuclear Security Administration, or NNSA, the Energy Department branch that operates US nuclear weapons plants, and for the international security firm G4S, which owns WSI Oak Ridge, the contractor responsible for protecting the facility.

G4S was also at the centre of a dispute over security at the London Olympic Games.

Officials said the facility was shut down on Wednesday at least until next week after peace activists Ms Megan Rice, 82, Mr Michael Walli, 63, and Mr Greg Boertje-Obed, 57, cut through perimeter fences to reach the outer wall of a building where highly enriched uranium, a key nuclear bomb component, is stored.

Enjoy 2 weeks of unlimited digital access to The Straits Times. Get your free access now!