Wednesday, June 03, 2009

List of U.S. Nuclear Sites Inadvertently Posted Online

Joby Warwick writes on The Washington Post:

A U.S. document containing sensitive details about hundreds of civilian nuclear sites across the country was posted online Monday, an apparently inadvertent security breach that had federal officials scrambling yesterday to remedy the mistake.

The document, a draft declaration of U.S. nuclear facilities to the U.N. nuclear watchdog agency, contained descriptions of sensitive civilian sites, including the locations of facilities that store enriched uranium and other materials used in nuclear weapons. It was available for about a day on a Government Printing Office Web site before inquiries by news organizations prompted its hasty removal.

Nuclear experts said it was theoretically possible that the document could benefit terrorists contemplating an attack on one of the facilities. Still, because the information was unclassified and most of it is publicly available through other sources, the release generally was deemed more embarrassing than harmful.

"It is probably not that dangerous, but it is a violation of the law," said David Albright, a former U.N. nuclear inspector and president the Institute for Science and International Security, a nonprofit research group in Washington. "You don't want this information out there, any more than you would want a thief to know the location of a vault in your house."

More here.


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