Lost Items at Los Alamos
I soon contacted a BUS-6 manager named Leroy Padilla, a congenial gentleman who had deep knowledge of lab procurement and control policies. Interested in my project, he said he’d forward to me his division’s Annual Lost and Stolen Reports for 1999, 2000, and 2001. “The reports will show hundreds of items that had been lost or stolen,” Padilla said. That meant that the Business Operations Division, which was responsible for control of these items, had no idea where any of the hundreds of items were.
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The Los Alamos Motto: En Boca Cerrada no Entran Muscas
In December 2004, shortly after Secretary Abraham announced his plans to resign, the Department of Energy released another report addressing the alarming problem of security at all national labs. “The department must ensure that its most sensitive materials, facilities, and information are secure and protected from hostile groups and countries,” the report said. But it went on to note that Department of Energy investigators had found weaknesses in the Los Alamos lab’s ability “to assure that laptop, desktop, and related equipment are appropriately controlled and adequately safeguarded from loss or theft, and that classified computer use did not meet security standards.”
Crime and Cover-Ups
In February 2009, National Nuclear Security Administration officials released more alarming news. The officials sent a letter to Los Alamos Director Michael Anastasio, chastising the Los Alamos laboratory for failure “to conclusively determine control of special nuclear material as there is no reconciliation of the physical inventory that includes calculation and evaluation of the ID (inventory difference).” The officials stated that this failure “exceeded alarm limits,” and the items of the inventory included huge stocks of plutonium and highly enriched uranium – enough for the making of hundreds of nuclear weapons.