“Sad to say, Russia has it right,” observes Glenn Walp, the former Pennsylvania State Police Commissioner hired by the Los Alamos National Lab to improve lab security post-9/11, about allegations from Russia’s Foreign Ministry that the U.S. has violated dozens of provisions of nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons treaties over the last decade.
The Russian Foreign Ministry made the allegations in a report released Saturday. The New York Times reported that “the 10-page report detailed lapses in security at Los Alamos National Laboratory,” and Reuters notes these lapses are related to the incident when police found classified information from Los Alamos in the hands of a gang during a 2006 drug raid.
Walp, who recently authored Implosion At Los Alamos, points to last year’s Material Control and Accountability (MC&A) inconsistencies at Los Alamos, which also troubled POGO, as a sign that Los Alamos and the U.S. still have work to do to secure our nuclear materials and facilities:
The threat of a nuclear holocaust is no longer about a nuclear war with Russia or China, but the risk of nuclear terrorism. If terrorists get their hands on highly enriched uranium look out America. And it is the highly enriched uranium that NNSA [the National Nuclear Security Administration] warned Los Alamos about in February, 2009, when they concluded that Los Alamos was not keeping track of their highly enriched uranium stockpile. It was so bad that NNSA stated they may have to shut Los Alamos down. That is recent history, and that is exactly the type of failure I am talking about, and what Russia chastises, mocks and ridicules us about.
This incident reminds us of the op-ed we published in The Hill, in which we warned the U.S. that it needs to take action on its own nuclear security vulnerabilities if it is to expect other nations to act.
-- Ingrid Drake