82-Year-Old Nun Breaks into the 'Fort Knox of Uranium' to Expose Lax Security


Oh, man. This is some straight-up Homer Simpson shit right here. Security guards at the Highly Enriched Uranium Materials Facility—which houses the components to make over 10,000 nuclear bombs—not only failed to notice a group of activists climbing over the fence into their half-billion-dollar weapons-grade uranium vault, they also figured it was “just some workmen” when the intruders began banging on the walls in the middle of the night. Best part: one of the intruders was mad-as-hell 82-year-old vigilante nun Megan Rice. Awesome. Except for the federal felony trespassing charges, I mean.

Via Mother Jones:

Minutes earlier, a perimeter camera had caught an image of intruders-not workmen-breaching an eight-foot high security fence around the sensitive facility outside Knoxville, Tenn. But the guard operating the camera had missed it. A different camera stationed over another fence-also breached by the intruders-was out of service, a defect the protective force had ignored for 6 months.
In theory, the pounding might have been the work of a squad of terrorists preparing to plant a powerful explosive in the wall of the Highly Enriched Uranium Materials Facility (HEUMF), a half-billion dollar vault that stores the makings of more than 10,000 nuclear bombs. Instead, it was a group of three peace activists, including an 82-year old nun, armed only with flashlights, binoculars, bolt cutters, bread, flowers, a Bible, and several hammers.

Sister Rice, of the international ministry Sisters of the Holy Child Jesus, says it only took the activists 15 minutes to break through the facility’s fences using bolt-cutters. Then, once inside—despite being caught on multiple security cameras—they had enough time to string up caution tape, anoint the radioactive casks with blood “‘very reverently,’ she said-and knick the concrete in what she called a ‘symbolic cracking of the cornerstone.'” They literally had to wait for security guards to show up.

“We never expected to get that far,” said Rice. “We would have been happy to get to the first fence.”

Hahahahahaahahahahahhahahaa you dum-dums. I mean, it’s not funny. But still. Hahahahaahahahaha. The activists’ successful breach has caused all kinds of concern and reevaluation and permanently knitted brows over at the National Nuclear Security Administration, and two congressional hearings this week will explore whether or not the NNSA has a tight enough leash on the contractors who operate their weapons facilities.

“I suspect any belief we should loosen oversight of the weapons complex is extinguished by the latest break-in of our ‘Fort Knox of Uranium’ by an octogenarian nun,” said Danielle Brian, executive director of the nonprofit watchdog group, Project on Government Oversight.

Rice and her fellow activists are currently awaiting trial for trespassing.

How an 82-year-old Nun Exposed Security Lapses at Nuclear Facilities [MotherJones]

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