In a recent incident in the US, nuclear protestors hammered on the wall of America’s premier storage vault for nuclear-weapons grade uranium in pitch-darkness, but security guards thought it was the workmen working late night.
Prior to that, a perimeter camera had caught an image of intruders — not workmen — breaching an eight-foot-high security fence around the sensitive facility outside Knoxville, Tennessee. The guard operating the camera missed it and another camera was out of order.
But what has worried US security authorities is that anyone can get in and do damage to the high enriched uranium materials facility, 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.
The casual and relatively swift penetration of the site’s defences on July 28 by the activists has provoked their felony indictment on federal charges.