Friday, January 15, 2010

Breaking News: Pantex Nuke Plant Lockdown


Pantex alert due to "hunters with weapons" sighted by employee near plant.

CNN STORY: (CNN) -- A nuclear weapons assembly and disassembly plant in Texas was on lockdown Friday morning because of a "potential security situation," according to a news release.

The Pantex Plant in Carson County, Texas, "has activated its Emergency Response Organization to respond to a potential security situation," the release said.
The event, which was not described, occurred around 8 a.m. the release said.
"The plant is in a lockdown status and the situation is being evaluated in order to facilitate security actions. Pantex employees are sheltered in place," it said.
Further details were not immediately available.
The Pantex plant is the nation's only nuclear weapons assembly and disassembly facility, the release said. The facility is managed and operated by B&W Pantex for the U.S. Department of Energy/National Nuclear Security Administration, according to the plant's Web site.
It is about 17 miles northeast of Amarillo, Texas.


Texas nuclear assembly plant in lockdown: official

Fri Jan 15, 2010 12:10pm EST
HOUSTON (Reuters) - A nuclear weapons assembly plant in Amarillo, Texas, ordered a precautionary security lock-down on Friday but there was no safety breach, a state official said.
"They did have it locked down," said an official at the Texas Department of Public Safety, who spoke on condition of anonymity. "There was no security breach. It was purely a precautionary measure."
According to the Texas official, the plant was locked down because there were armed hunters on property adjacent to it. "They had some duck hunters out there," the official said. Plant officials later determined the hunters were not a threat, the official said.
The Pantex Plant maintains the safety, security and reliability of the U.S. nuclear weapons stockpile and is managed and operated by Babcock and Wilcox for the U.S. Department of Energy.
"Pantex is responding to a concern reported by Pantex employees," Steve Erhart, Pantex Site Office Manager, said in a statement. "Pantex Plant security is in control of the situation. Plant management is monitoring the ongoing response."
(Reporting by Chris Baltimore; Editing by Vicki Allen)

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