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high security?


A Wired article on the security problems of Los Alamos National Laboratory:

There are no armed guards to knock out. No sensors to deactivate. No surveillance cameras to cripple. To sneak into Los Alamos National Laboratory, the world's most important nuclear research facility, all you do is step over a few strands of rusted, calf-high barbed wire.

I should know. On Saturday morning, I slipped into and out of a top-secret area of the lab while guards sat, unaware, less than a hundred yards away.

A few weeks ago, The Economist ran a related article on Los Alamos with the headline "Next stop for Blix? - Even America has a hard time keeping track of its arms programmes", and said:

IT BUILDS weapons of mass destruction. And it cannot account for dozens of computers and hundreds of thousands of dollars' worth of other equipment. Were the goings-on that have lately been exposed at Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico to be uncovered in Iraq, the United Nations weapons inspectors would pounce on them with a furious cry.

Los Alamos, where the first atomic bombs were built, is in as bad a crisis as it has known since the end of the cold war. This time the concern is not about its fundamental job; indeed, the realisation that the world has not been made safe by the collapse of communism, and that there are still explosive dangers out there, has put a spring back in the step of nuclear-weapons designers. The current trouble is about that familiar old villain, simple mismanagement.

Categories: geopolitics, science, technology
Posted by diego on March 1 2003 at 9:25 AM

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