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Department of Energy Initiates Formal Enforcement Action in Los Alamos National Laboratory Classified Information Breach

July 13, 2007 - 2:54pm

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WASHINGTON, DC - Following extensive investigations, the Department of Energy (DOE) and its National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) took formal enforcement actions today against the University of California (UC) and the Los Alamos National Security, LLC (LANS), the prior and current management and operating contractors of the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico, for violations of classified information security requirements under their respective contracts.  Investigations revealed that management deficiencies of both contractors were a central contributing factor in a Laboratory subcontractor employee's unauthorized reproduction of and removal of classified matter from the site.

In response to this serious security breach, the NNSA today issued a Preliminary Notice of Violation to the University of California with a $3,000,000 proposed civil penalty (the largest the Department has ever assessed) and a Preliminary Notice of Violation to LANS with a $300,000 proposed civil penalty.

In addition, Secretary of Energy Samuel Bodman today issued a Compliance Order to LANS which requires the contractor to take specific corrective actions on a prescribed timetable in the physical protection and cyber security of classified information at the Laboratory.  Violation of a Compliance Order is itself a violation of departmental regulations, which may result in the imposition of civil penalties up to $100,000 per day for each violation.

From 1943 to May 2006, the University of California managed and operated the Laboratory for the Department and its predecessor agencies.  On June 1, 2006, LANS, a limited liability corporation comprised of Bechtel National, Inc., the University of California, BWX Technologies, Inc., and the Washington Group International, Inc., took over as the new management and operating contractor.  As one of the country's three nuclear weapons laboratories, the Los Alamos National Laboratory performs sensitive national security missions, including helping to ensure that the U.S. nuclear weapons stockpile is safe, secure and reliable.

Read additional details on this and other departmental enforcement actions at the Office of Enforcement.

Media contact(s):

Megan Barnett, DOE, (202) 586-4940
Julianne Smith, NNSA, (202) 586-7371

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