KUNM

National Labs Fined For Mishandling Classified Materials

Jun 9, 2015

The Department of Energy has fined the contractors that manage Los Alamos and Sandia National Laboratories nearly $1 million for mishandling sensitive material.

National security was compromised, according to the DOE, when a Sandia employee divulged details about nuclear weapons design during public presentations made over the course of nearly a decade.

Sandia’s Jim Danneskiold said they found out about the breach in 2012.

“After discovering and reporting the issue," Danneskiold explained, "Sandia carried out a series of improvements that will reduce the likelihood of security violations of this kind.”

Up the road at Los Alamos National Laboratory, the DOE learned that classified material had gone missing just before it was supposed to be shipped off-site for disposal. Investigators accused LANL of mishandling the incident by assuming the material had been destroyed even though there was no evidence to prove it.

Contractors that manage the labs have until June 26 to challenge the fines.