In the weeks since the security incursion at the Y‑12 National Security Complex on July 28, 2012, Babcock & Wilcox Technical Services Y‑12, LLC (B&W Y‑12) has moved quickly to improve security, maintenance and staffing.
“All of us at B&W Y‑12 appreciate the Inspector General’s work in assessing the event of July 28 and making recommendations for security operations improvement. We’ve taken dramatic actions and are making major security improvements at the site,” said Charles (Chuck) G. Spencer, President and General Manager for B&W Y‑12.
The National Nuclear Security Administration’s (NNSA) previous protective force contract with Wackenhut Services, Inc. (WSI)–Oak Ridge is now a subcontract to B&W Y‑12. NNSA assigned this contract to B&W Y‑12 after the July 28 event, giving B&W Y‑12 single-point accountability for security activities. Physical security experts have been brought on board by B&W Y‑12 to review and improve Y‑12 systems and processes. B&W Y‑12 has also added highly experienced professionals to manage site security and maintenance operations to provide strong leadership for these critical functions. Among the staff members brought on board to date include Pantex Deputy Manager and former head of security, General Rodney Johnson, to oversee all security operations, and Linda Bauer, named head of facilities, infrastructure and services.
Corrective measures have included extensive re-training of the security force, increased security patrols, the addition of fencing and repairs to security cameras. Changes have also been made to the maintenance prioritization system to ensure that maintenance of security systems is addressed quickly and efficiently. A broader review of the lessons learned as they relate to other site operations is currently underway.
On August 11, B&W Y‑12 issued a “show cause” notice to WSI–Oak Ridge in response to both the July 28 event and to the show cause notice received by B&W Y‑12 from NNSA on August 10. The notice requires WSI–Oak Ridge to explain its actions during the security incursion.
On August 31, B&W Y‑12 notified WSI that its contract would be terminated for default if actions are not taken to address all of the issues to date. The notice was issued to WSI as a result of an on-site personnel incident that occurred August 29 involving a WSI staff member. At no time during the personnel incident was there risk to the Y‑12 employees, community or to the special nuclear materials.
“Moving forward, B&W Y‑12 management continues to carefully examine the circumstances that led to the security incursion and make effective improvements that are identified through ongoing internal review processes,” said Spencer. “We are committed to applying lessons learned to all of our operations in order to maintain the highest levels of performance in security, safety and quality.”