Wednesday, June 3, 2009


As reported by the New York Times....
The federal government mistakenly made public a 266-page report, its pages marked “highly confidential,” that gives detailed information about hundreds of the nation’s civilian nuclear sites and programs, including maps showing the precise locations of stockpiles of fuel for nuclear weapons.
The publication of the document was revealed Monday in an online newsletter devoted to issues of federal secrecy. That set off a debate among nuclear experts about what dangers, if any, the disclosures posed. It also prompted a flurry of investigations in Washington into why the document had been made public. On Tuesday evening, after inquiries from The New York Times, the document was withdrawn from a Government Printing Office Web site.
Several nuclear experts argued that any dangers from the disclosure were minimal, given that the general outlines of the most sensitive information were already known publicly.
The document contains no military information about the nation’s stockpile of nuclear arms, or about the facilities and programs that guard such weapons. Rather, it presents what appears to be an exhaustive listing of the sites that make up the nation’s civilian nuclear complex, which stretches coast to coast and includes nuclear reactors and highly confidential sites at weapon laboratories.
Thomas B. Cochran, a senior scientist in the nuclear program of the Natural Resources Defense Council, a private group in Washington that tracks atomic arsenals, called the document harmless. “It’s a better listing than anything I’ve seen” of the nation’s civilian nuclear complex, Mr. Cochran said. “But it’s no national-security breach. It confirms what’s already out there and adds a bit more information.”

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