Thursday, July 19, 2007


NEW YORK --'s Jonathan Dienst has learned a contract worker is accused of stealing nuclear secrets from the Oak Ridge National Lab in Tennessee.

Investigators said the worker wanted to sell the secrets to a "foreign country."

Investigators are calling the theft a serious breach of security at one of the country's most important nuclear research labs. Officials said there was serious concern the documents could have fallen into the hands of enemy states or even terrorist organizations.

NewsChannel4 has learned that among the materials allegedly stolen was classified information about the uranium enrichment process. Officials familiar with the case said the suspect will face charges including violations of the Atomic Energy Act.

The suspect, whose name has not been released, worked as an escort at the facility. Officials said his contracting job was to escort visitors to and from offices at the lab.

Sources said it is unclear how a low-level contract worker was able to obtain some of the nation's highly guarded nuclear documents.

Spokesmen at the Justice Department, FBI and Department of Energy declined to comment.

An announcement on the security breach and resulting criminal charges are expected later Thursday.

The question of how this low level drone was able to get his hands on secrets that could have helped "a foreign nation" (cough, Iran, cough) in its bomb making is one which I am sure is going to be giving nightmares to the security people at Oak Ridge for some time to come.