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August 21, 2017

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Employees replaced after US nuclear security breach

WASHINGTON -- The Energy Department said on Monday it was replacing guards and supervisors on duty 10 days ago when three peace activists, including an 82 year-old nun, breached perimeter security at the principal U.S. facility for storing weapons-grade enriched uranium.

The guards and supervisors work for WSI Oak Ridge, a subsidiary of the giant international private security contractor G4S, which was at the center of a dispute over security preparations at the London Olympic Games.

A federal official at the U.S. Energy Department's Y-12 complex in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, had also been "temporarily re-assigned" pending the investigation, a government official said.

Joshua McConaha, a spokesman for the National Nuclear Security Administration, the Energy Department branch responsible for designing and building U.S. nuclear weapons, told Reuters that the incident, which occurred during the night of July 27-28, was "not consistent with the level of professionalism and expertise we expect from our guard force."

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