Nuclear Arms Plant on “Security Lockdown”?

Reader Wally B. emailed this link with the subject line “WTF?” Normally that’s not a word I use, even acronym’d, but in this case…well, what is going on here?

National Review has a short take on the story:

The Department of Energy’s Pantex plant in Amarillo, which “is charged with maintaining the safety, security and reliability of the nation’s nuclear weapons stockpile” is on lockdown this morning over a “potential security situation.”

According to a release, the plant’s Emergency Response Organization (ERO) has been mobilized to respond to a security situation that occurred at approximately 8:00 A.M. The plant is now “in a lockdown status” and Pantex employees are being “sheltered-in-place.”

Responders are trained to deal with a variety of contingencies at the plant, including security, medical response, radiological assessment and firefighting. According to the release, “Pantex is also in the process of establishing communication links with various local, state and federal government agencies that will work with Pantex and communicate with the public during the response to this event.”

My request on this story is below the fold…
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If y’all have anything to add, please do help us out by putting your information in the comments.

I have to go all the way into town this afternoon so the ENT doctor can decide if I need a tube in my ear (uggh). Thus we won’t be around to dig out any further information on this and it sounds most ‘interesting’.

By the way, that page at National Review is &%$*#@ annoying. I understand having those ‘smart links’ (I believe that’s what they’re called) is a way to earn money, but I’d rather have ads up any day. Those darn things will start connecting if you get anywhere near the underlined information. It wouldn’t be so bad if they led anywhere you’d want to see, but invariably they don’t.

Which reminds me: a deeply appreciative “THANK YOU” to our donors. They keep keep us from having to resort to those maddening underlines. In fact, thank you for keeping us advertisement-free all ‘round.

9 thoughts on “Nuclear Arms Plant on “Security Lockdown”?

  1. I looked into it. The story, according to Reuters and a few other mainstream news websites, is that the plant went into a purely precautionary lock down when it was reported that two individuals in camouflage and carrying firearms were spotted on adjacent property to the plant. As the two men were apprehended while setting out decoy ducks and assembly a shield. After full compliance and a quick background check it was concluded the two duck hunters had no antagonistic intentions–except for ducks.
    The hope, I think, is that everyone can breath a sigh of relief and have knee slapping chuckle.

  2. However, there are a couple troubles with this story, which was not accompanied by photos of the men themselves. I’m don’t want to insist or imply that there is a more serious undertone to this affectation, or that some sort of cover up is in order…it’d almost be too predictable in context of recent events but I’d like to know:
    How did these duck hunters, who assumedly hunter often, not realize they were next to a highly secure and monitored nuclear power plant? Who hunts ducks by a power plant?
    Furthermore, I looked up whatever photos I could find of the Plant layout, which admittedly were few and from far above, but I couldn’t see any riparian areas where about people would even go duck hunting.
    It all just seems too silly. Assumedly these would-be hunters weren’t greenhorns and have done this before, which possibly means that either Pantex security has been lax enough to let them get away with it in the past, or that this is a common occurrence. Both of those scenarios seem unlikely, like duck-hunting by a well known power plant in the first place.
    That being said, I don’t have a more plausible alternative…We may never known.

  3. @Laurence
    “The hope, I think, is that everyone can breath a sigh of relief and have knee slapping chuckle”

    Well, that depend on the decoy ducks! One never know about decoy ducks. Did they wear veils?

  4. yes…yes…perhaps the decoys were never intended for ducks…but for Plantex security personnel!!!

    As part of their camouflage, the hunters might well have been wearing veils…but how can one tell the difference between a hunting veil, if it is camouflaged, and traditional jihad headgear? (joke).

  5. @ Laurence: Maybe you already had these links, but just incase, more detailed photos of the plant layout, are here, and here are maps of the plant. Zone 4 and 12 are also in this report.

    From a 2007 LA Times article: “The plant is ringed by four layers of security fences, high guard towers with gun ports, and an assemblage of sensors intended to detect a terrorist strike force long before it could reach a weapon.” And also: “The Energy Department’s top security officer, Glenn S. Podonsky is expected to conduct performance exercises [due to a strike of nuclear weapons guards in those days] to assess how well the ad hoc guard force would respond to armed terrorists.”

  6. Thanks, y’all for the information.

    Still seems cloudy, doesn’t it? Is there some body of water or marsh there which would indicate a water fowl habitat?

    Was Dick Cheney up to his old tricks?

    I’ll have to check a few hunter blogs to see if they have anything more to suggest.

    Somehow the idea of Al-Qaeda in Yemen(AQAP)training a few doofuses to act like good ol’ boy duck hunters creates wonderful mind images. I can see the video on You Tube now…

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