Los Alamos Lockdown

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photoFifty-nine years ago, Los Alamos National Laboratory scientists conducted the world's first atomic bomb test. Now, the disappearance of two computer data storage devices has brought operations to a temporary halt, and it's far from the first security breach at this historic laboratory.

In 1999, allegations flew at Los Alamos in the Wen Ho Lee spy case. In 2000, computer hard drives went missing, only to be mysteriously found later behind a copy machine. In the last eight months, there have been three publicly-announced security lapses.

For 61 years, Los Alamos has been managed by the University of California. Now, that contract and the certainty of national nuclear security are under a dark cloud. Los Alamos critics are saying: enough.

Click one of the "Listen" links to hear about missing materials, security breaches and the story behind the Los Alamos lockdown.


Keay Davidson, science writer, The San Francisco Chronicle

Peter Stockton, senior investigator, Project on Government Oversight

Ian Hoffman, staff writer, The Oakland Chronicle and co-author of "A Convenient Spy: Wen Ho Lee and the Politics of Nuclear Espionage" with Dan Stober of The San Jose Mercury News

Matthew Bunn, senior research associate, Project on Managing the Atom at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard University, and former adviser to the Office of Science and Technology Policy under President Clinton, where he helped create policies on weapons-usable nuclear materials in the US and former Soviet Union

Rep Christopher Shays (R-CT), chairman of the House Subcommittee on National Security, Emerging Threats and International Relations.

This program aired on July 16, 2004.


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