NNSA orders security crackdown at lab

-A A +A

The National Nuclear Security Administration has directed Los Alamos National Laboratory to increase its security, effective immediately.

LANL officials, however, will not say why the extra precautions are being taken.

“When there are changes to the security posture of the laboratory, we do not discuss the details,” lab spokesman Kevin Roark said.

A source close to the situation said that the NNSA directive was solely for LANL and not for any of the other Department of Energy sites.

He declined to say if the order had anything to do with a faulty $213 million security system that is being installed around Technical Area 55, the lab’s most sensitive nuclear facilities.

The system was supposed to be up and running this summer. But officials now say it will take an additional $41 million and another six months.

Last month, five security workers were fired for taking unauthorized visitors to a shooting range.

Because of this government order, until further notice all vehicles entering government property will be required to stop at the East and West Jemez Road “Vehicle Access Portals” (VAPs) for a vehicle check. Pajarito Road remains open to government badge holders only, so vehicles are already required to stop at the Pajarito Road VAPs, and this will not change.

Large delivery-type vehicle restrictions currently in place also will not change.

During the new vehicle checks all drivers will be required to show picture identification (DOE badge or valid driver’s license) before proceeding, and will be asked to vouch for other vehicle occupants. The vehicle stops will be conducted as rapidly as possible to reduce traffic delays.

Motorists traveling through Los Alamos to and from the Pajarito Ski Area, Bandelier National Monument, or the Jemez Mountains are strongly encouraged to use the West Road bypass in Los Alamos to avoid traffic delays.