Nuclear transport official charged with DWI

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By The Staff

A manager in the Office of Secure Transportation (OST) pleaded “not guilty” to a DWI charge, according to the case file from the Bernalillo County Metropolitan Court on Jan. 20.

Craig A. Tucker, 49, of Tijeras was approached by Bernalillo County deputies on previous evening, after they noticed his vehicle was partially on the sidewalk of N.M. 14.

A criminal complaint states that Tucker smelled of alcohol, had bloodshot and watery eyes and his speech was blurred. Deputies found an open bottle of beer in the car and Tucker’s breath-alcohol content registered 0.15. The legal limit is 0.08.

Tucker is the assistant deputy administrator of the armed unit of the National Nuclear Security Administration, headquartered in Albuquerque. OST transports, escorts and defends shipments of nuclear weapons and special nuclear materials in the United States.

Al Stotts, a spokesman for NNSA said Tucker was removed from his management responsibility. The Department of Energy Office of Health Safety and Security is conducting a review of the incident. If Tucker is convicted, he could loss his security clearance and possible his job, Stotts said.

Neither Tucker nor his lawyer returned a reporter’s phone calls seeking comment. The court record indicates this was Tucker’s first DWI offense. He is free on $2500 bond.

A second charge accuses him of having an open alcoholic container in his vehicle, which is a traffic violation. He pleaded not guilty to that as well.

A pretrial conference is scheduled in the case for March 18.

A story in the Monitor Nov. 1 reported a convoy of trucks under guard by OST that arrived in Los Alamos.

NNSA recently announced that over 55 percent of the plutonium and uranium materials stored at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California have been moved to the Savannah River site in South Carolina and the Y-12 National Security Complex in Oak Ridge, Tennessee, under high security.

In order to meet an accelerated completion date of 2012 for removal of high-security nuclear material from LLNL, NNSA said it is installing extra equipment to increase capacity.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.