Speaker calls for probe into nuclear information leak

Washington, DC – House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has called on the US Government Accountability Office to investigate how a secret list of nuclear sites was accidentally released on the internet.

The 266 page report – despite being marked ‘highly confidential’ – was posted on the Government Printing Office website late last month. It detailed the whereabouts of both government and civilian nuclear sites, along with describing the activities carried out there.

“The disclosure of information related to nuclear facilities suggests that the current system does not provide adequate review and safeguards,” Pelosi said in a statement. “Accordingly, I have asked the Government Accountability Office to investigate immediately what led to the disclosure of this information and to make recommendations to prevent a similar disclosure in the future.”

The leak was reported by Steven Aftergood, a security expert with the Federation of American Scientists.

The list, which has since been taken down, contained no military information on nuclear sites, but did describe civilian nuclear sites and activities in detail, and in some cases included site maps. One of the most sensitive items was the location of a storage site for highly enriched, weapons-grade uranium at the Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

However, the National Nuclear Security Administration has insisted that the accidental leak posed no threat to national security, as the information was already available in various other places. Thomas D’Agostino, head of the organisation, told a Senate hearing yesterday that none of the information was classified.

 However, he added that he was concerned the list could provide an “easy locator” for uranium storage sites and other facilities related to the country’s civilian nuclear program.