Tuesday, Dec. 08, 2009

Oops! U.S. Nuclear Secrets Are Posted Online

So much for secrecy. In June, reports surfaced that the U.S. government mistakenly posted online a highly confidential 266-page report. Its contents? Detailed information about hundreds of the nation's civilian nuclear sites and programs — including maps pinpointing caches of nuclear fuel. The data had been earmarked for disclosure to the International Atomic Energy Agency later in the year as part of an effort to increase transparency around nuclear development. After media inquiries, the government pulled the document — emblazoned with the words "Highly Confidential Safeguards Sensitive" — from a Government Printing Office website. A spokesman for the Department of Energy's National Nuclear Security Administration said the error did not jeopardize U.S. national security. Energy Secretary Steven Chu admitted that the snafu was "embarrassing."